Though it may sound like it, under California law, DUI murder is not a separate murder charge. It is a regular second-degree murder charge under California Penal Code 187. Second-degree murder does not mean that you intentionally killed another person. Instead, it means that you acted with implied malice, meaning that your actions implied a callous disregard for the life of another person. Typically, a DUI that ends in a fatality is charged as a manslaughter charge. However, if there are previous DUI convictions or a DUI is especially egregious, a prosecutor may attempt to prove that a DUI involving a fatality was a DUI murder.
KTLA reports on a deadly crash where an allegedly intoxicated driver may be facing murder charges.
28-year-old Vincent Michael Calvo of Buena Park is facing possible murder charges and is currently behind bars on $4 million bail. His first court hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, but no charges have been filed. According to police, Calvo may be facing murder charges in an accident where he was allegedly driving under the influence.
Calvo was arrested following a deadly crash that occurred last Sunday in Santa Ana. Four people were killed in the accident when Calvo, who was behind the wheel of a Jeep, ran a red light. He then broadsided a pickup truck in which the four victims were traveling.
After the collision, the pickup truck caught fire with the victims inside. An off-duty firefighter arrived on scene and while his wife attempted to render aid to one of the victims, he tried to put out the blaze.
By the time that emergency responders arrived, all four victims were unresponsive. They were pronounced dead at the scene.
Calvo suffered from only minor injuries. Police allege that Calvo “appeared to be extremely impaired” at the scene. He was treated at a hospital before being arrested on suspicion of DUI.