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Thread: California Vehicular Manslaughter without gross negligence

  1. #1
    cindyc5 is offline Junior Member
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    California Vehicular Manslaughter without gross negligence

    California

    In October 2011 an elderly gentlemen ran out in front of my car. He died four days later from the impact. I was not breaking any traffic laws and was not cited at the accident. Now the DA of Riverside County is charging me with vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence. I understand that the maximum sentence is 1 year in jail and fines. Because attorneys cost so much, I am wondering if I should try to fight this on my own. If I hire an attorney I feel like they will just drag it out through the courts and it will cost me more in time and money than if I just pleaded my case before the court. What is the likelihood that I would spend time in jail? I am a 61 year old grandmother with a clean record. This was a terrible accident and I am angered that the DA's office thinks there is a criminal offense here.
  2. #2
    Antigone* is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindyc5 View Post
    California

    In October 2011 an elderly gentlemen ran out in front of my car. He died four days later from the impact. I was not breaking any traffic laws and was not cited at the accident. Now the DA of Riverside County is charging me with vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence. I understand that the maximum sentence is 1 year in jail and fines. Because attorneys cost so much, I am wondering if I should try to fight this on my own. If I hire an attorney I feel like they will just drag it out through the courts and it will cost me more in time and money than if I just pleaded my case before the court. What is the likelihood that I would spend time in jail? I am a 61 year old grandmother with a clean record. This was a terrible accident and I am angered that the DA's office thinks there is a criminal offense here.
    You do know what the definition of a fool is, right?
  3. #3
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    From your description, I am appalled you are being charged. So much so that there must be something else going on. But, no matter as you need an attorney. Not only because of this criminal issue, but also for the civil lawsuit to follow. A person died. While probable in any event, if you are convicted of any wrongdoing in that death, you will be sued. This is not the time to pound foolish.
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  4. #4
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    Hire a lawyer. Do not even THINK about doing this without one for another second. You have far too much to lose.
  5. #5
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    This is NOT uncommon in cases where someone has died as a result of a collision.

    Have you received a copy of the collision report from the investigating law enforcement agency? Who does the report indicate is at fault, and what code section is mentioned as being the Primary Collision Factor (PCF) or Cause?

    It is possible to be charged with this offense even if the other party was in violation of the law.

    Now, how do you KNOW you are being charged with a crime? Could the DA simply be reviewing the matter to consider it for prosecution? Or, have you received a summons or been informed that a warrant for your arrest has been issued or is forthcoming?
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

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  6. #6
    davew128 is offline Senior Member
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    Carl, correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't this particular charge need to be filed one year from the date of the accident? IIRC a maximum penalty of one year is a misdemeanor.
  7. #7
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by davew128 View Post
    Carl, correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't this particular charge need to be filed one year from the date of the accident? IIRC a maximum penalty of one year is a misdemeanor.
    If charged pursuant to PC 192(c)(2) that should be the case. However, we do not know when the court action was initiated. The OP may have only just now found out about it, it does not mean that the DA has not yet filed.

    There may be other circumstances as well. However, if the DA truly is considering charges or HAS filed charges, we should assume that there is some theory under which the action can be brought before a court. The defense can certainly try to argue the SOL if it might be a factor, but I suspect it is not.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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