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California man faces serious vehicular manslaughter charges

A 57-year-old California man has a difficult couple of weeks ahead of him. Not only is he recovering from serious injuries he sustained in a Land Park collision that occurred last month but he has also been accused of gross vehicular manslaughter in connection with the crash.

Sacramento police claim that the 57-year-old man was under the influence and speeding when his vehicle collided with the vehicle of a 66-year-old woman. She was killed in the crash, which is the reason for the vehicular manslaughter charge.

Although police believe that the man was driving under the influence of a drug, they have declined to say if any drugs were found in his system or what drug he had allegedly taken. For all our readers here in San Diego know, the man could have been under the influence of a prescription medication and not an illegal drug. And as the Kerry Kennedy drugged-driving case has recently taught us, this could play a crucial part in proving whether the man knew he was under the influence and negligent in the accident.

Even though the man has no documented criminal history and has a clean driving record, he will still need good criminal defense. This is especially true considering the seriousness of having been accused of gross vehicular manslaughter. As some of our San Diego readers may know, there is a severity difference between gross negligence and ordinary negligence. Prosecutors may push for the harsher sentence by claiming that the man consciously and voluntarily disregarded public safety while driving impaired. It’s important to note though that this might not be true and could mean the difference between a not-guilty verdict and time in prison.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, “Sacramento police: Land Park driver high on drugs, driving at excessive speeds,” Kim Minugh, Mar. 7, 2014

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Former Criminal Prosecutor With Proven Results