Los Angeles Watson DUI Murder Attorney
If you or a loved one has been charged with a Watson DUI Murder (2nd Degree DUI Murder), you should immediately contact experienced Los Angeles Watson DUI Murder Attorney at The H Law Group to defend you and keep you from going to prison for a very long time. You should not take a DUI Murder charge lightly as a conviction will result in fifteen (15) years to life in California State Prison. So, to stay out of jail, you should immediately contact a DUI Murder Attorney at The H Law Group to defend you.
We have successfully defended clients charged with DUI murder charges, and so we have a wealth of experience and knowledge that we will use to defend you and keep you from going to prison for a very long period of time. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.
What is a Watson DUI Murder Charge in California Under CPC Section 187?
A Watson DUI Murder charge, commonly known as 2nd Degree Murder charge, is a felony criminal charge that is brought against a person who drives under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, and/or drugs and kills another person as a result.
Usually, individuals who are involved in a DUI that kills another are not charged with a Watson murder unless the individual had a prior California DUI. This is so because those who are charged with a DUI in the State of California are given an advisement known as the Watson Advisement that warns them of the dangers of drink and driving, including the possibility that driving while intoxicated can result in the death of another person.
As such, if an individual drives under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, and/or drugs and causes the death of another person, he will be charged with a Watson Murder because he has already been warned of the potential death that may occur as a result of driving under the influence.
So, how can the prosecution charge you with murder under California Penal Code Section 187 PC for accidentally killing a person while you were intoxicated?
The definition of murder in Los Angeles and throughout the State of California is a complex one, to say the least. The argument that is used to charge an individual with second-degree murder is that the defendant acted with such recklessness that he knew there was a great chance that driving while under the influence would cause the death of another person.
The Watson advisement comes into play here as it is used to prove that the defendant was aware of the high risk that drinking and driving or driving under the influence of marijuana or drugs can result in the death of another person, therefore, justifying the prosecution to charge the defendant with second-degree murder.
That said, if an individual was not given a Watson advisement and was not aware that driving under the influence, the prosecution typically brings manslaughter charges against a person who does not have a previous DUI conviction. The argument for a manslaughter charge is that the defendant acted with negligence or carelessness, but the carelessness did not amount to recklessness, which is required to convict an individual of a DUI murder.
So, if you have been charged with a Watson DUI murder, you should immediately contact an experienced Los Angeles DUI Murder Attorney to defend you. Having a good DUI murder lawyer at your side to argue that your murder charges, should at a minimum, be reduced to a manslaughter charge because rarely do people get behind the wheel with the specific intent to kill another person or cause them great bodily injury.
Most clients that we have defended may have been careless by drink and getting behind the wheel, but none of them had the intent to murder a person by drinking and driving. So, for the best possible Watson DUI Murder Defense, contact an experienced Watson DUI Murder Attorney to represent you and fight for you to either have the charges against you dismissed or reduced to a manslaughter charge, which is much more lenient when compared to a conviction for murder.
The bottom line is that for the prosecution to convict an individual for second-degree murder, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, and/or drugs with reckless disregard for human life. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney at The H Law Group is the best thing you can do to ensure a favorable outcome for your case.
What Must the Prosecution Prove to Convict an Individual of a Watson DUI Murder?
To convict an individual of a Watson DUI Murder, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant intentionally performed an act
- The defendant’s actions resulted in the death of another person
- The defendant consciously disregarded a high risk that his actions may result in the death of another person
For the prosecution to prove that you consciously disregarded a high risk that your actions may cause death, an individual must have had a previous DUI conviction where he attended DUI School and signed an advisement that you are aware that driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, and or drugs creates a high risk that your actions may cause the death of another person.
To convict you, the prosecution need not show that you had the specific intent to kill a person, rather, that you acted in such a reckless manner that you knew your actions could kill someone but proceeded to drive intoxicated.
So, if you have been charged with murder, you should immediately contact Los Angeles Watson DUI Murder Attorney at The H Law Group to defend you and keep you from going to prison for a very long period of time. We have the knowledge and experience to achieve the best possible results for you.
Penalties For a Watson DUI Murder Conviction
If the prosecution convicts a person of 2nd Degree Murder (Watson DUI Murder), an individual faces many consequences that we will discuss below. You should be aware that the following penalties are not exhaustive of the punishment you may face. The court can always add additional punishments. Here are some of the potential consequences of being convicted of a Watson murder:
- Fifteen (15) years to life in California State Prison
- A fine of up to $10,000
- A strike on your criminal record under California’s Three Strikes Law
- Formal Probation
- Restitution to any victims
- If any victims survive the accident, you could face additional enhancements
Watson DUI Murder Legal Defenses
For those charged with a DUI Murder, your attorney can make a variety of legal defenses to defend you, here are some of the defenses your attorney can make. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of the defenses your attorney can make.
- Intoxication – The first step our attorneys will make in defending you is to challenge the evidence of intoxication that the prosecution wants to use against you. We will do everything possible to create holes in the prosecution’s case by pointing out the inaccuracy of the chemical testing that the police performed.
- Illegal Search & Seizure – The second step is to challenge the stop and search in the constitutional grounds that the police violated your right to be free from illegal searches and seizures. If successful, your attorney may be able to have the evidence of intoxication thrown out and not used against you.
- Fault of Accident – The third step is to challenge the accident and show that you were not at fault for the accident that ended with the death of another person. For example, if the other driver involved in the accident violated a traffic law, such as changing lanes into your lane without signaling, he might be at fault, which means that you did not cause his death, but rather, the death was caused by his own negligence.
What is the Watson Admonition?
The Watson Admonition is a statement that every person who is charged with a DUI or Wet Reckless must sign acknowledging the risk that driving while intoxicated can result in the death of another person.
The Statement reads as follows: “You are being advised that being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs will impair your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Therefore, it is extremely dangerous to human life. If you continue to drive under the influence, and someone is killed; as a result, you can be charged with murder.”
The court mandates that individuals sign this agreement so that if they’re ever brought into court for killing another person while driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, the prosecution can bring murder charges instead of manslaughter charges.
This is so because the Watson Acknowledgement serves as proof that you were made aware of the dangers that driving under the influence poses. As such, you should not be surprised if you’re charged with murder.
If you have been charged with murder, you should contact an experienced Los Angeles DUI Murder Attorney to represent you and defend you.
What is Second Degree Murder?
Second-degree murder is a murder that’s committed from an extremely reckless act that makes it highly likely that the defendant’s action will result in the death of another person. Manslaughter, on the other hand, is defined as committing an act in a negligent manner, meaning acting in a careless manner that could result in the death of another person. The difference in definitions between manslaughter is the difference between an individual being charged with manslaughter vs second-degree murder.
Most DUI deaths in the State of California are charged as manslaughter unless the defendant has previously been convicted of a DUI and made aware of the potential consequences of driving while intoxicated. This is so because it’s careless to drive while intoxicated, which makes the appropriate charge a charge of manslaughter. However, it is extremely reckless to drive while intoxicated when you know that your actions are highly likely to cause the death of another person, making the appropriate charge a DUI murder charge (second-degree murder charge).
Contact an Experienced Watson DUI Murder Attorney Los Angeles
If you have been charged with a DUI Murder, you should immediately contact an experienced Los Angeles Watson DUI Murder Attorney in Los Angeles at The H Law Group to defend you and keep you from going to prison for the rest of your life. Our attorneys have handled this type of case, and so they have the knowledge and experience to best defend you and achieve a favorable outcome for you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.