Recently, a 22-year-old Fresno man was given a 10-year sentence in state prison after he was found to have participated in a street race that led to the death of one man and injured three others. The facts of the case show that Jesus Miguel Corrales was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash and he pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated for the crash that occurred in southwest Fresno in March of 2012.
In California, the crime of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated (Penal Code Section 191.5) is described as
(a) Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought, in the driving of a vehicle, where the driving was in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153 of the Vehicle Code, and the killing was either the proximate result of the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, and with gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence.
Under the law, if you are convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter in California, you face a prison sentence of 4, 6, or 10 years, depending on the specific facts of your case.
In this case, Corrales lost control of his 1993 Camaro, flipped the car several times and hit several mailboxes and fences. A passenger in the Camaro was Robert Vasquez, an 18-year-old who was sitting in the rear seat, not wearing a seatbelt, was thrown from the car and killed. The scene of the accident was near California and Hughes avenues. California Highway Patrol stated that this area is known in the community as a street racing area.
At Corrales' sentencing, another man who was injured in the accident, asked for leniency for Corrales. Marcos Estrada is a friend of Corrales and pleaded with the court to give Corrales a second chance. “We all make mistakes; we are not perfect,” Estrada said.
Although Judge Jon Nick Kapetan noted the compassion from the victims and their families, Corrales would not get off easy. He was, in fact, awaiting trial on a previous drug charge when the crash happened. Although this was a tragic accident, the court could not ignore the fact that Corrales has had previous trouble with the law in Fresno.
Both the prosecution and the defense stated the difficulties involved when an accident involves friends and families. Defense counsel recognized the fact that Corrales “was very remorseful for the action that led to the death of his friend.” In addition to the ten-year sentence he received, Corrales must also reimburse the Vasquez family for funeral costs. He did receive credit for the 1,440 days he has already served in the Fresno County Jail.
When dealing with DUI or other alcohol-related charges, it is vital that you consult with an experienced defense attorney in the Fresno area. DUI charges can lead to serious penalties and it is in your best interest to work with someone who has the proper experience and background.