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Vehicular Manslaughter in California

Vehicular homicide is a crime involving the death of a person other than the driver as a result of either criminally negligent or murderous operation of a motor vehicle, according to The Journal of Legal Studies. When the former is the case, i.e., criminal negligence, unintentional vehicular manslaughter is usually the charge.

Last month, the family of Gavin Gladding went to the state capital to promote a law that increases the penalties for hit-and-run drivers, The Fresno Bee reports. AB-592 or “Gavin’s Law” was pitched to the Assembly Public Safety Committee.

Many cases of vehicular manslaughter involve someone driving under the influence. Sometimes people who commit this type of crime leave the scene. It could be several days before the authorities catch up with the suspect. Proving that an individual was under the influence at the time of the incident is difficult.

A DUI that leads to death usually carries a stiffer penalty when compared to negligent driving with the same outcome. As such, people will attempt to flee from the accident before the police arrive. Gavin’s Law aims to end that loophole in the law.


AB-592: Gavin’s Law

Last September, Gavin Gladding was on his morning run when he was struck and killed by a vehicle, the article reports. Rather than stop to help the Clovis Unified School District vice principal, the driver Rogelio Alvarez Maravilla drove off with his girlfriend. They were on their way home from a party when the incident occurred.

Current state law carries a punishment of up to four years in prison for a hit-and-run that results in severe injury or death. If passed, Gavin’s Law increases the sentence to six years in prison when this type of crime leads to severe or permanent physical harm. If a hit-and-run causes death, a penalty of up to eight years is possible.

“What we are asking (legislators) to do is to end this perverse incentive that actually makes it a little bit easier, and you serve a little less time if you leave instead of if you stay,” said Assemblyman Jim Patterson. “We want that to stop. We think this bill does it.”


California Vehicular Manslaughter Attorney

Please contact The Law Office of Ronald G. Brower if you are facing charges relating to a DUI accident that resulted in death. Attorney Brower fully understands the complexity of the law and has significant experience in the field.

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