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Murder added to DUI charge after fatal February crash

In California, drunk driving is one of the most aggressively prosecuted crimes. If a person is accused of causing a fatal accident while impaired, he or she will face the full wrath of the law. For this reason, having experienced legal counsel to defend a DUI charge can be a significant advantage.

A 25-year-old man is facing murder charges after the deaths of two passengers in his vehicle when he crashed in early February. A third passenger suffered injuries. Reportedly, the fatal accident occurred on Feb. 6, and the arrest took place on Feb. 23. Although vehicular homicide is the typical charge for impaired drivers who cause fatalities, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney said the circumstances of this case justified murder charges.

According to court documents, the man allegedly drove at a speed that exceeded 125 mph while his blood-alcohol content was at least .19 percent. Further allegations say he murdered the two passengers "unlawfully, and with malice aforethought." The driver is facing two counts of murder and a felony charge of drunk driving. On Feb. 27, the Santa Barbara County Superior Court heard his case and continued his arraignment to a later date.

When facing murder charges in California, the stakes are extremely high for the accused drivers. However, innocence prevails until -- and if -- guilt is proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Under these circumstances, seeking experienced legal guidance throughout the defense of a DUI charge involving death is within the rights of the accused. Such a professional can help the defendant assess the challenges of complex scientific evidence and advanced technologies, and devise a defense strategy to achieve the best possible outcome.

Source: santamariasun.com, "Drunk driver charged with murder", Brenna Swanston, March 3, 2017

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