A Newport Beach cyclist was killed after being struck by a 22 year old woman, suspected of driving under the influence. The 41 year old cyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. Shortly after, police arrested the woman on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Vehicular Manslaughter, while intoxicated, is a felony punishable up to 10 years in State Prison. However, in certain circumstance, the punishment can be more severe. In California, we have what is known as DUI Sentence Enhancements. This means that a sentence can be increased, depending upon the enhancement(s). Sentence enhancements in DUI cases include, prior convictions, a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher, test refusal and speeding and/or reckless driving.
Fortunately, there are defenses to Felony DUI, or Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated. In this situation, a good Orange County DUI Attorney should look at the possible defenses to vehicular manslaughter. Challenging the validity of the breath or blood test results, as well as challenging police procedures and/or misconduct must always be looked at. Some other defenses to Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated include: Rather than gross negligence, that the defendant acted with regular negligence; That the negligence what not what caused the death. That the acts of another person or forces beyond your control such as road conditions or weather were the cause of the accident and/or death. Accident Reconstruction Experts are often used when this type of defense is being offered.
If you would like to know more about Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated, or Felony DUI, contact Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney William M. Weinberg at 949-474-8008 or at www.williamweinberg.com.