I’ve been doing these involuntary manslaughters now for many years as a criminal defense attorney and it’s interesting which cases the prosecutors file and which ones they don’t file. I’ve seen them file a lot of cases that were just garbage cases. They should have never been filed at the criminal level.
If you’re out there driving and you make a mistake and a terrible accident occurs and somebody dies, that’s not a crime. The crime comes in when you’re doing something criminal and somebody dies. That’s really where we’re having a problem here. These guys are taking traffic infractions where somebody dies tragically and turning them into a criminal case against another person, and it’s crazy because they usually take about a year to investigate. You wonder to yourself, what the hell these guys are doing for a year if they can’t make a decision within a month or two as far as whether or not this is actually a criminal act.
Part of it is, they’re doing accident reconstruction stuff. The accident reconstruction experts they use are horrible. I get my own accident reconstruction expert who knows what they’re doing, takes their time, looks at it and says, yes, this is a complete joke what these guys did here and there’s no way your client should be charged with a crime. There’s a defect in the road or there’s some other issue going on that doesn’t not warrant a criminal filing.
So, that’s the first issue. When I sit down and meet with somebody to discuss an involuntary manslaughter case, we’re talking about whether this is really a crime. That’s something that not only the law covers, where you look at the specific case law related to an involuntary manslaughter situation, but also, as a criminal defense attorney who’s done a lot of these cases, in your gut, you can tell when it’s a case that should be filed and when it’s a case that shouldn’t be filed. If someone is driving around like a jerk racing and they kill somebody, obviously that person is going to have to take responsibility. They’re racing on the street. It’s foreseeable that if you’re going to race around the city streets or on the freeway, somebody’s going to die and you’re going to be held responsible for that. We get that. As long as you don’t take that too far. I’ve seen the prosecutors take that to a murder charge, which in most cases, it’s too much — especially if there’s no alcohol involved.
So, if you have an involuntary manslaughter case, you better get to somebody who knows what they’re doing because there’s a lot at stake here. Besides you getting hit with a criminal record, you’re also looking at jail time and other penalties. You’re looking at being sued by the other party. They’re going to take that criminal conviction and try to use it against you.
I do a lot of these involuntary manslaughter cases. Like I said we get you in. We sit down. We talk about it. We get our strategy together. That’s the first step as far as exactly how we’re going to handle this criminal case. Once we make that strategy decision, then we put the pieces in place. If we decide that this is a ridiculous case and it shouldn’t be charged against you — and we’re going to show that this accident is either not your fault or it’s just mere negligence and they shouldn’t have charged you with anything — we’ll get an accident reconstruction expert, we’ll give him all the information and let him sit down and really put the pieces together so that we can defend you properly and get the whole story out there — your version of events and what happened — and then we can really challenge the prosecutors and get to the bosses who are going to look at this case and say, you’re right. This is ridiculous.
So, there are some involuntary manslaughter cases in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley that should be filed; and then there’s some that shouldn’t. There are all kinds of different strategies that can be utilized in these cases. You have to have the best attorney though on your side, obviously, and you have to put everything together so you can really defend yourself and get the best result and not suffer some of these horrible consequences that can come along part and parcel with an involuntary manslaughter case.
So, make the phone call. Get in. Let’s sit down and talk about it. Let’s get our strategy together and get you on the road to taking control of your criminal case and getting out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible.
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