July 30, 2012
A fatal accident that took the life of a five-year veteran Santa Paula Police officer has led to charges against a volunteer reserve police officer with the same department. The incident occurred on the night of July 22 when the 44-year-old Santa Paula man allegedly lost control while traveling on South Mountain Lookout Road, rolling the vehicle over and causing fatal injuries to one passenger and minor injuries to two others, according to The Ventura County Star.
The driver has been charged with felony DUI (driving under the influence) and vehicular manslaughter for the accident. While it had been several years since the man worked as a volunteer with the department, he still has ties to the academy and officers who work there. The blood alcohol content of the driver has not been released.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal under California law, and when such actions lead to a crash that causes injuries or death, the penalties can be severe and widespread. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, vehicular manslaughter caused by drunk driving is punishable by four, six, or ten years in state prison when deemed a felony or by up to one year in county jail when it is a misdemeanor under California Penal Code Section 191.5.
Additionally, such crimes can lead to heavy fines, mandatory courses, a loss of driver's license, and more depending on the DUI circumstances. These penalties can continue even long after serving out any prison sentence that may have been handed down.
At The Law Offices of Daniel E. Kann, our Ventura DUI defense lawyers understand how a drunk driving conviction can lead to a serious toll on an individual's personal and professional life. For more information on how our skilled legal team can apply their years of experience in getting your charges reduced or dismissed, call our offices today at (805) 290-4932.