Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

I am a writer, and need help with a hypothetical scenario, if that's all right (I've tried to research it, but am still not certain and want to avoid major legal gaffes).

An adult was operating an illegally modified vehicle in an extremely unsafe and nonstandard manner (grossly negligent, death of all participants a likely result). A collision occurred; the man survived, but the minor who was with him died. There is video evidence showing that this happened. There was no malice, and he was not intoxicated.

What would he most likely be charged with in California? Vehicular manslaughter (he wasn't exactly driving--it was remote controlled)? Involuntary manslaughter? Can he be charged for gross negligence in addition, or do the charges cancel one another out? If the prosecutors *really* throw the book at him, what's the worst-case scenario?

Thank you!

Asked on 10/15/13, 10:32 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Joe Dane Law Office of Joe Dane

Depending on a few additional facts - it could be involuntary manslaughter or vehicular manslaughter. Add a few more facts and an overly aggressive DA could get to second degree murder. I'd be happy to discuss this with you further - always happy to help make crime writing more accurate and realistic.

Joe Dane

[email protected]

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Answered on 10/15/13, 11:14 am

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