NORTHRIDGE, California (LOS ANGELES COUNTY) –The Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Traffic Division is investigating a fatal traffic collision in which one driver was killed and others were injured. The accident occurred on June 25, 2012 around 9:37 p.m. on Parthenia Street west of Corbin Avenue. An 18-year old driver and his 25-year-old passenger, his sister Griselda Sandoval, were hit by Valerie Stewart’s vehicle. Griselda Sandoval was pronounced dead at the scene. Her brother was taken via ambulance to a local hospital. Investigators are citing 50-year-old Valerie Stewart of Van Nuys for Driving Under the Influence of alcohol and she has subsequently been booked for vehicular manslaughter.
Vehicular manslaughter in most states in the United States is a crime. In general, it involves death that results from the negligent operation of a vehicle, or more so a result from driving while committing an unlawful act that does not amount to a felony. All states except Alaska, Montana, and Arizona have vehicular homicide statutes. The laws have the effect of making a vehicle a potentially deadly weapon, to allow for easier conviction and more severe penalties. In states without such statutes, defendants can still be charged with manslaughter or murder in some situations, according to Wikipedia 2012.
Defenses to vehicular manslaughter are many. Often when a person is charged with this crime, the lawyer who represents them will attempt to establish that although the driver may have been drinking, they were not in fact “drunk”, or not too impaired to drive. Sometimes a lawyer may argue that his client’s driving did not cause the death of the victim, but that death was the result of road conditions, weather, or other external factors. The evidence is rarely cut and dry.
Penalties for one convicted of vehicular manslaughter as a misdemeanor can be up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. If one is convicted of vehicular manslaughter as a felony he can be sentenced sixteen months or two to four years in California State Prison, and pay fines upwards of $10,000.00.
West Seegmiller, founder of the Seegmiller Law Firm states, “Many people don’t realize that while driving under the influence, they may be found guilty of operating a vehicle as a deadly weapon. The consequences of this crime are forever life-changing.” If you or loved one has been victimized by a drunk driver, it is imperative that you seek out an attorney and know your rights.
For roughly 30 years, the legal experts at Seegmiller Law Firm have represented thousands of clients who were injured or killed in various types of accidents including serious traffic accidents.
Call us at 1-855-ASK WEST (1-855-275-9378) to speak with our personal injury law firm. The Seegmiller Law Firm has offices in California including its headquarters in Irvine. We also have offices outside of Orange County to serve you in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, Riverside, San Diego and in Las Vegas, Nevada
Llámenos hoy mismo al 1-855-ASK WEST (1-855-275-9378) para hablar con nuestra firma la ley de accidentes de coches. Nuestros abogados hablan español. Firma Seegmiller Ley tiene oficinas en California, incluyendo su sede en Irvine. También contamos con oficinas fuera del Condado de Orange para servirle a usted en Beverly Hills, Los Ángeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, Riverside y en Las Vegas, Nevada.