A few months ago, celebrity tattoo artist Daniel Joseph Silva, known for appearing on the reality television show “Ink Master,” caused a fatal accident while driving under the influence. According to ABC 7 News, “Silva was driving the high-end exotic sports car at a fast rate of speed when he lost control and crashed.”
The accident resulted in the death of Silva's passenger, YouTube star Corey La Barrie--La Barrie was celebrating his 25th birthday. He was taken to the hospital, but later died from his injuries. Because Silva was driving under the influence at the time of the crash, he was arrested and originally faced murder charges for La Barrie's death. Recently, he pleaded no contest to “one felony count of gross vehicle manslaughter.”
Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated
California criminal code section 191.5(a) defines the crime of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. It explains that a person can be found guilty of gross vehicular manslaughter if:
- A driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs- To prove this element, the driver must have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident. The code references vehicle codes sections 23140, 23152, or 23153, which cover driving under the influence, driving with more than .08% blood alcohol level, and underage drinking and driving. If the driver has violated any of these sections, it can satisfy this first element.
- The driver committed a misdemeanor with gross negligence- In addition to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the driver has to have committed some other misdemeanor act. In this case, Silva was not only intoxicated, but he was also speeding. The prosecutor must show that this act was gross negligence, which is beyond ordinary negligence. Gross negligence means the driver was acting reckless and in a way that would create a high risk of death or injury.
- The driver causes an accident that results in the “unlawful killing of a human being”- The driver's actions must be the cause or proximate cause of the death of another person for the driver to be found guilty of vehicular manslaughter.
To be found guilty of this crime, it does not require “malice aforethought” which means it doesn't require showing that the driver had the intent to kill someone--even if the driver did not mean to kill someone they can be found guilty of this charge if the required elements are met. The consequences of a gross vehicular manslaughter conviction are very serious. This is a felony offense and a convicted person could face 4, 6 or 10 years in prison.
Get Help with Your Defense
If you or someone you care about is facing a charge for gross vehicular manslaughter under the influence, or any other DUI charge, you should get in contact with the skilled Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers at Kann California Law Group. Because this charge is so serious, it is crucial for you to have knowledgeable representation by your side. There are defenses available to this charge--we can go over your case and your options during a free, confidential case consultation so call us today at 888-744-7730 or contact us through our confidential online contact form. One of out attorneys will call you right away.