Murder Charges in DUI Cases in California
How Can A Person Be Charged With Murder Related To A DUI If They Didn't Mean To Kill Anybody?
This is an interesting question that a lot of people ask and it makes sense. Usually, when we think of murder charges and somebody looking at fifteen to life or twenty-five to life, we think about somebody who actually plans on killing somebody else in the middle of an argument.
Sometimes people get angry and decide to kill somebody. It's a spontaneous act, but they made the decision to grab the weapon and they kill somebody. Or maybe somebody plans to kill somebody, sets it all up, gets other people involved and kills him. That's the murder we usually think of when we think about somebody being charged with the highest crime known to man in Los Angeles.
When it comes to these DUI cases, the problem is this. People know now because of society, because of all the deaths on the road, because of young teenagers being killed, mothers against drunk driving — everybody in the public now knows that if you drink and drive, there's a chance that you could lose control of your vehicle and kill somebody and because you know that, and because I know that, it's in your mind — you realize it. You realize how dangerous it is to drink and drive.
Malice Necessary for Murder Charges
So, that's where they're getting the intent from. They're saying, yeah you didn't mean to kill anybody, but before you started drinking you knew that you were going to likely end up in a car, and because of that knowledge, we're going to imply the malice necessary for murder.
In other words, we're going to say you know what, it's the same thing. When somebody drinks a bunch of alcohol, knows they're going to drive, later ends up getting in a car and driving, it's foreseeable they could kill somebody.
So, it's the same type of wanton dangerous behavior that we have in a murder case. You can't just hide behind the facts that you're drunk.
You can't just hide behind the fact that you decided to drink alcohol and endanger other people on the road. That's why they're able to charge somebody with murder when it comes to a DUI case.