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Manslaughter

Voluntary Manslaughter

Voluntary manslaughter is a violation of California Penal Code section 192(a). A person is guilty of voluntary manslaughter if:

  • A human being was killed.
  • The killing was unlawful.
  • The killing was done without malice.
  • The person killed the victim upon a sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion.

Voluntary manslaughter is punishable by 3, 6, or 11 years in state prison. If a firearm is used to commit a voluntary manslaughter, the punishment can be up to 21 years.

Involuntary Manslaughter

Involuntary manslaughter is a violation of California Penal Code section 192(b). A person is guilty of involuntary manslaughter if:

  • A human being was killed.
  • The killing was unlawful.
  • The victim was killed during an unlawful act by the defendant not amounting to a felony

Or

  • The victim was killed by a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner, or without due caution and circumspection.

Involuntary manslaughter is punishable by 2, 3, or 4 years in state prison. Involuntary manslaughter is one of the enumerated serious felonies, making it a strike in California.

Vehicular Manslaughter

Gross Negligence

Vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence is a violation of California Penal Code section 192(c)(1). In order to prove that vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence occurred, the prosecution must show that:

  • A human being was killed.
  • The killing was unlawful.
  • The defendant drove a vehicle in the commission of an unlawful act not amounting to a felony and with gross negligence

Or

  • The defendant drove a vehicle in the commission of a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence.

Vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence is punishable by 2, 4, or 6 years in state prison and is a serious felony.

Intoxication

If you drive while intoxicated by alcohol, drugs, or both and another person is killed, you could be charged with vehicular manslaughter.

California Penal Code section 191.5(a) defines vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with gross negligence as:

  • The driver of the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol or drugs or above a .08 blood alcohol level
  • 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 killing was the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence.
  • That unlawful or negligent act was the cause of death of a human being.

A violation of Penal Code section 191.5(a) is punishable by 4, 6, or 10 years in state prison and is a serious felony.

California Penal Code section 191.5(b) defines vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence as:

  • The driver of the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol or drugs or above a .08 blood alcohol level.
  • The driver drove the vehicle in the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, but without gross negligence.

Or

  • The driver drove the vehicle in the commission of a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner, but without gross negligence.
  • That unlawful or negligent act was the cause of the death of a human being.

A violation of Penal Code section 191.5(b) is punishable by 16 months, 2, or 4 years in state prison and is a serious felony.

Law Office of Amy Chapman

Santa Rosa Criminal Defense Lawyer

703 2nd Street

Suite 407

Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Phone: (707) 636-3207

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