Orange County Vehicular Manslaughter Lawyer
Vehicular manslaughter occurs when someone drives unlawfully and causes someone else's untimely death. If the state prosecutor ultimately proves their case against you, and you receive criminal penalties, you may have to spend time in jail, pay monetary fines, or serve a term of probation. You may also experience collateral consequences affecting various aspects of your overall life and well-being.
These prospects may leave you scared and intimidated. But we can protect you.
If the state charged you with vehicular manslaughter in Orange County, California, hire a qualified and experienced legal team to represent you every step of the way. The knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys at Chudnovsky Law can assist you with your defense – and with achieving a fair and reasonable result in your case. Our team can assert a solid legal defense to your vehicular manslaughter charge in court or negotiate a favorable plea deal from the district attorney handling your case.
Our team will advocate for you every step of the way and protect your legal interests. If your case must go to court, we can represent you in all of your legal proceedings and obtain the best possible result on your behalf.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a knowledgeable Orange County vehicular manslaughter lawyer, please contact our office for more information.
Why Choose Us to Defend You Against Your Vehicular Manslaughter Charge?
The potential penalties for a vehicular manslaughter conviction can be severe. Given everything riding on the line, you want the best and strongest possible legal team to defend you against your criminal charge.
The knowledgeable vehicular manslaughter defense attorneys at Chudnovsky Law have decades of experience litigating criminal cases through the California State Court System. In total, our attorneys have greater than 65 years of experience defending individuals who are facing severe criminal charges.
All of the attorneys on our legal team have significant experience representing criminal defendants. Moreover, some of our attorneys are former California state prosecutors.
Thus, we know how prosecutors build cases against criminal defendants – and how they gather evidence to support their cases. We use that knowledge and experience to help defend individuals against serious criminal charges, including vehicular manslaughter.
In addition, our legal team has collectively defended more than 9,000 cases. Given our lengthy experience, we have developed excellent working relationships with criminal court judges and local district attorneys. Therefore, when we represent our clients in the courtroom, we are more likely to secure a result in their favor. Our record of success speaks for itself.
Our experienced criminal defense legal team has received recognition from:
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers
- CBS News
- Los Angeles Times
- The Washington Post
- NBC News
- New York Daily News
Additionally, we have achieved the following accolades and milestones in recent years:
- Rated best criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles & Orange County by Expertise
- 10.0 Lawyer Rating on Justia
- 5 Star Ratings on Google Los Angeles, Orange County, Long Beach
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers Association
- 5 Star Rating on Lawyers.com
- 5 Star Rating on Findlaw
- 10.0 Superb Rating on AVVO
- 5 Star Peer-Reviewed on Martindale-Hubbell
If you face a vehicular manslaughter charge, let our legal team pursue the best possible result in your case.
What May Happen in a California Vehicular Manslaughter Case?
There are several ways that a criminal vehicular manslaughter case may resolve. In some situations, the accused can raise one or more legal defenses to their charge at a criminal court trial.
At trial, the parties to the case present various types of evidence, and a judge or jury decides the case outcome (such as the accused individual’s guilt or innocence). If the state prosecutor ultimately secures a guilty finding or conviction against the accused person, then a judge is left to impose criminal penalties.
In vehicular manslaughter cases where the accused person has a solid legal defense, they may be better off taking their case to trial and letting a judge or jury decide the outcome. However, if the accused person does not have a solid legal defense to raise in response to their pending charge, they may be better off accepting a plea deal from the state prosecutor handling the case.
In a plea deal arrangement, the defense attorney and state prosecutor, after several negotiations, reach a deal to resolve the case without the need for a trial. Most criminal cases resolve by plea deals since criminal trials can take significant time and may be expensive for everyone involved.
As part of a plea deal, the accused individual may agree to plead guilty to a particular charge in exchange for the state prosecutor offering some type of concession.
For example, in exchange for a guilty plea, the prosecutor might decide to reduce a vehicular manslaughter charge down to a reckless driving charge, which will incur lesser penalties.
Alternatively, the state prosecutor might agree to offer the accused person a period of probation. If the accused individual completes their probation successfully and fulfills all the necessary requirements, the conviction on their record might go away.
Accepting a plea deal, however, does not come without losing certain rights. For example, the accused gives up their constitutional right to a jury trial by taking a plea deal and pleading guilty to a criminal offense.
In addition, they give up their legal right to appeal the result of their case. When it comes time to plead guilty to the offense, the accused individual will appear in court and state, on the record, that they agree to the plea deal freely, willingly, and voluntarily – and that no one coerced them into accepting the plea deal. The judge will then typically accept the plea.
The knowledgeable Orange County vehicular manslaughter lawyers at Chudnovsky Law can help you decide whether it is in your best interests to take your criminal case to court or negotiate a favorable plea deal with the state prosecutor handling your case. We can offer advice and recommendations and help you make intelligent and informed decisions throughout your criminal case.
Types of Vehicular Manslaughter Charges in California
To incur a criminal conviction for vehicular manslaughter in California, the state prosecutor must satisfy the various legal elements of their case beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor fails to prove even one legal element of their case, you should obtain a complete dismissal.
For a state prosecutor to obtain a conviction against you for vehicular manslaughter, they must demonstrate that you operated your vehicle unlawfully or negligently and that, as a result, someone died.
For example, if you used a cellular phone while driving and negligently caused your vehicle to strike a pedestrian – and the pedestrian died as a result – you may incur a criminal charge for vehicular manslaughter.
The California Criminal Code recognizes several different categories of vehicular manslaughter.
Those categories include:
- Misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter
- Vehicular manslaughter for financial gain
- Vehicular manslaughter involving gross negligence
All of these offenses carry various penalties upon conviction.
If you are currently pending criminal charges for one of these offenses, the compassionate Orange County vehicular manslaughter attorneys at Chudnovsky Law can assist.
First, we can meet with you to discuss the circumstances of your charge and arrest. We can then explore various legal options for proceeding forward with your case. Finally, we can help you execute the appropriate choice to secure the best possible result on your behalf.
Potential Penalties for a Vehicular Manslaughter Conviction in California
The potential penalties that an individual may incur for a vehicular manslaughter conviction depend on whether the accused acted with gross or ordinary negligence.
A person acts with gross negligence when they behave in a particularly reckless or egregious manner under the circumstances; in cases where an individual acts with gross negligence, the state prosecutor may bring the vehicular manslaughter charge as either a misdemeanor or a felony.
A misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter conviction that involves gross negligence can result in a maximum of one year of incarceration in the county jail. However, if the prosecutor makes the offense a felony, the accused individual may have to serve six years of imprisonment in state prison.
In cases where the individual only acted with ordinary negligence, the state prosecutor must bring the vehicular manslaughter charge as a misdemeanor. If the prosecutor ultimately obtains a conviction against the accused individual, the accused may receive a maximum of one year of incarceration in the county jail.
In addition to these potential legal penalties, an individual who incurs a vehicular manslaughter conviction may face several collateral consequences. For example, they may harm their reputation in the community or have difficulty achieving certain life milestones, including gaining admission to an educational institution or finding a job.
If you ultimately receive a conviction on your vehicular manslaughter charge, our experienced legal team can represent you before a judge at your criminal sentencing hearing.
We can persuasively argue for the lowest possible penalty on your behalf. We can also work to help lessen the collateral consequences you experience due to your conviction.
Defending Against a Vehicular Manslaughter Charge in Orange County
At a criminal bench or jury trial for vehicular manslaughter, our legal team can raise one or more successful legal defenses on your behalf. If a particular defense is successful in court, it can result in a judge dismissing your entire criminal case.
Some of the most common legal defenses that you can raise in response to a vehicular manslaughter charge include:
- That you did not act with gross negligence or with ordinary negligence under the circumstances
- That although you behaved negligently, your negligence was not the ultimate cause of the victim's untimely death
- That at the time of the incident, you were facing an emergency situation, and you behaved reasonably under the prevailing circumstances at that time
Our legal team can determine if you can raise one or more of these legal defenses in response to your vehicular manslaughter charge. If so, we can argue the appropriate defense in court and help you pursue a charge dismissal in your case.
We explore every possible defense option, given the unique circumstances of each case. There is no one-size-fits-all criminal defense strategy against manslaughter charges, and we have represented defendants facing all types of allegations.
We know how to seek the most favorable outcome possible in each case, whether it involves negotiating a lighter sentence or fighting charges at a criminal trial. Allow our legal team to begin building a strong defense for you as soon as possible.
Talk to an Orange County Vehicular Manslaughter Attorney Right Away
If you face a criminal charge for vehicular manslaughter in California, the sooner you retain legal counsel to defend you in your case, the better your chances of success. If you wait too long to secure qualified legal representation, you may jeopardize your ability to obtain a favorable case result. A defense attorney needs time to speak with you about the incident, gather evidence, and talk to potential witnesses.
Your lawyer must also have sufficient time to prepare your case for trial. If you go to court without a lawyer by your side, the judge may assume that you have agreed to waive your right to legal representation. Consequently, they can theoretically make you proceed with your case without an attorney present. Given the potential consequences of a conviction, you do not want that to happen.
At Chudnovsky Law, our skilled and compassionate legal team can aggressively fight for your legal rights at every stage of the proceedings. We can also represent you at all in-court hearings, including your trial and sentencing hearing, and work to obtain the best possible result on your behalf.