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Home blog Criminal Defense In the News Rancho Santa Margarita Attorney Jailed Ahead of Sentencing for 2013 Vehicular Manslaughter

Rancho Santa Margarita Attorney Jailed Ahead of Sentencing for 2013 Vehicular Manslaughter

By Michael Guisti on May 14, 2015

Newport Beach, CA — On Friday, Superior Court Judge Greg Jones postponed the sentencing hearing of Hasti Fakhrai-Bayrooti, but also revoked her bail and ordered her to return to jail until June 10th. Fakhrai-Bayrooti’s attorney, William Weinburg had requested the postponement because he had received a probation report about his client that very morning and needed time to review it.

Fakhrai-Bayrooti, an attorney from Rancho Santa Margarita, pleaded guilty to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated on March 10th of this year and Jones had previously allowed her to remain free on bail until Friday’s sentencing hearing. However, when he ordered the defendant to jail, Jones expressed frustration with the delay, saying that if he did not grant it, it would merely give the defense grounds to appeal his sentence.

According to prosecutors, Fakhrai-Bayrooti was using prescription drugs while driving on Santa Margarita Parkway on the evening of March 15, 2013. Her car strayed into the bike lane, leading to the death of Eric Billings, 54, also of Santa Margarita. At Friday’s hearing, Billings’ family testified about how his death had effected him, particularly because of the important family milestones that he was not able to participate in.

Because Fakhrai-Bayrooti entered an open plea, it will be up to Jones to determine how long her sentence should be; but vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated can be punished with a sentence of between 16 months and 4 years in prison.

Even when there are no injures or property damage, a DUI conviction can have severe consequences, including jail time, heavy fines, driving school, alcohol education, and a suspended license. More severe incidents can result in felony charges like vehicular manslaughter which can mean years in prison if you are convicted.

No matter what you’ve been charged with, the best thing you can do for your defense is to hire a defense lawyer to represent you. Although you are allowed to waive your right to professional representation, having a lawyer on your side means that you get the benefit of their years of training and experience.

At the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti, we’ve been practicing law in Orange County for over 16 years. In that time, we’ve helped hundreds of clients to have charges like DUI, hit-and-run, fraud, theft, domestic violence, assault, and murder reduced or dismissed in state and federal courts. We aren’t afraid to take on difficult or high profile cases and we never give up on our clients once we’re on a case.

It can be extremely frightening when you find yourself facing criminal charges, and for good reason. In addition to the severe penalties imposed on those who have been convicted of a crime, there is also a lasting social stigma attached to even being accused. At our firm, we can help you shoulder the burden of fighting criminal charges while you work to keep your life on track.

We’re proud of the work we do to help people all over Southern California. Our offices are located in Irvine, Santa Ana, Garden Grove and Newport Beach, near local courthouses, and we offer our clients assistance in Spanish, Chinese, and other languages as needed. If ever need help, our staff will be available to you 24/7.

So if you’ve been charged with a crime in Orange County, call the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti at (714) 707-2797 for a free consultation.


Anderson, Paul and City News Service. “Rancho Santa Margarita attorney jailed in crash that killed cyclist.” http://www.ocregister.com/articles/fakhrai-661144-bayrooti-billings.html. 8 May 2015.

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