While street racing has been glorified in the movies, it is a serious crime that can lead to serious consequences. A tragic accident that took place in Kansas earlier this week could have easily been cut and pasted to any Southern California street. And now one teenager could be facing murder charges.
Two cars were seen racing each other on Tuesday afternoon at high rates of speed. According to witnesses, the driver of one car lost control, crashed into a tree and ripped his car in half. His 17 year old passenger died at the scene.
Accidents like these happen all the time in Southern California and serve as a tragic reminder that the best case scenario if you are caught street racing is a reckless driving charge.
However, in cases like these, where someone dies, it is possible for prosecutors to pursue a second degree murder charge. Even the most talented murder defense attorney would likely only be able to plea a case like this down to vehicular manslaughter.
In order to prove 2nd degree murder, prosecutors would need to prove that the driver’s actions were perpetrated with a reckless disregard for human life and that a reasonable person would understand that their actions were a threat to human life.
If a person is convicted of second degree murder they could face up to 15 years in state prison. Even if they were to make a plea agreement and plead guilty to vehicular manslaughter they would face a maximum of 6 years in state prison.