Los Angeles DUI attorneys are closely following the case of 25-year-old Yocio Jonathan Gomez, who received a lengthy sentence on Friday, July 11 for DUI conduct that killed two construction workers in 2012. The guilty verdict included two felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter and second-degree murder, for which Gomez will spend 34 years to life in prison.
On July 22, 2012, Gomez got behind the wheel of his Ford Explorer with a blood alcohol level of 0.21 percent, almost triple the legal limit of 0.08 percent in California. While driving approximately 90 miles per hour through a construction zone on the 405 Freeway in Torrance, Gomez struck another vehicle, pushing it into construction workers Ricardo Zamora and Ramon Lopez. The collision killed both men.
This arrest, Gomez’s third drunken driving offense, happened while he was serving probation for another offense, which likely contributed to the long length of his sentence. Another factor may have been his lack of emotion or remorse throughout the sentencing hearing, despite emotional testimony from the families of the deceased.
Under California law, second-degree murder charges for DUI drivers are rare and represent a profound disregard for the lives of others. While the standard sentence for such a conviction is 15 years to life in prison, this sentence is increased for each individual killed, and prior offenses do make a difference.
Based on the circumstances of this case, Gomez represents an anomaly among DUI drivers. While a rare number of individuals may act with blatant disregard for the safety of others, the vast majority of DUI drivers get behind the wheel without intending to harm anybody. However, all DUI drivers must take responsibility for their actions and the consequences that follow.
If you currently face Los Angeles DUI charges, you may feel remorseful and afraid. Kraut Law Group understands the complexities of California law and can help you form a strong legal defense. Contact us today for a free consultation regarding your case.