California's Vehicular Manslaughter Laws
Penal Code 192(c) PC

The crime of vehicular manslaughter in California—sometimes referred to as “gross vehicular manslaughter” if the defendant acted with gross negligence—is set out in Penal Code 192(c) PC.1

You commit the crime of vehicular manslaughter in California if:

  1. While driving a vehicle, you commit an unlawful act that is not a California felony, or a lawful act that may cause death;
  2. You commit that act with either negligence or “gross negligence”; and
  3. As a result of your negligent act, someone is killed.2

In contrast, if you killed someone while driving a car and committing an act that was a felony, you would be charged with Penal Code 187 PC murder under the California felony-murder rule.3

And if the allegation is that you committed vehicular manslaughter/gross vehicular manslaughter while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, then you would be charged under Penal Code 191.5 PC, California's vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated law.4

Examples

Here are some examples of situations that could lead to charges under PC 192(c), California's vehicular manslaughter/gross vehicular manslaughter law:

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  • A woman sends a text message from her cell phone while driving, causing her to hit a bicyclist and kill him;
  • A teenager is speeding on the highway when he crashes into another car, killing that driver; and
  • A man deliberately drives into a stop sign at high speed in the hopes of getting an insurance payout for his car, and in doing so he hits and kills a pedestrian.

Penalties

The penalties under California's vehicular manslaughter/gross vehicular manslaughter law depend on whether you acted with

  • gross negligence, or
  • ordinary negligence.

If you acted with gross negligence, you will be charged with Penal Code 192(c) gross vehicular manslaughter—a wobbler in California law. This offense may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.5

The maximum misdemeanor sentence is one (1) year in county jail—and the maximum felony sentence is six (6) years in state prison.6

But if you acted with only ordinary negligence, then Penal Code 192(c) is a California misdemeanor. The maximum sentence will be one (1) year in county jail.7

Legal defenses

If you are involved in a car accident in which someone is killed, you are no doubt grieving already. To face vehicular manslaughter charges on top of that can truly be a nightmare.

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You may feel guilty—but you have the right and the means to defend yourself to avoid criminal penalties. Some helpful legal defenses to 192(c) PC charges include:

  • You did not act with negligence or gross negligence;
  • Your negligence didn't cause the victim's death, and
  • You were facing a sudden emergency and acted reasonably under the circumstances.

In order to help you better understand California vehicular manslaughter/gross vehicular manslaughter laws, our California DUI and criminal defense attorneys will address the following:

1. The Legal Definition of Vehicular Manslaughter

1.1. Gross vehicular manslaughter Penal Code 192(c)(1)
1.2. Misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter Penal Code 192(c)(2)
1.3. Vehicular manslaughter for financial gain Penal Code 192(c)(3)

2. Penalties for Penal Code 192(c) Vehicular Manslaughter

2.1. Gross vehicular manslaughter penalties
2.2. Misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter penalties
2.3. Vehicular manslaughter for financial gain penalties
2.4. Driver's license suspension

3. Legal Defenses to Vehicular Manslaughter or Gross Vehicular Manslaughter Charges

4. Penal Code 192(c) PC and Related Offenses

4.1. Penal Code 191.5 PC vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated / gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated
4.2. DUI murder/Watson murder

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 Legal Definition of a California Felony; Penal Code 187 PC Murder; The California Felony-Murder Rule; Penal Code 191.5 PC California's Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated Law; Legal Definition of a Wobbler in California Law; Legal Definition of a California Misdemeanor; Common Legal Defenses to California Crimes; California Voluntary Manslaughter Penal Code 192(a) PC; Involuntary Manslaughter California Penal Code 192(b) PC; Legal Definition of an Infraction in California Law; The Definition of Great Bodily Injury/Harm; Penal Code 548-551 PC California's Auto Insurance Fraud Laws; Misdemeanor (Summary) Probation in California; Felony (Formal) Probation in California; Driving on a Suspended License Under Vehicle Code 14601 VC; Driving “Under the Influence” as Defined in Vehicle Code 23152(a); Driving with a BAC of .08 or Greater Under Vehicle Code 23152(b); DUI With a BAC of .05 or Higher While Under 21; and DUI Murder/”Watson” Murder in California.

1. The Legal Definition of Vehicular Manslaughter/Gross Vehicular Manslaughter

Penal Code 192 PC, California's manslaughter law, sets out the legal definition of the crime of vehicular manslaughter.8 Unlike the crimes of California voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter always occurs while you are operating a vehicle.9

1.1. Gross vehicular manslaughter Penal Code 192(c)(1)

In order for you to be guilty of gross vehicular manslaughter in California, the prosecutor must be able to prove the following “elements of the crime”:

  1. While driving a vehicle, you committed a misdemeanor or an infraction, or else committed a lawful act in a manner that might cause death;
  2. The act you committed was dangerous to human life under the circumstances;
  3. You committed that act with gross negligence; and
  4. Your act caused the death of another person.10

Below is a more thorough explanation of some of these terms:

A misdemeanor, infraction, or lawful act that could cause death

In order to be guilty of gross vehicular manslaughter, you must either:

  • Commit a California crime that is not a felony, or
  • Commit a lawful act in a way that is likely to cause death.11
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Example: Alice is talking on her cell phone without using a hands-free device while driving on the freeway—an infraction in California law. She loses control of her car and crashes into the guardrail. Her friend Megan, who is in the passenger seat, is killed in the crash.

Alice may be charged with gross vehicular manslaughter because she caused a fatal accident while driving a car and committing an infraction.

Note that—for gross vehicular manslaughter charges to lie—the illegal act you were committing should not have been a felony. That is because, if you killed someone with a car while committing a felony, the prosecutor is likely to charge you instead with California murder under the felony-murder rule.12

Gross negligence

Gross negligence is key to the legal definition of “gross vehicular manslaughter” under Penal Code 192(c)(1). If the prosecutor cannot show that you acted with gross negligence, then you may only be guilty of normal (misdemeanor) vehicular manslaughter.13

Gross negligence is something more than ordinary carelessness, inattentiveness, or error in judgment. Gross negligence occurs only when:

  1. A person 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.14

It is only gross negligence if the person acts so differently from how an ordinarily careful person would act in the same situation that his or her act indicates a real disregard for human life or the consequences of his/her actions.15

Example: John is driving two friends on a two-lane country road at night; another friend is driving in a separate car behind them.

John is speeding and keeps veering out of his lane and crossing the double yellow line. The friend behind him honks his horn and flashes his lights to try to get John to stop this, but John continues to do it anyway.

Then, at a blind curve on a downgrade, John crosses the double yellow line on purpose to pass three cars, while going 10 miles over the speed limit. He hits an oncoming vehicle, killing one of his passengers.

John's actions indicate the kind of disregard for human life and consequences that could be called gross negligence—and support gross vehicular manslaughter charges.16

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Causing the death of another person

In order for you to be guilty of gross vehicular manslaughter, your grossly negligent actions must actually cause another person's death.17 This means that the death must be the

  • direct,
  • natural, and
  • probable

consequence of your act. In other words, it must be the kind of thing a reasonable person would know is likely to happen.18

Example: While driving with his uptight friend Cameron late at night, Ferris decides to “have some fun” by driving the wrong way on the freeway. He enters the freeway from the off-ramp and drives to the next exit going the wrong way.

Because of the late hour, they avoid colliding with any other cars—but Cameron is so upset by Ferris's antics that he has a heart attack and dies.

Ferris's behavior was illegal and grossly negligent. But he may not be guilty of gross vehicular manslaughter because Cameron's death by heart attack was not a natural and probable consequence of his actions.

A gross vehicular manslaughter defendant's negligent act does not need to be the only cause of death—as long as it is one “substantial factor” causing it.19

Example: While speeding, weaving recklessly through traffic, and running a red light, Debra strikes a pedestrian with her car.

The pedestrian is not killed by Debra's car, but he is incapacitated and left lying in the middle of the road. Another car then runs over the pedestrian and kills him.

Debra may be guilty of gross vehicular manslaughter—because her reckless and illegal driving was a substantial factor in the pedestrian's death, even if it wasn't the only cause.

1.2. Misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter Penal Code 192(c)(2)

Subsection (2) of Penal Code 192(c) PC sets out the crime of ordinary (or misdemeanor) vehicular manslaughter.20 The elements of this offense are:

  1. While driving a vehicle, you committed a misdemeanor or an infraction, or else committed a lawful act in an unlawful manner;
  2. The act you committed was dangerous to human life under the circumstances;
  3. You committed that act with ordinary negligence; and
  4. Your act caused the death of another person.21
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The main difference between ordinary vehicular manslaughter and gross vehicular manslaughter is that the former only requires negligence—not gross negligence. Ordinary negligence means that you failed to use reasonable care to prevent reasonably foreseeable harm to someone else.22

Example: Todd is stopped at a stop sign, waiting to turn right onto a busy arterial at rush hour. Seeing a brief break in the oncoming traffic to his left, he accelerates rapidly to make the turn, without looking to his right.

It turns out that a pedestrian is entering the crosswalk just as Todd begins to make his turn. He strikes and kills the pedestrian.

Not checking for pedestrians at the crosswalk was negligent behavior on Todd's part—but it probably doesn't rise to the level of gross negligence. He is more likely to be convicted of ordinary vehicular manslaughter.

1.3. Vehicular manslaughter for financial gain Penal Code 192(c)(3)

Another special form of vehicular manslaughter is known as “vehicular manslaughter for financial gain.” This occurs if:

  1. While driving a vehicle, you knowingly cause or participate in a collision;
  2. You do so knowing that the purpose of the collision is to make a false insurance claim for financial gain (i.e., commit auto insurance fraud);
  3. You do so with the intent to defraud the insurance company or another party; and
  4. The collision causes a death.23

In other words, it is considered vehicular manslaughter if you accidentally kill someone while deliberately wrecking a car in order to commit insurance fraud.

2. Penalties for Penal Code 192(c) Vehicular Manslaughter

The penalties, punishment and sentencing for 192(c) PC California vehicular manslaughter depend on which form of the offense you are accused of committing.

2.1. Gross vehicular manslaughter penalties

Gross vehicular manslaughter under Penal Code 192(c)(1) PC is a wobbler.24 This means that it may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on

  • the circumstances of the offense, and
  • your criminal history.25
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If you are charged with gross vehicular manslaughter as a misdemeanor, the potential penalties are:

  1. Misdemeanor (summary) probation ,
  2. Up to one (1) year in county jail, and/or
  3. A fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000).26

And if you are charged with gross vehicular manslaughter as a felony, the potential penalties are:

  1. Felony (formal) probation ,
  2. Imprisonment in the California state prison for two (2), four (4) or six (6) years, and/or
  3. A fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).27
2.2. Misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter penalties

Misdemeanor—ordinary—vehicular manslaughter under Penal Code 192(c)(2) PC is punishable as follows:

  1. Misdemeanor (summary) probation,
  2. Up to one (1) year in county jail, and/or
  3. A fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000).28
2.3. Vehicular manslaughter for financial gain penalties

Vehicular manslaughter for financial gain/insurance purposes is always a felony under Penal Code 192(c)(3) PC. The potential penalties include a fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000), and/or four (4), six (6) or ten (10) years in state prison.29

2.4. Driver's license suspension

If you are convicted of either gross vehicular manslaughter or vehicular manslaughter for financial gain, then the California DMV will revoke your driver's license.30

License_suspended

And you will not be able to get your license reinstated until at least three (3) years after the date of revocation.31

If you drive during the period when your license is revoked, you will then face additional charges for driving on a suspended license under Vehicle Code 14601 VC.32

3. Legal Defenses to Vehicular Manslaughter or Gross Vehicular Manslaughter Charges

Accidents happen when people drive cars—that's just a fact. But sometimes police and prosecutors respond to terrible tragedies by pressing vehicular manslaughter charges even when such charges are unjustified or unfair.

If this happens to you, there are several legal defenses you and a criminal defense lawyer can use to try to beat—or reduce—the charges. These include:

You did not act with negligence or gross negligence

According to Newport Beach criminal and DUI defense attorney John Murray33:

“Both negligence and gross negligence can be pretty tricky to prove. The definitions of both refer to a “reasonable person” standard of behavior, which sounds objective—but actually is pretty subjective and itself quite hard to define.”

Driving a vehicle requires all of us to make quick decisions—and it can be hard to argue that these decisions, even if they ultimately turn out to be bad ones, were so bad as to be negligent.

Or, if you are charged with gross vehicular manslaughter, your attorney may be able to successfully argue that your behavior was merely negligent—not grossly so. This can radically reduce your potential penalties—and can also save you from a required three-year driver's license revocation.34

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Your negligence didn't cause the victim's death

Sorting out cause and effect in situations involving auto accidents is challenging.

Even if you drove with negligence or gross negligence and someone ended up dead, there is a chance the prosecution cannot prove that it was your negligence—rather than, say, the negligence of the victim or a third party—that caused the death.

An experienced criminal defense attorney will know how to challenge the prosecution's account of what happened, often with the help of accident reconstruction expert witnesses.

You faced a sudden emergency and acted reasonably under the circumstances

California vehicular manslaughter law provides that—if the defendant was facing a sudden and unexpected emergency—s/he is required only to use the same care and judgment that an ordinarily careful person would use in the same situation.35

If s/he did so, then s/he was not negligent or grossly negligent.36

For example, let's say you swerved into oncoming traffic—but you did so to avoid hitting a deer or running over road debris that would have ruined your car. In this sort of situation, you can argue that your behavior was not negligent enough to support a vehicular manslaughter conviction.

4. Penal Code 192(c) PC and Related Offenses

There are several related crimes that may be charged instead of—or along with—vehicular manslaughter/gross vehicular manslaughter.

4.1. Penal Code 191.5 PC vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated / gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated

Penal Code 191.5 PC vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is a separate and distinct crime from ordinary vehicular manslaughter. This law applies only if it is alleged that you caused a death while driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.37

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Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is defined as the unlawful killing of someone else while driving intoxicated and with gross negligence.38

And ordinary vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is the unlawful killing of someone else while driving intoxicated without gross negligence.39

Driving while “intoxicated” means driving either:

  1. “Under the influence” as defined in Vehicle Code 23152(a) ;
  2. With a BAC of .08 or greater under Vehicle Code 23152(b) ; or
  3. With a BAC of .05 or greater while under 21 years old.40

Penal Code 191.5 vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence is a wobbler, punishable by up to one (1) year in county jail or a prison sentence of sixteen (16) months, two (2) years or three (3) years.41

But gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is a felony, carrying a state prison sentence of four (4), six (6) or ten (10) years.42

Penal Code 192(c) PC vehicular manslaughter is a “lesser included offense” of Penal Code 191.5 vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.43 This means that—if you are charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, but the prosecutor cannot convince the jury that you were intoxicated beyond a reasonable doubt—you may be convicted of 192(c) PC instead.

4.2. DUI murder/Watson murder

The most egregious cases involving DUI-related deaths are prosecuted as murder rather than vehicular manslaughter.

Specifically, California prosecutors may charge you with DUI murder/”Watson” murder if you kill another person while driving under the influence, and both of the following are true:

  1. You are a repeat DUI offender, and
  2. You either have been educated about the dangers of DUI, or were given something known as a “Watson advisement” at the time of a prior DUI conviction.44

A “Watson advisement” is a warning that it is extremely dangerous to human life to drive under the influence of drugs, and that killing someone while DUI can lead to murder charges.

Watson murder in California is prosecuted under Penal Code 187, California's murder law.

Call us for help…

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For questions about Penal Code 192(c) PC vehicular manslaughter/gross vehicular manslaughter, or to discuss your case confidentially with one of our California criminal defense attorneys, do not hesitate to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

We have local criminal law offices in and around Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities.

For more information on vehicular manslaughter laws in Nevada, please see our page on vehicular manslaughter laws in Nevada.

Legal References:


1 Penal Code 192(c) PC – Vehicular manslaughter law. (“(c) Vehicular-- (1) Except as provided in subdivision (a) of Section 191.5, 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. (3) Driving a vehicle in connection with a violation of paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 550, where the vehicular collision or vehicular accident was knowingly caused for financial gain and proximately resulted in the death of any person. This provision shall not be construed to prevent prosecution of a defendant for the crime of murder. This section shall not be construed as making any homicide in the driving of a vehicle punishable that is not a proximate result of the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to felony, or of the commission of a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner. “Gross negligence,” as used in this section, shall not be construed as prohibiting or precluding a charge of murder under Section 188 upon facts exhibiting wantonness and a conscious disregard for life to support a finding of implied malice, or upon facts showing malice, consistent with the holding of the California Supreme Court in People v. Watson, 30 Cal. 3d 290.”)

2 Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) 592 – Gross Vehicular Manslaughter (Pen. Code § 192(c)(1)). (“<If gross vehicular manslaughter is a charged offense, give alternative A; if this instruction is being given as a lesser included offense, give alternative B.> <Introductory Sentence: Alternative A—Charged Offense> [The defendant is charged [in Count ] with gross vehicular manslaughter [in violation of Penal Code section 192(c)(1)].] <Introductory Sentence: Alternative B—Lesser Included Offense> [Gross vehicular manslaughter is a lesser crime than gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.] To prove that the defendant is guilty of gross vehicular manslaughter, the People must prove that: 1 The defendant (drove a vehicle/operated a vessel); 2 While (driving that vehicle/operating that vessel), the defendant 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.”)

See also CALCRIM 593 – Misdemeanor Vehicular Manslaughter (Pen. Code § 192(c)(2)). (“<If misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter—ordinary negligence is a charged offense, give alternative A; if this instruction is being given as a lesser included offense, give alternative B.> <Introductory Sentence: Alternative A—Charged Offense> [The defendant is charged [in Count ] with vehicular manslaughter [in violation of Penal Code section 192(c)(2)].] <Introductory Sentence: Alternative B—Lesser Included Offense> [Vehicular manslaughter with ordinary negligence is a lesser crime than (gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated/ [and] gross vehicular manslaughter/ [and] vehicular manslaughter with ordinary negligence while intoxicated.)] To prove that the defendant is guilty of vehicular manslaughter with ordinary negligence, the People must prove that: 1 While (driving a vehicle/operating a vessel), the defendant committed (a misdemeanor[,]/ [or] an infraction/ [or] a lawful act in an unlawful manner); 2 The (misdemeanor[,]/ [or] infraction/ [or] otherwise lawful act) was dangerous to human life under the circumstances of its commission; 3 The defendant committed the (misdemeanor[,]/ [or] infraction/ [or] otherwise lawful act) with ordinary negligence; AND 4 The (misdemeanor[,]/ [or] infraction/ [or] otherwise lawful act) caused the death of another person.”)

3 CALCRIM 540A - Felony Murder: First Degree - Defendant Allegedly Committed Fatal Act [contrast with crime of vehicular manslaughter]. ("To prove that the defendant is guilty of first degree murder under this theory, the People must prove that: 1. The defendant committed [or attempted to commit] <insert felony or felonies from Pen. Code, § 189>; 2. The defendant intended to commit <insert felony or felonies from Pen. Code, § 189>; AND 3. While committing [or attempting to commit] , <insert felony or felonies from Pen. Code, § 189> the defendant caused the death of another person. A person may be guilty of felony murder even if the killing was unintentional, accidental, or negligent.")

4 Penal Code 191.5 PC – Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. (“(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. (b) 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, but without gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, but without 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. (2) Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in violation of subdivision (b) is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for 16 months or two or four 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.”)

5 Penal Code 193 PC – Vehicular manslaughter; punishment. (“(c) Vehicular manslaughter is punishable as follows: (1) A violation of paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 192 is punishable either by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year or by imprisonment in the state prison for two, four, or six years. (2) A violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 192 is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year. (3) A violation of paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) of Section 192 is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 4, 6, or 10 years.”)

6 See same.

7 See same.

8 Penal Code 192(c) PC – Vehicular manslaughter law, endnote 1, above.

9 See same.

10 CALCRIM 592 – Gross Vehicular Manslaughter (Pen. Code § 192(c)(1)), endnote 2, above.

11 See same.

12 CALCRIM 540A - Felony Murder: First Degree - Defendant Allegedly Committed Fatal Act [contrast with crime of gross vehicular manslaughter], endnote 3, above.

13 Penal Code 192(c) PC – Vehicular manslaughter law, endnote 1, above.

14 CALCRIM 592 – Gross Vehicular Manslaughter (Pen. Code § 192(c)(1)). (“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 how 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.”)

15 See same.

16 Based on the facts of People v. Bennett (1991) 54 Cal.3d 1032.

17 CALCRIM 592 – Gross Vehicular Manslaughter (Pen. Code § 192(c)(1)), endnote 2, above.

18 CALCRIM 592 – Gross Vehicular Manslaughter (Pen. Code § 192(c)(1)). (“[An act causes death if the death is the direct, natural, and probable consequence of the act and the death would not have happened without the act. A natural and probable consequence is one that a reasonable person would know is likely to happen if nothing unusual intervenes. In deciding whether a consequence is natural and probable, consider all of the circumstances established by the evidence.]”)

19 See same. (“[There may be more than one cause of death. An act causes death only if it is a substantial factor in causing the death. A substantial factor is more than a trivial or remote factor. However, it does not need to be the only factor that causes the death.]”)

20 Penal Code 192(c) PC – Vehicular manslaughter law, endnote 1, above.

21 CALCRIM 593 – Misdemeanor Vehicular Manslaughter (Pen. Code § 192(c)(2)), endnote 2, above.

22 CALCRIM 593 – Misdemeanor Vehicular Manslaughter (Pen. Code § 192(c)(2)). (“[The difference between this offense and the charged offense of gross vehicular manslaughter is the degree of negligence required. I have already defined gross negligence for you.] Ordinary negligence[, on the other hand,] is the failure to use reasonable care to prevent reasonably foreseeable harm to oneself or someone else. A person is negligent if he or she (does something that a reasonably careful person would not do in the same situation/ [or] fails to do something that a reasonably careful person would do in the same situation).”)

23 CALCRIM 594 – Vehicular Manslaughter: Collision for Financial Gain (Pen. Code § 192(c)(4)). (“The defendant is charged [in Count ] with vehicular manslaughter by causing a collision for financial gain [in violation of Penal Code section 192(c)(4)]. To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that: 1 While driving a vehicle, the defendant knowingly caused or participated in a vehicular collision; 2 When the defendant acted, (he/she) knew that the purpose of the vehicular collision was to make a false or fraudulent insurance claim for financial gain; 3 When the defendant acted, (he/she) did so with intent to defraud; AND 4 The collision caused the death of another person.”)

24 Penal Code 193 PC – Vehicular manslaughter; punishment, endnote 5, above.

25 See same.

26 See same. See also Penal Code 19 PC -- Punishment for misdemeanor; punishment not otherwise prescribed. ("Except in cases where a different punishment is prescribed by any law of this state, every offense declared to be a misdemeanor is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both.")

27 See same.

28 See same.

29 See same.

30 Vehicle Code 13351 VC – Required revocation; conviction of vehicular manslaughter. (“(a) The department immediately shall revoke the privilege of a person to drive a motor vehicle upon receipt of a duly certified abstract of the record of a court showing that the person has been convicted of any of the following crimes or offenses: (1) Manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle, except when convicted under paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 192 of the Penal Code. . . . (b) The department shall not reinstate the privilege revoked under subdivision (a) until the expiration of three years after the date of revocation and until the person whose privilege was revoked gives proof of financial responsibility, as defined in Section 16430.”)

31 See same.

32 Vehicle Code 14601.1 VC - Driving when privilege revoked or suspended for other reasons [including vehicular manslaughter conviction]. ("(a) No person shall drive a motor vehicle when his or her driving privilege is suspended or revoked for any reason other than those listed in Section 14601, 14601.2, or 14601.5, if the person so driving has knowledge of the suspension or revocation. Knowledge shall be conclusively presumed if mailed notice has been given by the department to the person pursuant to Section 13106. The presumption established by this subdivision is a presumption affecting the burden of proof.")

33 Newport Beach criminal and DUI defense attorney John Murray has earned a statewide reputation for representing DUI and vehicular manslaughter defendants throughout Orange and Los Angeles Counties. He is equally at home in the California criminal courts and at various California DMV hearing locations.

34 See Vehicle Code 13351 VC – Required revocation; conviction of vehicular manslaughter, endnote 30, above.

35 CALCRIM 593 – Misdemeanor Vehicular Manslaughter (Pen. Code § 192(c)(2)). (“[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.]”)

36 See same.

37 Penal Code 191.5 PC – Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. (“(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. (b) 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, but without gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, but without 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. (2) Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in violation of subdivision (b) is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for 16 months or two or four years.”)

38 See same.

39 See same.

40 See same.

41 See same.

42 See same.

43 CALCRIM 593 – Misdemeanor Vehicular Manslaughter (Pen. Code § 192(c)(2)), endnote 2, above.

44 See People v. Watson (1981) 30 Cal.3d 290.

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