CALCRIM No. 595. Vehicular Manslaughter: Speeding Laws Defined

Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2020 edition)

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595.Vehicular Manslaughter: Speeding Laws Defined
<A. Violation of Maximum Speed Law, Veh. Code, § 22349>
[To prove that the defendant committed a violation of the maximum
speed law, the People must prove that:
1. The defendant drove a vehicle on a highway;
AND
2. The defendant drove faster than (65/55/ <insert other
posted speed limit>) mph.
[The term highway describes any area publicly maintained and open to
the public for purposes of vehicular travel and includes a street.]]
<B. Violation of Basic Speed Law, Veh. Code, § 22350>
[To prove that the defendant committed a violation of the basic speed
law, the People must prove that:
1. The defendant drove a vehicle on a highway;
AND
2. The defendant drove (faster than a reasonable person would have
driven considering the weather, visibility, traffic, and conditions
of the highway/ [or] at a speed that endangered the safety of
other people or property).
The speed of travel, alone, does not establish whether a person did or
did not violate the basic speed law. When determining whether the
defendant violated the basic speed law, consider not only the speed, but
also all the surrounding conditions known by the defendant and also
what a reasonable person would have considered a safe rate of travel
given those conditions.
[The term highway describes any area publicly maintained and open to
the public for purposes of vehicular travel and includes a street.]]
<C. Violation of Prima Facie Speed Law, Veh. Code, §§ 22351, 22352>
[To prove that the defendant committed a violation of the prima facie
speed law, the People must prove that:
1. The defendant drove a vehicle on a highway;
2. The defendant drove faster than (15/25) mph;
[AND]
3. The defendant drove <insert appropriate description
389
from Veh. Code, § 22352 of area where alleged violation
occurred>(;/.)
[AND
4. The defendant’s rate of speed was faster than a reasonable
person would have driven considering the weather, visibility,
traffic, and conditions of the highway.]
[The term highway describes any area publicly maintained and open to
the public for purposes of vehicular travel and includes a street.]
[When determining whether the defendant drove faster than a
reasonable person would have driven, consider not only the speed, but
also all the surrounding conditions known by the defendant and also
what a reasonable person would have considered a safe rate of travel
given those conditions.
The People have the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that
the defendant’s rate of travel was not reasonable given the overall
conditions, even if the rate of travel was faster than the prima facie
speed law. If the People have not met this burden, you must find the
defendant did not violate the prima facie speed law.]]
New January 2006
BENCH NOTES
Instructional Duty
In a vehicular manslaughter case, the court has a sua sponte duty instruct on the
elements of the predicate misdemeanors or infractions alleged. (People v. Ellis
(1999) 69 Cal.App.4th 1334, 1339 [82 Cal.Rptr.2d 409].) This instruction covers
some of the more common infractions alleged. The court must give all appropriate
instructions defining the element of vehicular manslaughter with this instruction.
When instructing on the prima facie speed law, insert the appropriate description of
where the defendant was driving when the alleged violation occurred. If the
defendant presents evidence that the rate of travel was not in violation of the basic
speed law even though in violation of the prima facie speed law, give bracketed
element 4 and the two bracketed paragraphs that begin, “When determining whether
the defendant drove faster than a reasonable person.”.(Veh. Code, §§ 22351, 22352.)
The court should define the term highway; however, it need only be defined once. If
the court instructs on multiple Vehicle Code sections, give the bracketed definition
of highway at the end of the last Vehicle Code section instructed on.
AUTHORITY
• Maximum Speed Law. Veh. Code, § 22349.
• Basic Speed Law. Veh. Code, § 22350.
CALCRIM No. 595 HOMICIDE
390
• Prima Facie Speed Law. Veh. Code, §§ 22351, 22352.
• Highway Defined. Veh. Code, § 360.
• Duty to Instruct on Elements of Predicate Offense. People v. Ellis (1999) 69
Cal.App.4th 1334, 1339 [82 Cal.Rptr.2d 409].
SECONDARY SOURCES
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Crimes Against Public
Peace and Welfare, § 320.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 142, Crimes
Against the Person, § 142.02[2][c], [3][b], Ch. 145, Narcotics and Alcohol Offenses,
§ 145.02[1][d] (Matthew Bender).
596-599. Reserved for Future Use
HOMICIDE CALCRIM No. 595
391

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