Tuesday, October 16, 2007

2nd Degree Murder if Subequent California DUI death

DUI Lawyers news from California

DUI Plea forms since 2005 have a similar message: If, as a result of you driving under the influence, a person is killed ... you could be sent to prison for the rest of your life.

Hernandez, 38, is one of two men Bakersfield police say were street racing Sunday when the SUV Hernandez was driving crashed into a car on Stockdale Highway killing Barbara Keyser Blair, 60, of Bakersfield, and critically injuring her husband, John Blair. Mrs. Blair was not wearing a seat belt, police said.

Hernandez was arrested on charges of felony vehicular manslaughter, felony drunken driving, child endangerment and driving with a suspended license, police said. His 2-year-old daughter, Ciara Hernandez, was with him and also was injured in the crash.

The other man, Ryan Weissrock, 22, was arrested on charges of felony vehicular manslaughter. He also faces hit-and-run charges, police said. Weissrock initially left the scene of the crash at Stockdale Highway and Fairway Drive, but returned later.

Police said they believe Hernandez in a Chevy Tahoe and Weissrock in a Mitsubishi were racing eastbound on Stockdale Highway when they ran a red light at Stockdale and Fairway Drive about 5:30 p.m. The Tahoe slammed into the Blairs' Mercedes sedan as Mr. Blair moved north through the intersection from Fairway.

The judge's warning, now standard in all DUI cases, came from Superior Court Judge Michael B. Lewis after Hernandez was convicted of drunken driving for the second time in three years. Hernandez was sentenced to one year in jail in that case.

Deputy District Attorney John Somers said he couldn't comment on the street racing case. But speaking in general terms, he said the admonition the judge gave Hernandez has been a standard requirement since 2005. It essentially gives notice to those convicted of drunken driving that they can be charged with second-degree murder if someone later dies as a result of their impaired driving in the future.