|Pictured Above: Cara Alexandra Lee. Courtesy of the Lee Family.
On February 14, 2010, Gustavo Adrian Vega was under the influence of cocaine and alcohol while driving through Santa Ana, California. His car hit a parked car near a restaurant. After seeing Vega hit a car, several witnesses told him to pull over. Vega claims that he thought that the people telling him to pull over were gang members. Therefore, he sped through a red light to get away. While running the red light, Vega crashed into a car driven by Ha Nguyen that contained a passenger named Cara Alexandra Lee. Lee was killed at the scene of the crime. Nguyen was injured.
After the crash, Vega ran away from the scene of the crime, but was quickly apprehended. He was charged with second degree murder, one count of hit-and-run resulting in death, one count of possession of cocaine and a misdemeanor count of hit-and-run for hitting the parked car. If Vega is convicted of all of these crimes, he faces a maximum sentence of 19 years to life in prison.
Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious crime that comes with serious penalties. If you are convicted of a DUI, you will have to go to jail, pay fines, attend alcohol classes and have your driver’s license suspended. Common defenses to DUI charges include breathalyzer malfunctions, medical conditions and environmental factors.
Second Degree Murder is willful but is not deliberate or premeditated. In this case, the murder was considered willful since Vega already had a DUI on his record from 2006 and knew the consequences of his actions but still drove drunk.
If you are charged with Driving Under the Influence, Drug Possession or Second Degree Murder, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you and help you fight your charges.