A 24-year-old East Bay man is facing nine separate criminal charges after he allegedly caused a fatal accident that killed a mother and her daughter. According to officers from the Concord Police Department, the man – Geraldo Harquin – was driving under the influence of alcohol when he caused the tragic accident on June 27th.
Officials have reported that the 23-year-old mother, Lorena Dominguez, and her one-year-old daughter, Khloe Duenas, were traveling east on Willow Pass Road at approximately 11:00 pm on Friday June, 27 when an SUV collided head on into their vehicle. According to officials, Harquin was behind the wheel of the SUV. With nearly twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood, Harquin had crossed over into the opposite lane of traffic, where he struck Dominguez' vehicle.
Dominguez and her daughter were fatally injured in the accident. Dominguez' boyfriend, who was also in the vehicle, suffered major injuries. Three minors and an additional victim injured in the second car involved in the crash were also transported to the hospital. Harquin was arraigned last week on nine criminal charges, including two counts of murder and two counts of vehicular manslaughter.
DUI Murder Charges
Prosecutors stated that Harquin was charged for murder because his blood alcohol level was .195 and he had a prior DUI conviction within the past 10 years. Under California law, motorists can be charged for second-degree murder if they cause fatal accidents while intoxicated. This DUI murder charge, also known as Watson Murder, stems from a landmark California Supreme Court case. Since that case, anyone convicted of DUI must sign or acknowledge a Watson advisement when they are sentenced for drunk driving in California.
When a person agrees to the Watson advisement, they acknowledge that:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs poses extreme dangers to others' lives.
- If they kill someone while driving under the influence, California prosecutors can pursue murder charges.
DUI murder is the most serious DUI charge an individual can face, which is why anyone facing these allegations should be intent on working with proven criminal defense attorneys experienced with DUI law. If you have questions about DUI murder or other related charges, contact an Orange County DUI lawyer from the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. today.