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AB-1555 Vehicular manslaughter: great bodily injury: driving while using wireless device.(2013-2014)

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CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1555


Introduced by Assembly Member Frazier

January 27, 2014


An act to amend Section 193 of the Penal Code, and to amend Sections 21070 and 42001.19 of the Vehicle Code, relating to vehicles.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1555, as introduced, Frazier. Vehicular manslaughter: great bodily injury: driving while using wireless device.
(1) Existing law makes it an infraction to drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless the telephone is designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking. Existing law makes it an infraction to drive a motor vehicle while using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication, unless the wireless communications device is designed and configured to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation. Existing law makes it an infraction for a person under the age or 18 years to drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone, even if equipped with a hands-free device, or while using a mobile service device.
Under existing law, vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence is punishable either by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year or by imprisonment in the state prison for 2, 4, or 6 years. Under existing law, vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year.
This bill would make vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence committed during the course of a violation of the above prohibitions on driving a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone, electronic wireless communications device, or mobile service device, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for 16 months, or 2 or 3 years, and would make vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence under these circumstances punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 4, 6, or 10 years. By increasing the punishment for a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) Under existing law, any driver who violates certain specified provisions of law, including the above prohibitions on driving a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone, electronic wireless communications device, or mobile service device, and as a result of that violation proximately causes bodily injury or great bodily injury is guilty of the public offense of unsafe operation of a motor vehicle with bodily injury or great bodily injury. Under existing law, a violation involving bodily injury is punishable by a fine of $70, and a violation involving great bodily injury is punishable by a fine of $95.
This bill would make unsafe operation of a motor vehicle with bodily injury or great bodily injury involving a violation of the above prohibitions on driving a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone, electronic wireless communications device, or mobile service device punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than 30 days, but not more than 6 months, and a fine not to exceed $1,000 for a violation involving bodily injury, and by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than 90 days, but not more than one year, and a fine not to exceed $1,000 for a violation involving great bodily injury. By increasing the punishment for a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 193 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

193.
 (a) Voluntary manslaughter is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 3, 6, or 11 years.
(b) Involuntary manslaughter is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, three, or four years.
(c) Vehicular manslaughter is punishable as follows:

(1)A

(1) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a violation of paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 192 is punishable either by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year or by imprisonment in the state prison for two, four, or six years.
(B) A violation of paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 192 committed in the course of a violation of Section 23123, 23123.5, or 23124 of the Vehicle Code is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for four, six, or 10 years.

(2)A

(2) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 192 is punishable by imprisonment in the a county jail for not more than one year.
(B) A violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 192 committed in the course of a violation of Section 23123, 23123.5, or 23124 of the Vehicle Code is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for 16 months, or two or four years.
(3) A violation of paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) of Section 192 is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 4, 6, or 10 years.

SEC. 2.

 Section 21070 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

21070.
 Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a driver who violates any provision of this division, that is punishable as an infraction, and as a result of that violation proximately causes bodily injury or great bodily injury, as defined in Section 12022.7 of the Penal Code, to another person is guilty of the public offense of unsafe operation of a motor vehicle with bodily injury or great bodily injury. That violation is punishable as an infraction pursuant to Section 42001.19.

SEC. 3.

 Section 42001.19 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

42001.19.
 Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person convicted of a violation of Section 21070 is punishable, as follows:

(a)For

(a) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), for a violation involving bodily injury, by a fine of seventy dollars ($70).
(2) For a violation involving bodily injury committed in the course of a violation of Section 23123, 23123.5, or 23124, by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than 30 days, but not to exceed six months, and by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000).

(b)For

(b) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), for a violation involving great bodily injury, as defined in Section 12022.7 of the Penal Code, by a fine of ninety-five dollars ($95).
(2) For a violation involving great bodily injury, as defined in Section 12022.7 of the Penal Code, committed in the course of a violation of Section 23123, 23123.5, or 23124, by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than 90 days, but not to exceed one year, and by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000).

SEC. 4.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.