April 20, 2009 By Wallin & Klarich

According to an article in the Los Angeles times, a Coast Mesa man, Jeffery David Kirby, 51, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and vehicular manslaughter and DUI in California for his roll in the death of a well-known mixed-martial-arts figure who died after his Ferrari spun into a light pole in Newport Beach. Charles David Lewis Jr. – who is best known in mixed martial arts fighting circles as “Mask” was pronounced dead at the scene. Lewis was the owner of multimillion-dollar apparel company TapOuT.

Kirby was speeding in his 1977 Porsche in Newport Beach when he lost control and crashed into Lewis’ 2004 Ferrari. This caused Lewis’ car to veer into a light pole. The two were driving rapidly before the collision, but it was not immediately clear whether they were racing. Although Kirby initially left the scene of the Orange County hit and run accident, he was soon apprehended and arrested with a blood alcohol level of 0.13, well above the legal limit of 0.08.

According to the report, Kirby had prior convictions for driving under the influence in 1985 and 2002. If convicted, he could face up to 19 years and eight months in prison.

A vehicular manslaughter conviction with a drunk driving offense in California can result in the most serious of penalties, including significant jail time, fines, restitution to the deceased’s family, probation and suspension of your California driver’s license.

It is important to realize that although vehicular manslaughter charges are serious, they do not always result in a felony conviction. Misdemeanor charges of vehicular manslaughter with DUI can result in up to a year of time served in the county jail; while felony charges can escalate time served to up to four years in a state prison. In addition, the state imposes significant penalties such as license restrictions or suspensions, community service, probation, etc….

The skilled California vehicular manslaughter defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are not intimidated by a vehicular manslaughter and DUI case. Our long-standing track record and deep knowledge of the DUI field enables us to aggressively defend our client’s rights. If you would like to set up an appointment with one of our attorneys, just call 1-888-280-6839, or visit our website, www.wklaw.com for more information.

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