The definition of Vehicular Manslaughter is causing the death of another person while driving a vehicle. However if a person was in the act of commission of a felony and killed someone while driving a car, that person would be charged with Murder. If the vehicular manslaughter was committed while under the influence of alcohol or drugs the charge would be Gross Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated. Examples of Vehicular Manslaughter with Gross Negligence are talking on a cell phone (an illegal act), losing control of the car and killing a passenger or driving a car at excessive speeds killing a passenger or another driver or scaring a person with erratic or threatening driving causing a heart attack and death.
What does the prosecutor have to prove?
1. A human being was killed.
2. The killing was unlawful.
3. Defendant drove a vehicle in the commission of a lawful act not amounting to a felony and with gross negligence. or
4. Defendant drove a vehicle in the commission of a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence. [Cal Crim No. 592]
Misdemeanor: 0-364 days