A two-year-old was killed when a drunk driver from Santa Ana sped through an intersection. A mother was crossing the street with her young daughter and toddler when she was met by the vehicle. The suspect had recently left a bar where he had been drinking with a friend. His vehicle smashed into the woman and her children, sending the woman and her daughter flying over the hood. The toddler was pulled underneath the SUV, according to accident reports.
The driver fled the scene of the accident, but witnesses to the accident were able to give his license plate number to the authorities, who later arrested him at his home. The mother is sustained injuries to her knees and her young daughter was not injured, but the toddler was pronounced dead at the hospital. This accident took place in November 2011, but the suspect was just convicted this past March.
The man faced four criminal charges:
- Felony vehicular manslaughter (gross negligence while intoxicated)
- DUI with bodily injury
- Hit-and-run leading to injury and death
- Misdemeanor driving without a license
Let's take a look at these charges and see what they entail:
Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated (§ 191.5 California Penal Code) involves killing another human being that is not premeditated. The death does not have to be a result of an unlawful act, although in this case it was a product of multiple unlawful acts. Sentencing includes imprisonment in state prison for a period of 4, 6 or 10 years.
DUI involving bodily injury (§ 23153 California Vehicle Code) involves driving under the influence of an intoxicating beverage or drug, and that intoxication resulting in the serious bodily injury of another individual or individuals.
Hit-and-run with injury/death (§ 20001 California Vehicle Code) Every driver has the duty to stop at the scene of an accident. Involvement in an accident that causes the injury or death of another can result in a state prison sentence of two, three or four years and a minimum fine of $1,000.
Driving without a license (§ 12500 California Vehicle Code) involves operating a motor vehicle on a highway without a valid driver's license. This is a misdemeanor.
Motor vehicle offenses can be extremely serious. The charges that this man was convicted of are some of the most serious traffic offenses in the state of California. If you or someone you know has been arrested for drunk driving or a DUI offense involving any one of the additional charges described in this story, please do not hesitate to contact the firm. Trust an Orange County DUI lawyer from The Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry!