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No DUI charge, but suspected gross vehicular homicide instead

Lying in a hospital with a guard at the door because one is suspected of gross vehicular manslaughter must be a traumatic experience. Knowing that one may have caused another person's death while possibly being intoxicated could only escalate the trauma. A 19-year-old man from California recently found himself in such a situation, and although drunk driving was suspected, he is not currently facing a DUI charge. Rather, he has been arrested for suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter, and it is likely that authorities are awaiting the results of blood tests before proceeding further.

Not much information about the accident is available. Investigators suspect that the young man was northbound, exceeding the speed limit. They speculated that he crossed over into approaching traffic and crashed head-on into another car. The 32-year-old driver of the other vehicle was killed on impact, and his passenger sustained serious injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital.

Although police suspect the man of drunk driving, the media report makes no mention of blood alcohol testing. It was reported that he will be booked into jail upon his release from the hospital. In addition to focusing on recovering from his own injuries, he will need to safeguard his legal rights as the criminal case heads to court.

When facing a DUI charge or another alcohol related criminal accusation, an accused individual will need to become familiar with the applicable statutes and court procedures affecting his or her case. In this instance, this man may be facing gross vehicular manslaughter charges once the blood test results are known. Nevertheless, being accused of a crime in California is a far cry from a conviction, and until that time, this individual remains innocent in the eyes of the law. Prosecutors will have to back up their assertions with actual evidence that meets the strict requirements of our criminal justice system. Failing that, a guilty verdict is not possible.

Source: Concord Ca. Patch, "Vallejo Teen Arrested for Saturday Night Fatal Head-On Crash in Alameda County", Susan C. Schena, March 23, 2014

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