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Woman accused of DUI and causing death pleads not guilty

A woman in California is accused of causing a vehicle collision in California due to driving while under the influence of marijuana. A passenger riding in an oncoming vehicle ended up dying in the crash. The alleged DUI accident occurred on a Sunday.

According to authorities, the woman had taken drugs before getting behind the wheel and crossing over a median that had been raised. The woman reportedly slammed into another car that a man, 49, was driving. The crash took place at around 5:30 p.m. The front-seat passenger in the man's car, 43, was transported to the hospital, but she passed away a couple of days later. Meanwhile, the man remained in intensive care at a hospital.

The woman who police said caused the accident suffered minor injuries in the wreck. At the time of the accident, the 33-year-old woman was actually on probation for driving under the influence. A marijuana pipe was allegedly found in her car following the collision. She pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder as well as other charges in connection with the accident and faces more than two decades to life behind prison bars if she is convicted.

Individuals accused of DUI in California have the right to go to trial to fight the charges aggressively. At trial, the prosecution must prove a DUI charge beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can be handed down. A person thought to have driven while under the influence may decide to take advantage of a plea deal, if offered by prosecutors, as a plea agreement might lead to a lighter sentence than what would typically result following a guilty finding at trial.

Source: Rancho Bernardo-4s Ranch Patch, "Murder, DUI Charges Filed in Fatal Scripps Ranch Crash", April 8, 2016

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