Fatal DUI Accident Argued Down To Misdemeanors

In California, a normal hit and run that does not involve injuries can be charged as a misdemeanor. However, if the accident involves injuries, it may be upgraded to a felony. Further, if that accident involves a DUI, the charges can be enhanced. If the driver is not intoxicated, felony hit-and-run can result in a prison sentence of up to a year in state prison or county jail. If those injuries are serious or result in death, that penalty is magnified to county jail for 90 days to a year or state prison for two to four years. Fox News reports on a DUI hit-and-run accident that resulted in a man avoiding the prison sentence.

49-year-old John Giumarra III was more than two times above the legal limit with a blood-alcohol content of 0.18 on January 17th of last year. This is when he crashed into 32-year-old Angela Holder as she rode her bicycle across the street.

Giumarra is the heir to a California vineyard. Holder was a mother of five. Holder died the following day from her injuries.

Initially, Giumarra was charged with felony hit-and-run in the case. Kern County Superior Court Judge Judith Dulcich reduced the charges that Giumarra faced to three misdemeanors.

Giumarra pleaded no contest to all three charges.

On Tuesday, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail which he will likely serve through work release. He will then have to serve five years of probation and perform 100 hours of community service. He will also have to pay $2018 in fines.

In addition, Giumarra, who has a history of driving offenses, including a wet-reckless charge, will be prohibited from drinking alcohol or going to bars during probation. He must also attend DUI school and install an ignition interlock device.

At the time of the accident, the prosecution admitted, Holder had been under the influence of methamphetamine and had not been using a crosswalk. She was also wearing dark clothing.


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