Houman Fakhimi

Woman Gets 10-Year Prison Sentence in Corona DUI Accident

A Corona woman will spend the next 10 years of her life in a California prison after being sentenced in connection with a 2008 accident that killed a University of California, Irvine student, The Press-Enterprise reports.

DUI in Rancho Cucamonga and elsewhere in California is a highly targeted crime, yet it is one that people don't mean to commit. Drinking slightly too much can land a person in jail, yet hiring an aggressive Orange County DUI Defense Attorney can help defend against the allegations and work to get the best possible resolution. The 32-year-old defendant showed remorse and apologized to the family of the 18-year-old victim. She was convicted recently of involuntary gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and she received a maximum 10-year prison sentence, the report states.

According to the newspaper, the woman left a bar drunk and ignored friends who encouraged her not to get behind the wheel. But police said she drove her SUV at 84 mph in a 50 mph zone and crossed over two sets of double yellow lines and smashed into a sedan driven by the victim.

Investigators said the woman had a .20 blood-alcohol level, which is more than two times California's legal limit. That reading was taken three hours after the accident.

The defendant has a 15-year-old and 6-month-old daughter who she will leave behind when she goes to jail, while members of the victims family told a judge during a sentencing hearing how much the teen will be missed because of the senseless killing.

Prosecutors had sought a second-degree murder conviction based on the fact that because the defendant had a semester of training as a paramedic, she would have been more aware of the dangers of drinking and driving, but that didn't fly.

DUI defense is different when an accident occurs. When a driver faces a DUI charge, an officer must have probable cause to make the stop and then must follow certain procedures in order to ensure the driver's rights are upheld throughout the process.

A DUI-related accident is different, however. Typically, when an accident occurs, the vehicles that are involved are still at the scene when an officer arrives. Typically, they speak with eye witnesses who try to explain what they saw as paramedics are tending to the drivers involved in the accident.

When someone has died, officers typically look first to the survivor as the person possibly responsible. They survey the scene, take measurements and make calculations to fit that conclusion. Sadly, they sometimes arrest a driver who may have a blood-alcohol limit above the legal limit even before testing reveals the other driver was intoxicated as well.

When a person has died, officers want to make an arrest. It satisfies their bosses and minimizes the amount of chatter from the public. But not every person arrested is guilty and it takes an experienced Orange County DUI Defense Attorney to see through the problems with the case to ensure justice.

Contact an Orange County criminal defense attorney at (714) 705-6701 as soon as possible if you are charged with a crime. Protecting your rights and setting up an aggressive defense at the beginning stages is critical in defending against criminal charges.