Deadly DUI Leads to Nearly Two Decades Behind Bars
If you think a DUI is just a slap on the wrist, a fine, and the inconvenience of losing your driver's license – think again. If you injure or kill another person in an accident while you are intoxicated, you could face incredibly severe penalties – including extended time in prison. Recently, a Santa Rosa man was sentenced to 19 years in prison for killing his passenger when he crashed into a tree while he was drunk.
Rafael Prieto-Gonzalez was sentenced to 19 years and 4 months in prison as part of the plea deal he agreed to in February. Prosecutors said that Rafael and his friend were in Rohnert Park when they lost control of the Ford Explorer they were driving and crashed into a tree on northbound Commerce Boulevard. The Ford Explorer was stolen. When he was arrested, his blood alcohol content was 0.17% - more than twice the legal limit. By law, he must serve at least 85% of his sentence before he is eligible for parole and once he is released, all future DUI offenses will be automatically felonies.
Originally, Rafael was charged with murder because he already had previous drunk driving convictions on his record. However, he agreed to plead no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, vehicle theft, and other allegations.
Getting a DUI is no longer a simple offense – especially if you are involved in an accident or someone is injured. If you injure or kill another person while under the influence of alcohol, you will likely face felony charges for vehicular manslaughter and your penalties will be severe.
The key to avoiding a lengthy prison sentence is to mount a swift and aggressive legal defense from the very start. The steps you take immediately after your arrest can have a significant impact on your ability to fight these charges and stay out of jail. At the Oakland Law Offices of Nabiel C. Ahmed, our Oakland DUI defense attorneys will fight aggressively for you and your freedom. From the moment you are arrested, we will investigate all aspects of your case and your arrest and expose the weaknesses in the prosecution's case against you.