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Woman facing felony DUI charge after fatal crash

The California Highway Patrol believe that a pregnant Clovis woman may have been under the influence of alcohol when she caused an accident on May 20 that claimed the life of a 47-year-old man. The 23-year-old woman is said to be facing a raft of charges including felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter. Police also say that her license had previously been suspended due to a prior drunk driving conviction.

Reports indicate that the accident occurred at approximately 10:00 p.m. on Highway 41 in Madera County. Police say that the woman's sedan struck the rear of a Hummer H3 in the vicinity of Road 200 with such force that the driver of the heavy SUV lost control of his vehicle. The vehicle came to rest at the bottom of an embankment, and emergency responders worked for about an hour to free its trapped occupants.

A passenger in the SUV was declared dead at the scene. A helicopter was called in to transport the vehicle's badly injured driver to an area trauma center, and ambulances transported two women who had also been traveling in the SUV to nearby hospitals with what were described as moderate to major injuries. Police took the woman into custody after she had been medically evaluated. Officers claim that she was visibly intoxicated.

Motorists charged with felony DUI in California can face severe penalties, and this is particularly true if they cause an accident that results in death or serious injury. When the evidence against their clients is compelling, criminal defense attorneys may seek to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecutors involved. Prosecutors often work with a heavy caseload and are judged based upon their results, and they may agree to a more lenient sentence in return for a guilty plea even when their case is a strong one.

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