DUI Resulting in Fatality Charges
May 8, 2023
According to the most recent California SWITRS Report, about 1,187 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes statewide in 2019. In California, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is prohibited. Unfortunately, a person may be facing both criminal and civil charges for causing another person’s death while driving intoxicated or under the influence.
At McCready Law Group, we give legal direction and skilled representation to clients in their DUI fatality charges. Our experienced California criminal defense attorneys will investigate every surrounding detail of the case and craft an effective legal defense to help fight your charges. We proudly represent clients across Long Beach, Lakewood, and Cypress Hill, California.
Possible Charges for a DUI Fatality
In the state of California, a drunk driver who causes another person’s death may be facing a number of different charges, including:
Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated
A person will be charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated if the driver negligently causes another person’s death by driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Depending on the surrounding circumstances and facts of the case, the defendant may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony.
Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated
A person will face gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated charges if they, while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and driving recklessly or with gross negligence, causes a traffic crash which results in another person’s death. The offense will be charged as a felony.
DUI Murder or Watson Murder
In California, a person with a prior DUI conviction will be charged with DUI murder or Watson murder, killing another person while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In addition to the criminal charges and other penalties imposed by the court, the surviving loved one of the defendants may be able to seek compensation by filing a wrongful death action against the defendant.
Civil Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A wrongful death occurs when a person dies due to the negligent, careless, wrongful actions, or misconduct of another person. Generally, the deceased person’s survivors may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit against the person who caused their loved one’s death.
According to California laws, any of the following individuals may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim:
The surviving spouse or domestic partner of the deceased person.
The surviving children or grandchildren of the deceased person.
Any person who would be entitled to inherit from the decedent’s estate.
Any person who was financially dependent on the deceased person.
If you or someone you know has recently been arrested and charged with DUI resulting in someone’s death, you need to reach out to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your legal counsel can analyze your case and inform you about the nature and potential penalties of your charges.
In California, DUI resulting in fatality charges are aggressively prosecuted and severely punished. If convicted, the defendant could face any of the following penalties and consequences:
Lengthy imprisonment (ranging from months, years, or decades)
Hefty fines and court fees.
Restitution to the victim’s family
A criminal record/history
Loss of driving privileges
Loss of rights to possess, own, or carry firearms.
Loss of voting rights
Increased difficulty in getting scholarships, employment, and housing.
Increased difficulty in getting public assistance.
Possible deportation or inadmissibility into the United States.
Ineligibility to obtain certain financial loans
Damages to personal and professional relationships.
An aggressive California vehicular manslaughter defense attorney can intervene quickly, take proactive actions to prevent a case from being filed against you or protect you from the devastating consequences of a criminal conviction.
Strong Legal Advocacy: McCready Law Group
Facing DUI resulting in fatality charges can be a scary and overwhelming experience. If convicted, you may be subject to lengthy incarceration, massive fines, license revocation, criminal record, and other far-reaching consequences. Therefore, hiring a seasoned criminal defense attorney is crucial to help build your legal defense.
At McCready Law Group, our attorneys have the diligence, skill, and resources to defend and represent clients in their DUI fatality cases. As your legal team, we will conduct a thorough investigation of every fact of your case and identify your best legal defenses. Above all, we will keep fighting to defend your freedom and make sure those allegations don’t ruin your life.
Contact us at McCready Law Group today to get reliable legal assistance. Our trusted attorneys will be there at every phase of the legal process and ensure that you receive fair treatment. We’re proud to represent clients across Long Beach, Lakewood, and Cypress Hill, California.