Alameda County Sherriff’s Deputy Not Charged Vehicular Manslaughter for Pedestrian Fatality (CA Penal Code 192(c))

In the early morning hours of April 19, 2014, Deputy (name withheld in order to protect the privacy of the accused) could be found speeding at Cherry Way and Mission Boulevard in Cherryland.  He insists that he was in the midst of looking for a vehicle associated with an unrelated crime, however, in his haste, he failed to notice two pedestrians who were in his way.  The victims were both from Hayward, one survived with injuries.  Yet, prosecutors refuse to charge the deputy with any wrongdoing in the incident.  Understandably, the families of the victims have filed suit against the county.

Under normal circumstances, vehicular manslaughter is serious business in the state of California (CA Penal Code 192(c)). The driver may face charges if their vehicle causes another person’s death due to driving in an illegal way or driving in a way that could reasonably be considered dangerous. This includes speeding (the deputy admits to this), texting, talking on one’s cell phone, or causing an accident in the middle of a crosswalk (vehicular manslaughter that does not involve either drugs or alcohol).

This particular crime is a California ‘wobbler, ‘ meaning that prosecutors may choose to charge you with either a misdemeanor or a felony (depending on the specifics of your case).  The penalties range anywhere from 2 to 10 years in state prison.  Whether the incident with the deputy will spur public outcry remains to be seen.  He is still a deputy in good standing with the department as of now.