Depending on the facts of the case, the penalties for DUI resulting in death can range from a small fine and probation to a lengthy prison sentence. If you are charged with this type of offense, you should discuss your case with a skilled criminal defense attorney to determine your best options.
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In California, a DUI resulting in death is considered a felony. The minimum sentence is two years in jail, but the maximum penalty is six years or more. In addition to prison time, you could lose your driving privileges and face a substantial fine. In addition, you might be required to participate in substance abuse treatment and community service.
There are several types of DUI resulting in death charges, including vehicular manslaughter and second-degree murder. Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, or VMI, is a less serious form of offense. It can result in a fine of up to $1000 but can be suspended for a year or more. Second-degree murder charges can result in up to 15 years in prison. In California, you can also be charged with DUI Murder, or Watson murder, which is a more serious form of DUI. Usually, DUI Murder is reserved for people who have prior DUI convictions. However, you might be able to plea bargain and avoid being charged with the crime altogether.
A DUI resulting in death can also be charged as second-degree murder if the driver was drunk or under the influence of drugs, but was not causing the death. DUI resulting in death charges can also be filed for people who had a blood alcohol content over 0.08 but were not causing the death. It is also possible to be charged with DUI resulting in death when the driver was driving a vehicle without car insurance or any insurance at all.
Some states have laws for DUI resulting in death that are specific to the type of death. Some of these are gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, involuntary manslaughter, and vehicular homicide. Some states, however, have general homicide laws that apply to all DUIs. If you are charged with a DUI resulting in death, you should contact a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately. You might be able to receive a lighter sentence if you acted in good faith, but if you were not, you could face a lengthy prison term.
In addition to prison time, you can face a fine of up to $25,000. If you are charged with a DUI causing death in California, you can also have your license revoked and your vehicle impound for up to a year. You could also be required to pay restitution to the family of the victim. The amount of restitution will depend on the severity of the injuries and lost earnings of the victim.
You may also face other penalties, including probation and revocation of your driver’s license. There are also civil lawsuits that can be filed against you if you were a party to a DUI causing death. These lawsuits can require you to pay legal fees and other costs.
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