Woman charged with drunk driving and murder in California

Just because a person is charged with drunk driving doesn’t mean he or she is automatically guilty. One woman in California is currently on trial after being accused of murdering a person by driving drunk. She, like anyone else who has been criminally charged in our state, reserves the right to aggressively fight these claims related to drunk driving.

The woman in 2011 reportedly drank alcohol and decided to drive, thinking she was okay to drive, according to the criminal defense. She then allegedly struck and killed a 54-year-old man. The woman was charged with a hit-and-run that led to death, which is a felony, as well as murder.

She also faces charges of driving with a license that was suspended, which is a misdemeanor. Three months after this fatal accident, authorities said the woman again drove drunk and struck two parked vehicles. If she ends up with a murder conviction, she could find herself in prison for at least 15 years.

Once a person has been charged with drunk driving, he or she typically has at least two legal options to pursue with regard to the allegations made by authorities. First, the individual may go to trial to defend his or her innocence. Second, he or she may enter into a plea agreement with prosecutors, hoping for more personally favorable criminal charges and sentencing. It can be important to ensure that the accused person’s rights are properly protected in California, as the person's freedom could be at stake, depending on the severity of the charges.

Source: The Fresno Bee, "Trial begins for Clovis woman in fatal DUI crash", Pablo Lopez, June 18, 2014

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