Vehicular Manslaughter Defense Lawyers in Los Angeles
People die in automobile accidents every day. This is a natural consequence of having thousands of people traveling in cars at high speeds. But when a driver’s negligence directly results in the death of another person, that driver may be charged with vehicular manslaughter.
Even if the negligent act that leads to another person’s death is unintentional, vehicular manslaughter is still a serious crime. You may be facing considerable jail time if convicted of vehicular manslaughter, particularly if the prosecutor is able to prove that you were acting with “gross negligence” when the accident occurred.
It is crucial to find the right defense attorney if you are being investigated for vehicular manslaughter. You don’t want to make any statements to the police or the DA about the accident without having an attorney present because your comments could be used against you in ways you might not anticipate.
At Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, our experienced Los Angeles vehicular manslaughter defense attorneys will investigate the charges against you and develop a robust strategy to protect your freedom. Call us today at (213) 688-0460 to schedule a free case evaluation.
Vehicular manslaughter occurs when someone directly causes the death of a human being by driving recklessly or in a negligent manner. “Recklessly” and “negligent” are very subjective terms, and that’s why it’s so important to find an experienced criminal defense lawyer to be on your side.
Negligence is often defined is these cases as being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. And reckless may include such behaviors as speeding, running a red light, or violating some other traffic law.
Vehicular manslaughter may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony. Three factors that prosecutors consider when deciding whether to charge a defendant with misdemeanor or felony vehicular manslaughter are:
- Degree of negligence — ordinary negligence or gross negligence
- Was the driver intoxicated
- The driver’s criminal record
Penalties for misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter include:
- Up to 1 year in jail
- A maximum fine of $1,000
Penalties for felony vehicular manslaughter include:
- Up to 6 years in prison
- A maximum fine of $10,000
If an accident that results in another person’s death was deliberately caused for financial gain, such as to defraud an insurance company, the maximum possible prison term increases to 10 years.
There are cases where prosecutors may charge someone who is involved in an automobile accident with murder. If so, the defendant could be facing between 15 years and life in prison. Murder charges may be brought when the driver:
- Is a repeat DUI offender
- Was committing a felony when the accident occurred
To prevail in a vehicular manslaughter case, prosecutors must prove that you directly caused the death of another person and that their death was the natural and probable result of your actions.
Your defense attorney will work on your behalf to reduce the charges or get them dropped altogether. They will start by investigating the incident and reviewing the following types of evidence:
- Video and photos of the accident
- Witness statements
- Police reports
- Accident scene recreations
- Expert witness testimony
There are many plausible arguments that your criminal defense attorney may use to defend you against charges of vehicular manslaughter, including:
- You weren’t operating the vehicle at the time of the accident
- You made a quick decision, such as swerving to avoid an object
- The prosecution doesn’t have sufficient evidence to prove their case
- Your actions did not cause the other person’s death
- You were responding to an emergency situation
- You were the victim of a faulty BAC test
- Your behavior wasn’t negligent
- Police mishandled evidence
If you are under investigation for any type of criminal charges in Los Angeles, call Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP at (213) 688-0460 to schedule a free case evaluation.
Our skilled Los Angeles DUI defense attorneys will investigate the circumstances of your accident and fight to ensure the best possible outcome. At Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, we know what it takes to win.
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.