Last week in Santa Ana, an 18-year-old Lake Elsinore resident was driving on Ortega Highway in Orange County. Francisco Jesus Ochoa, 18, apparently did not possess a license to drive a motor vehicle and was uninsured. Ortega has been charged under the California Penal Code section 191.5 (a) vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, for the killing his friend while driving under the influence of prescription drugs and possession of a controlled substance.

The crash occurred in the early morning hours on Ortega Highway when the driver struck an oak tree. He was taken to the hospital with moderate injuries, while his passenger was pronounced dead at the scene. If convicted on all charges, he faces approximately 11 years in state prison.

Are you or a loved one facing similar charges? To prove that you are guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:

  1. You drove under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or a drug
  2. While driving that vehicle under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or a drug, you also committed a misdemeanor, infraction or otherwise lawful act that might cause death
  3. You committed the misdemeanor, infraction or otherwise lawful act that might cause death with gross negligence
  4. You grossly negligent conduct caused the death of another person.

Gross negligence involves more than ordinary carelessness, inattention, or mistake in judgment. A person acts with gross negligence when:

  1. He or she acts in a reckless way that creates a high risk of death or great bodily injury
  2. A reasonable person would have known that acting in that way would create such a risk.

Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated alone is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 4, 6, or 10 years.

If you or a loved one have been accused or charged with this crime in Orange County, it is very important that you speak with an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney immediately, like the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich. We have over 30 years of experienced handling this type of matter and can assist you in obtaining the best possible result. Call the law firm of Wallin& Klarich today at, (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your case.

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