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Orange County Vehicular Manslaughter Defense Attorney

Penal Code 192(c) PC - Vehicular Manslaughter

Even though charges of vehicular manslaughter may seem like a DUI charge, it is crucial to understand that this is actually a charge related to homicide. It is important to understand the case against you, even if you were drinking, is not as simple as police or the District Attorney makes it out to be. Our Orange County defense lawyers have more than a decade of experience reducing, dismissing, and winning cases for our clients accused of vehicular manslaughter in the courts of Orange County. These are complex cases, but with our decade of winning experience, we have what it takes to help you through this.

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Just Because You Were Drinking Doesn't Mean You're Guilty

First, there is the question of whether or not you were really driving under the influence at the time, because as we know all too well, DUI tests are highly flawed. Then, there is the next question of what caused the accident itself; after all, there could've been several external factors beyond your control that caused the accident such as weather conditions, road hazards, and the recklessness of other drivers.

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Your Defense on California DUI Vehicular Manslaughter

In order for a court to convict you on vehicular manslaughter charges they must prove three things:

  • You were the driving under the influence;
  • You negligently committed an unlawful act or a lawful but dangerous act; and
  • Your negligence caused the death of another person.

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Imminent Peril / Sudden Emergency

Regardless of whether or not you were driving under the influence, perhaps you could not avoid the accident that resulted in a death. This is otherwise known as the imminent peril / sudden emergency defense. Bottom line, you are not guilty if the cause of death was clearly somebody else's fault. By using this defense, our Orange County attorneys can then prompt a requirement for the judge to instruct the jury that "a person facing a sudden and unexpected emergency situation not caused by that person's own negligence is required only to use the same care and judgment that an ordinarily careful person would use in the same situation, even if it appears later that a different course of action would have been safer."

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Vehicular Manslaughter Felony Conviction

If convicted of the more serious felony charge of PC 191.5(a), you face between 4 to 10 years in state prison, or 15 years-to-life in state prison if you have a prior PC 191.5 conviction or 2 or more prior DUI convictions. Furthermore, if there are surviving victims who suffered great bodily injury, you face an additional 3 to 6 year prison sentence. If convicted of felony PC 191.5(b), you face between 16 months and 4 years in state prison, and an additional 3 to 6 year sentence if surviving victims suffer great bodily injury and up to $10,000 in fines.

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Vehicular Manslaughter Misdemeanor Conviction

If convicted of PC 191.5(b), you face up to a year in Orange County jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.

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Murder Charge

If you are a repeat DUI offender and allegedly kill somebody while DUI, the District Attorney's office could charge you with second-degree murder—otherwise known as DUI or "Watson" murder. What distinguishes a Watson DUI murder from first-degree murder is that there is no allegation that the defendant intended to kill the victim; however, the filing allows for second-degree murder convictions where the person deliberately commits a dangerous act, DUI, with knowledge of the danger and a conscious disregard for human life.

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Don't Face Your Charges Alone—Call Us Now

With an experienced Orange County defense attorney from Law Office of Michael L. Guisti on your side, you can trust that we will be there to thoroughly investigate the police officer's actions, examine your DUI BAC, and bring in accident investigators. We can help to deal with your charge because we have over a decade of successful experienced in handling successful cases of vehicular manslaughter. Call (714) 530-9690 now!

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Additional Information

Whether you're facing a felony or a misdemeanor, don't risk a conviction. Act quickly to redeem your reputation and protect your record by consulting with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule your free consultation.

(714) 530-9690

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Case Results

sex crimes

Case Dropped

Young man charged and arrested for sexual battery.


Case Dropped

Man charged with assault with a deadly weapon for hitting someone in the face with a heavy metal dust pan.

drug crimes

Served Less Than 30 Days in Jail

Young man charged with selling 1000 tabs of ecstasy to undercover officer.

Attempted Murder

Reduced to Assault With Deadly Weapon

Young man knocks the eye out his victim with a metal pipe. Charged with attempted murder and aggravated mayhem. Both cases carried life sentences.

Assault & Battery

Serves 80 Days on Work Furlough

Woman arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon using scissors on a co-worker.

Vehicular Assault

Serves 80 Days on Work Furlough

Man charged with three felony counts of vehicular assault with a deadly weapon.


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OC Vehicular Manslaughter Lawyer Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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