A DUI Lawyer in Royse City TX can Help you Beat a Murder Case

August, 2014 by Alma Abell

As time goes by, penalties for DUI (driving under the influence) become more severe. In today’s courts, it’s common for defendants involved in fatal crashes to be charged with second degree murder. According to a California Supreme Court ruling from 1981, DUI shows disregard for the lives of others, meeting the malice requirement for a murder case. A Lawyer in Royse City TX can help you if you are facing DUI manslaughter or murder charges.

DUI Convictions

In some states, drivers convicted of DUI are advised that they could face murder charges if they are involved in a fatal accident. Some areas even have special police units to prosecute vehicular homicide cases, the majority of which are alcohol related. In the past few years, dozens of defendants have been convicted of second-degree murder after a fatal DUI crash.

California is foremost among these states, but they are not alone. In New York, a repeat DUI offender was convicted of murder because they caused a crash that resulted in the death of a seven year old girl. Missouri and Alaska juries have also considered similar verdicts in DUI fatality cases. A homicide conviction results in a longer prison term than the lesser charge of vehicular manslaughter -; a defendant in California is facing a term of fifty years to life.

Criticism of DUI Murder Charges

Murder prosecutions in these cases have drawn significant criticism from DUI attorneys, who question whether drunk driving (even on more than one occasion) satisfies the legal requirement for malice in a murder case. These lawyers also question California’s practice of having DUI defendants sign paperwork confirming that they know they could face murder charges if involved in a fatal accident.

According to defense attorneys, a defendant cannot sign a contract agreeing to be prosecuted for an offense that has not occurred. Prosecutors contend that more than a previous DUI is required for a murder charge. For instance, one case involved a Marine officer who ordered another officer of lower rank to give him his keys, despite witnesses’ efforts to keep him from driving. If you are in a DUI crash, you should hire a DUI Lawyer in Royse City TX regardless of the accident’s severity, and if the accident was fatal, you will need an effective Lawyer to prevent a lengthy prison term.

For more information, visit Law Office of Tim Hartley.

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