Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is a charge that can be difficult for the prosecution to prove. It is also one of those charges that could be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. In order to be convicted, the prosecution must prove that a person unlawfully caused the death of another human, their actions were without malice, and that person was driving a vehicle. Additionally, the prosecution must prove that a law was broken and breaking this law caused the death or that the person was acting in a way that they knew was dangerous.
The Press Democrat reports on an accident where the prosecution is asking for an extension to gather more evidence to prove he was intoxicated.
Sonoma County prosecutors have asked a judge for a second extension in the case of 38-year-old Ignacio Valencia. Prosecutors are asking for additional time to determine if Valencia was intoxicated at the time of a crash that killed 25-year-old Troy Ersan.
The crash occurred on May 2 when Valencia swerved his Chevrolet Tahoe into oncoming traffic and hit Ersan’s Subaru Impreza head on. California Highway Patrol officers believe that Valencia was intoxicated at the time of the crash.
Valencia maintains that the accident was caused by equipment failure. He said that he hit 50 mph and his vehicle started to shake. He heard something snap and his vehicle veered into oncoming traffic.
Valencia has been convicted of six misdemeanors and one felony in Sonoma County since 2014. At the time of the accident, he was driving without a license. He most recently served 90 days in jail for driving without a license in January.
Valencia hopes that the next time he appears in court on June 14th, the investigation will have cleared him of being intoxicated.