Recently, a 21-year-old woman (name withheld to protect the accused’s privacy) has recently been charged with gross vehicular manslaughter and a drug-related DUI after an incident in a San Mateo Walgreen’s parking lot. Law enforcement officials allege that this young woman was under the influence of marijuana when she accidentally ran into an elderly woman, who was walking through the drive-through. The woman later expired due to the injuries she sustained at the time of the collision.
The younger woman involved in this occurrence will face what amounts to 2 felony charges if eventually convicted. In the state of California, the crime of “Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated” (CA Penal Code 191.5(a)) is a serious one indeed. Any individual who finds himself or herself in a similar situation must remember that there are several different elements that prosecutors must be able to prove in order to get a conviction for a violation of this law. First, it must be proved that either drugs or alcohol were involved; Second, they must have acted with ‘gross negligence;’ Third, another person must have been killed as a consequence of these actions.
If an individual can be proven to have acted with ‘ordinary negligence,’ then penalty is 1 year in county jail. However, as in the above circumstance, if the individual in question has been charged with a felony (CA PC 191.5(a)), then they will face up to 10 years in state prison and the suspension of their driver’s license.