"Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated"
in California Law
Penal Code 191.5(a) PC

You're driving under the influence and texting while driving 85mph on the freeway. An even faster driver behind you wants to pass you. As he attempts to do so, he hits the right side of your rear bumper, causing your car to spin out of control. You then hit another car and kill the driver.

Prosecutors charge you with Penal Code 191.5(a) PC California's "gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated" law, a felony punishable by up to ten years in the state prison (15 years-to-life if you have a prior DUI conviction).1

But even with facts like these, you're not guilty of this offense. As former cops and prosecutors.who now focus on California DUI defense.we recognize that despite the fact that you were arguably grossly negligent, it wasn't your negligence that killed the victim. And it's a critical point like this that can be the key to securing your acquittal with this type of complex California DUI law.

Below, our California DUI defense attorneys2 explain Penal Code 191.5(a) PC by addressing the following:

1. The Legal Definition of "Gross Vehicular
Manslaughter While Intoxicated"
2. Legal Defenses
3. Penalties, Punishment, and Sentencing
4. Related Offenses

If, after reading this article, you would like more information, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

You may also find helpful information in our related articles on California DUI Laws; Penal Code 191.5(b) PC Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated; California's DUI second-degree "Watson murder" law; Vehicle Code 23153 VC DUI Causing Injury; Vehicle Code 23152 VC Driving Under the Influence; California Legal Defenses; California DUI Defenses; and DUI Plea Bargains.

1. The Legal Definition of "Gross Vehicular
Manslaughter While Intoxicated"

In order to convict you of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated (sometimes referred to as "GVMI") prosecutors must prove the following facts (otherwise known as "elements of the crime"):

  1. that you were driving under the influence,
  2. that while you were DUI, you committed an additional wrongful act (a misdemeanor, an infraction, or a lawful act that might cause death),
  3. that you committed the additional act with gross negligence, and
  4. that your grossly negligent act caused the death of another person.3

This charge is therefore limited to situations where in addition to driving under the influence, you commit an act that is likely to result in death to another.

Let's take a closer look at some of these terms and phrases to gain a better understanding of their legal definitions.

An additional wrongful act (a misdemeanor, an infraction, or a lawful act that might cause death)

Simply put, this means that.in addition to driving under the influence.you commit an act that doesn't amount to a felony. Also known as a "predicate offense", this act could be

  • a misdemeanor (such as a violation of Vehicle Code 23103 VC California's reckless driving law),4
  • an infraction (such as speeding), or
  • an otherwise lawful act that might cause death (a requirement which the prosecutor can establish simply by showing that you drove (which is a lawful act) in a negligent manner (that is, in a manner that could result in death)).5

It is interesting to note that the unlawful act (that is, the misdemeanor or infraction) need not be inherently dangerous; it just must be dangerous under the circumstances.6 Traveling 60 MPH on the freeway, for example, isn't "inherently dangerous to human life". But it could be, if the rest of the traffic is snarled down to 20 MPH.

The predicate offense must also be pled and proven to the jury.7 And as San Jose DUI defense attorney Jim Hammer8 explains, "This predicate offense cannot be the DUI. In order for prosecutors to convict you of this crime, they must prove that you committed a grossly negligent act in addition to driving under the influence".9

It's not even enough to prove that there was a predicate act in addition to the DUI. Simply being DUI and committing an additional traffic violation doesn't necessarily constitute gross negligence. As the California Supreme Court explains,

"The mere fact that a defendant drives a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and violates a traffic law is insufficient in itself to constitute gross negligence. You must determine gross negligence from the level of the defendant's intoxication, the manner of driving, or other relevant aspects of the defendant's conduct resulting in the fatal accident."10

So what exactly is gross negligence?

Gross negligence

California criminal law recognizes two types of negligence -- ordinary and gross.

"Ordinary" negligence (defined in Penal Code 191.5(b) California's "vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated" law) is the failure to use reasonable care to prevent reasonably foreseeable harm to oneself or another person.11

"Gross" negligence (sometimes referred to as "criminal" negligence) is acting with the general attitude that "I don't care what happens". This type of negligence involves acting in a reckless manner that creates a high risk of great bodily injury or death.a risk that a "reasonable" person would have appreciated.12

Examples: Examples of gross negligence may include (but are not limited to):
  • driving while intoxicated at unsafe and high speeds, weaving among lanes, and making dangerous lane changes without signaling or braking (these facts are taken from a case where the driver was on probation for a prior DUI and had been informed about the risks involved with drinking and driving),13
  • driving under the influence and failing to heed repeated requests from passengers to slow down and drive more carefully, failing to ensure that passengers use seatbelts, and ignoring one passenger's express request for help in finding and fastening her seatbelt,14 and
  • driving through a canyon while under the influence, speeding, weaving in and out of the lane, and crossing over the double yellow lines to pass other cars.15

(You may also visit our page on the legal definition of criminal negligence in California, for a more detailed discussion).

The difference between ordinary and gross negligence

Let's take a look at a fictional case to appreciate the difference between ordinary and gross negligence.

Bill (who is DUI) is speeding on the freeway. He looks down to change a CD and doesn't see traffic stop when he rear-ends Sue, who subsequently dies. Here, even though Bill's momentary inattention caused Sue's death, his act wasn't so reckless as to constitute a reckless disregard for human life. His actions were instead, simply careless. Here Bill arguably demonstrated "ordinary" negligence.

Now let's add to this example.

Let's say that in addition to the above facts, Bill is driving in excess of 85mph, is weaving in and out of traffic, and is passing cars using the emergency shoulder. Sue's car is stalled in the shoulder, which is where she is when Bill hits and kills her.

As you can see, there is a significant difference between these scenarios. In the second example, Sue's death was the natural and probable result of flagrant and reckless negligent acts. These circumstances give rise to gross negligence.

If this was Bill's first DUI, prosecutors would likely charge him with Penal Code 191.5(a) PC California's "gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated" law.

However, if Bill had previously been convicted of a DUI, prosecutors could opt to charge him under California's DUI second-degree "Watson murder" law.

2. Legal Defenses to Gross Vehicular
Manslaughter While Intoxicated

Fortunately, there are a variety of legal defenses to a Penal Code 191.5(a) PC charge that your California DUI defense lawyer could present on your behalf. The following are some of the most common.

Fight the underlying DUI

As with any case involving DUI charges, your attorney will begin by challenging your alleged impairment. Some typical California DUI defenses include

You didn't act with gross negligence

Your California DUI defense lawyer will attack the allegation that it was your gross negligence that caused the death to occur. The argument will take one of two forms, either

  1. that you didn't act with gross negligence, or
  2. that it wasn't your gross negligence that caused the resulting death.

With respect to the first argument, if you didn't act with gross negligence, you aren't guilty of violating Penal Code 191.5(a) California's "gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated" law.

Your attorney will try to convince the prosecutor, judge, and/or jury that your actions didn't amount to gross negligence. He/she will attempt to prove either (1) that you only acted with ordinary negligence, or (2) that your conduct doesn't warrant criminal liability above and beyond the DUI.

California law recognizes that sometimes accidents simply happen and that mere inattention or even misjudgment doesn't always rise to a criminal level.even when someone is killed as a result.17

Your gross negligence didn't cause the resulting death

With respect to the second argument.that is, that it wasn't your gross negligence that caused the resulting death.your attorney will likely hire an accident reconstruction expert.

An accident reconstruction expert will examine whether the accident (and resulting death) were "substantially caused" by your gross negligence.or

  • by the acts of another person, or
  • by forces that were beyond your control (road conditions or inclement weather, for example).

The death was the result of imminent peril / sudden emergency

Along these same lines, even if you are DUI and kill another person, if you were faced with a situation involving "imminent peril or a sudden emergency".and it was that situation that led you to kill the other person(s).your conduct may be excused.

If these were the facts of your case, the judge would be required to instruct the jury that "a person facing a sudden and unexpected emergency situation not caused by that person's own negligence is required only to use the same care and judgment that an ordinarily careful person would use in the same situation, even if it appears later that a different course of action would have been safer."18

Example: Robert was charged with Penal Code 191.5(a) PC California's "DUI gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated" law after he killed another driver. Robert claimed that he only hit the victim when he swerved out of the way of an oncoming truck.

Under these circumstances, the jury is allowed to determine if Robert's actions were reasonable under the circumstances. If the jury determines that they were, Robert will be acquitted of the charge.19
3. Penalties, Punishment, and Sentencing

California Penal Code 191.5(a) PC is a felony. Depending on the facts of your specific case, you face the following sentence:

And if there are any surviving victims who suffer great bodily injury, you face an additional and consecutive three to six-year prison sentence under Penal Code 12022.7 PC California's great bodily injury law.21

Additional conditions of probation

In addition to the above penalties, the judge may also require you to perform a number of other probation conditions. California probation law authorizes a judge to impose any conditions that are logically related to the crime of which you were convicted.22

Some of the most common California DUI probation conditions that may be imposed in connection with a "gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated" conviction include (but are not limited to):

  • a maximum $10,000 fine,
  • victim restitution,
  • possible driver's license restrictions or suspensions (unless you initiate and win a California DUI DMV hearing),
  • participation in a court-approved California DUI school, and
  • possible community service or other community work.23

Finally, if convicted, you face

California's three strikes law

Penal Code 191.5 PC California's "gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated" law is what's known as a "serious felony".25 This means that in addition to the above penalties, a Penal Code 191.5(a) PC conviction will result in a "strike" on your criminal record pursuant to California's three strikes law.26

If you are subsequently convicted of any felony, and have a prior "strike" on your record, you will be referred to as a "second striker," and your sentence will be twice the term otherwise required by law.27

If convicted of a third felony, and you have two prior strikes, you will be referred to as a "third striker" and will serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years-to-life in California state prison.28

4. Related Offenses

There are several offenses that may be charged in lieu of or in connection with a Penal Code 191.5(a) PC charge. Some of the most common include (but are not limited to):

Penal Code 191.5(b) California's "vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated law"

Penal Code 191.5(b) California's "vehicular manslaughter law" is prosecuted in the same way as Penal Code 191.5(a) except that the prosecutor must only prove that you acted with ordinary negligence.

Because you can't violate Penal Code 191.5(a) PC without necessarily also violating Penal Code 191.5(b) PC, the latter is considered a "necessarily included offense" of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.29

This means that even if prosecutors charge you with PC 191.5(a), a jury could decide to convict you alternatively of the lesser offense of PC 191.5(b).

Penal Code 192(c) California's vehicular manslaughter law

If, for example, there is evidence that you were drinking alcohol or taking drugs.but that you were not legally "under the influence".prosecutors could alternatively charge you with Penal Code 192(c) California's vehicular manslaughter law.30

Similar to Penal Code 191.5 PC, this law also takes into account your negligence. It just doesn't require a separate finding of driving under the influence.

Vehicle Code 23153 VC California's "DUI causing injury" law

Vehicle Code 23153 VC California's "DUI causing injury" law penalizes driving under the influence and negligently causing another person to suffer an injury.

If, for example, you are charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.and there is also an injured surviving victim.prosecutors could charge you with both offenses. Otherwise, you can't be convicted of both Penal Code 191.5(b) PC and DUI causing injury because DUI causing injury is a necessarily included offense of Penal Code 191.5(a) PC.31

Vehicle Code 23152 VC California's "driving under the influence" law

It bears repeating that before prosecutors can convict you of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, they must first prove that you were DUI. But let's say you were DUI and were involved in an accident.but that the resulting death was not your fault.

Given these facts, Vehicle Code 23152 VC California's "driving under the influence" law is the charge that prosecutors would likely file or that your California DUI defense attorney would negotiate during a DUI plea bargain.

Call us for help.
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If you or loved one is charged with Penal Code 191.5(a) PC and you are looking to hire an attorney for representation, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. We can provide a free consultation in office or by phone. We have local offices in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and throughout California.

Additionally, our Las Vegas Nevada DUI defense attorneys are available to answer any questions relating to Nevada's vehicular manslaughter laws. For more information, we invite you to contact our local attorneys at one of our Nevada law offices, located in Reno and Las Vegas.32

Legal References:

1Penal Code 191.5(a) PC California's gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated law. ("(a) Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought, in the driving of a vehicle, where the driving was in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153 of the Vehicle Code, and the killing was either the proximate result of the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, and with gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence.(c)(1) Except as provided in subdivision (d), gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in violation of subdivision (a) is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 4, 6, or 10 years.(d) A person convicted of violating subdivision (a) who has one or more prior convictions of this section or of paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 192, subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 192.5 of this code, or of violating Section 23152 punishable under Sections 23540, 23542, 23546, 23548, 23550, or 23552 of, or convicted of Section 23153 of, the Vehicle Code, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of 15 years to life. Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 2930) of Chapter 7 of Title 1 of Part 3 shall apply to reduce the term imposed pursuant to this subdivision.")

2Our California DUI defense attorneys have local Los Angeles law offices in Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Pomona, Torrance, Van Nuys, West Covina, and Whittier. We have additional law offices conveniently located throughout the state in Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities.

3Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instruction -- CALCRIM 590 - Gross Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. ("To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that: [1] The defendant (drove under the influence of (an alcoholic beverage/ [or] a drug) [or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and a drug]/drove while having a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher/drove under the influence of (an alcoholic beverage/ [or] a drug) [or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and a drug] when under the age of 21/drove while having a blood alcohol level of 0.05 or higher when under the age of 21); [2] While driving that vehicle under the influence of (an alcoholic beverage/ [or] a drug) [or under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and a drug], the defendant also committed (a/an) (misdemeanor[,]/ [or] infraction[,]/ [or] otherwise lawful act that might cause death); [3] The defendant committed the (misdemeanor[,]/ [or] infraction[,]/ [or] otherwise lawful act that might cause death) with gross negligence; AND [4] The defendant's grossly negligent conduct caused the death of another person.")

4Vehicle Code 23103 VC California's reckless driving law. ("(a) A person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. (b) A person who drives a vehicle in an offstreet parking facility, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 12500, in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. (c) Persons convicted of the offense of reckless driving shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than five days nor more than 90 days or by a fine of not less than one hundred forty-five dollars ($145) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, except as provided in Section 23104 or 23105.")

5People v. Thompson (2000) 79 Cal.App.4th 40, 51. ("To help explain our conclusion, we first discuss what performing a lawful act in an unlawful manner means. This concept is not clearly separate and distinct from the concept of performing an unlawful act. Indeed, "the distinction between an 'unlawful act' and a 'lawful act' done in an 'unlawful manner' tends to disappear in the context of vehicular manslaughter." ( People v. Hansen (1992) 10 Cal.App.4th 1065, 1075, 12 Cal.Rptr.2d 884.) As Witkin explains, for example, "driving at an excessive speed or in violation of other traffic rules can be viewed as an unlawful act or as a lawful act performed in an unlawful manner." (1 Witkin & Epstein, Cal.Criminal Law (2d ed. 1988) Crimes Against the Person � 531, p. 601.).[and at 53], "Accordingly, the Supreme Court in People v. Wells (1996) 12 Cal.4th 979, 50 Cal.Rptr.2d 699, 911 P.2d 1374, stated, albeit in dicta, that even if the prosecution fails to prove that the defendant committed a Vehicle Code violation (i.e., unlawful act), the jury may still convict the defendant of gross vehicular manslaughter "if it finds that the defendant drove in a grossly negligent manner and, that this conduct was the proximate cause of a death." ( Id. at p. 990, fn. 9, 50 Cal.Rptr.2d 699, 911 P.2d 1374.)")

6People v. Wells (1996) 12 Cal.4th 979, 982. ("Contrary to the understanding of the Court of Appeal, however, we conclude that the offense which constitutes the "unlawful act" need not be an inherently dangerous misdemeanor or infraction.FN2 Rather, to be an "unlawful act" within the meaning of section 192(c)(1), the offense must be dangerous under the circumstances of its commission.")

7See same. ("The court has a sua sponte duty to specify the predicate misdemeanor(s) or infraction(s) alleged and to instruct on the elements of the predicate offense(s). (People v. Milham (1984) 159 Cal.App.3d 487, 506 [205 Cal.Rptr. 688]; People v. Ellis (1999) 69 Cal.App.4th 1334, 1339 [82 Cal.Rptr.2d 409].) In element 1, instruct on the particular "under the influence" offense charged. In element 2, instruct on either theory of vehicular manslaughter (misdemeanor/infraction or lawful act committed with negligence) as appropriate. The court must also give the appropriate instruction on the elements of the driving under the influence offense and the predicate misdemeanor or infraction.")

8San Jose criminal defense attorney Jim Hammer uses his inside knowledge as a former San Francisco Deputy District Attorney to defend clients accused of violating California's DUI manslaughter laws throughout the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Berkeley, Marin County, and Oakland.

9People v. Soledad (1987) 190 Cal.App.3d 74, 82. ("Section 192, subdivision (c)(3) [via Penal Code 191.5(a) PC] requires the driving of a vehicle in violation of Vehicle Code section 23152 or 23153 and the commission of an "unlawful act" not amounting to a felony. In the instant case, the trial court erroneously omitted the "unlawful act" element of vehicular manslaughter when instructing in CALJIC No. 8.90.1 by referring to Vehicle Code section 23153 rather than another "unlawful act" as required by the statute.")

10People v. Bennett (1991) 54 Cal.3d 1032, 1039.

11Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instruction -- CALCRIM 591 -- Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

12CALCRIM 590 -- Penal Code 191.5 PC California's "gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated" law. ("Gross negligence involves more than ordinary carelessness, inattention, or mistake in judgment. A person acts with gross negligence when: [1] He or she acts in a reckless way that creates a high risk of death or great bodily injury; AND [2] A reasonable person would have known that acting in that way would create such a risk. In other words, a person acts with gross negligence when the way he or she acts is so different from the way an ordinarily careful person would act in the same situation that his or her act amounts to disregard for human life or indifference to the consequences of that act.")

13People v. Ochoa (1993) 6 Cal.4th 1199

14People v. Hansen (App. 1 Dist. 1992) 10 Cal.App.4th 1065

15People v. Bennett (1991) 54 Cal.3d 1032

16DUI blood or breath testing procedures that violate California Title 17 and police misconduct are examples of the types of DUI defenses that can lead to your acquittal on Penal Code 191.5(a) PC charges. If your DUI defense lawyer can successfully dispute the fact that you were DUI, you aren't guilty of this offense.

17People v. Rodriguez (1960) 186 Cal.App.2d 433, 440. ("Criminal liability cannot be predicated on every careless act merely because its carelessness results in injury to another. ( People v. Sikes, 328 Ill. 64 [159 N.E. 293, 297].) The act must be one which has knowable and apparent potentialities for resulting in death. (9) Mere inattention or mistake in judgment resulting even in death of another is not criminal unless the quality of the act makes it so. The fundamental requirement fixing criminal responsibility is knowledge, actual or imputed, that the act of the accused tended to endanger life. ( State v. Studebaker, 334 Mo. 471 [66 S.W.2d 877, 881].)

18CALCRIM 590-- Penal Code 191.5 PC California's "gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated" law.

19Facts loosely based on People v. Boulware (1940) 41 Cal.App.2d 268, 269.

20Penal Code 191.5(a) PC California's gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated law. ("(a) Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought, in the driving of a vehicle, where the driving was in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153 of the Vehicle Code, and the killing was either the proximate result of the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, and with gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence.(c)(1) Except as provided in subdivision (d), gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in violation of subdivision (a) is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 4, 6, or 10 years.(d) A person convicted of violating subdivision (a) who has one or more prior convictions of this section or of paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 192, subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 192.5 of this code, or of violating Section 23152 punishable under Sections 23540, 23542, 23546, 23548, 23550, or 23552 of, or convicted of Section 23153 of, the Vehicle Code, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of 15 years to life. Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 2930) of Chapter 7 of Title 1 of Part 3 shall apply to reduce the term imposed pursuant to this subdivision.")

21Penal Code 12022.7 PC California's great bodily injury law. ("(a) Any person who personally inflicts great bodily injury on any person other than an accomplice in the commission of a felony or attempted felony shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for three years. (b) Any person who personally inflicts great bodily injury on any person other than an accomplice in the commission of a felony or attempted felony which causes the victim to become comatose due to brain injury or to suffer paralysis of a permanent nature, shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for five years. As used in this subdivision, "paralysis" means a major or complete loss of motor function resulting from injury to the nervous system or to a muscular mechanism. (c) Any person who personally inflicts great bodily injury on a person who is 70 years of age or older, other than an accomplice, in the commission of a felony or attempted felony shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for five years. (d) Any person who personally inflicts great bodily injury on a child under the age of five years in the commission of a felony or attempted felony shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for four, five, or six years..(f) As used in this section, "great bodily injury" means a significant or substantial physical injury. (g) This section shall not apply to murder or manslaughter or a violation of Section 451 or 452. Subdivisions (a), (b), (c), and (d) shall not apply if infliction of great bodily injury is an element of the offense. (h) The court shall impose the additional terms of imprisonment under either subdivision (a), (b), (c), or (d), but may not impose more than one of those terms for the same offense.")

Section "g" says this enhancement doesn't apply to manslaughter charges. While it's true that you can't receive this penalty for the victim who is killed, you can receive it for any surviving victims per People v. Verlinde (2002) 100 Cal.App.4th 1146, 1168.

22California Penal Code 1203.1 - California's probation law. ("(j) The court may impose.other reasonable conditions, as it may determine are fitting and proper to the end that justice may be done, that amends may be made to society for the breach of the law, for any injury done to any person resulting from that breach, and generally and specifically for the reformation and rehabilitation of the probationer.")

23See same.

See also Penal Code 672 PC -- Offenses for which no fine prescribed; fine authorized in addition to imprisonment. ("Upon a conviction for any crime punishable by imprisonment in any jail or prison, in relation to which no fine is herein prescribed, the court may impose a fine on the offender not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) in cases of misdemeanors or ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in cases of felonies, in addition to the imprisonment prescribed.")

See also California Vehicle Code sections 23554 - 23602 VC for common "DUI causing injury" probation conditions, which typically include California DUI school and a driver's license suspension, absent an acquittal at a California DUI DMV hearing.

24If convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, you will no longer be eligible for a "good driver discount" which in and of itself could raise your premium as much as 30%. Additionally, your car insurance policy may drop your coverage. This is why we say that a Penal Code 191.5(a) PC conviction will affect your car insurance policy.

25California Penal Code 1192.7(c) PC. ("As used in this section [a California] 'serious felony' means. (8) any felony in which the defendant personally inflicts great bodily injury on any person, other than an accomplice, or any felony in which the defendant personally uses a firearm.")

26California Penal Code 667 PC -- Habitual criminals; enhancement of sentence; amendment of section (otherwise known as California's Three Strikes Law). ("(b) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting subdivisions (b) to (i), inclusive, to ensure longer prison sentences and greater punishment for those who commit a felony and have been previously convicted of serious and/or violent felony offenses.")

27California Penal Code 667 -- Habitual criminals; enhancement of sentence; amendment of section -- California Three Strikes law . ("(e) For purposes of subdivisions (b) to (i), inclusive, and in addition to any other enhancement or punishment provisions which may apply, the following shall apply where a defendant has a prior felony conviction: (1) If a defendant has one prior felony conviction that has been pled and proved, the determinate term or minimum term for an indeterminate term shall be twice the term otherwise provided as punishment for the current felony conviction. (2)(A) If a defendant has two or more prior felony convictions as defined in subdivision (d) that have been pled and proved, the term for the current felony conviction shall be an indeterminate term of life imprisonment with a minimum term of the indeterminate sentence calculated as the greater of: (i) Three times the term otherwise provided as punishment for each current felony conviction subsequent to the two or more prior felony convictions. (ii) Imprisonment in the [California] state prison for 25 years.")

28See same.

29People v. Verlinde (2002) 100 Cal.App.4th 1146, 1165-1166. ("The Attorney General properly concedes that Verlinde's conviction for vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated (count 2) must be reversed because it is necessarily included in the greater offense of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. ( People v. Ortega (1998) 19 Cal.4th 686, 692, 80 Cal.Rptr.2d 489, 968 P.2d 48; People v. Oldham (2000) 81 Cal.App.4th 1, 16, 96 Cal.Rptr.2d 343.)")

30Penal Code 192(c) California's vehicular manslaughter law. ("Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice. It is of three kinds.(c) Vehicular--(1) Except as provided in subdivision (a) of Section 191.5 [California's gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated" law], driving a vehicle in the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to felony, and with gross negligence; or driving a vehicle in the commission of a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence. (2) Driving a vehicle in the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to felony, but without gross negligence; or driving a vehicle in the commission of a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner, but without gross negligence.")

31People v. Miranda (1994) 21 Cal.App.4th 1464, 1468. ("When the focus of our analysis is directed at Penal Code section 191.5 rather than manslaughter in general, it becomes apparent that Vehicle Code section 23153, subdivision (a) is necessarily included in Penal Code section 191.5. One person who injures a person while driving under the influence commits a violation of Vehicle Code section 23153; and if that person dies from that injury-whether immediately or sometime later-a violation of Penal Code section 191.5 has occurred.")

32Please feel free to contact our Las Vegas Nevada DUI defense attorneys Michael Becker and Mike Castillo for any questions relating to Nevada's vehicular manslaughter laws. Their Nevada law offices are located in Reno and Las Vegas.

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