Criminal Defense Attorney San Francisco, CA
The decision to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol can have life-changing and even fatal consequences. Driving after having even a couple of drinks can put you in a position that may change the course of your life.
What Constitutes Drunk Driving?
In all 50 states, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08%. For commercial drivers it’s .04%.
If you exceed this limit and get stopped by law enforcement or get into a crash, you could be facing charges related to driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI).
Your BAC depends on many factors, including your weight. It can take as little as two beers or two glasses of wine to be considered legally drunk.
A DUI manslaughter charge is the result of an intoxicated driver causing an accident that resulted in the death of another person. The impaired driver did not intend to kill another person, but it happened as a result of alleged drunk driving.
Every state has different manslaughter charges, but there are two main types of DUI manslaughter:
- DUI manslaughter with ordinary negligence
- Defendant has typically violated traffic law but actions may not be considered extremely negligent. For example, the driver may look down at his or her cell phone before causing the crash that led to a fatality.
- DUI manslaughter with gross negligence
- In this case, extreme recklessness is often present. For example, an impaired driver may be on the wrong side of the road causing a head-on collision.
In these cases, possible penalties could include:
- Suspension or loss of license
- Restitution to the victims
- Prison sentence
Every state has different laws as it relates to felony charges. If you have been charged with DUI before and are now charged with killing someone in another DUI crash, you could be facing murder charges.
In other states, vehicular homicide or second-degree murder charges may apply in a fatal DUI crash. In all of these scenarios you could be looking at the possibility of spending decades in jail and paying thousands of dollars in fines and damages to the victim’s family.
Get Legal Advice
While what happened was tragic, you are facing the possibility of life-changing consequences and you need to protect yourself. In some cases it is possible to get DUI manslaughter/murder charges reduced to a regular DUI charge or reckless driving charge. A lawyer is skilled at investigating all aspects of a fatal DUI crash and know what things to look for in your case that could bring you life-changing protection.