The reason this case was transferred from the District Attorney’s Office to the City Attorney’s Office is because it appears that Goodman will not be charged with a felony in this matter. The City Attorney’s Office only files Misdemeanor complaints, and this implies that if charges get filed, they will not be felony charges for this fatality.
There may be various reasons for this decision by the District Attorney’s Office to transfer the case. One of the main reasons may due to information that suggests Oschin was not crossing the street at a legal crosswalk. This location was near a crosswalk, but since it appears Oschin was jaywalking, Goodman can’t be held criminally negligent, or even be considered the proximate cause for the accident. In order for the prosecutor to prove a violation of California Vehicle Code §§191.5(a), 191.5(b), or even 23153(a) or (b), which are the statutes for Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated, Gross Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated, and Driving Under the Influence Causing Injury, there must be evidence that the driver was the proximate cause of the accident.
If the driver was not the proximate cause of the accident, then the prosecutor can’t prove all of the elements of a felony DUI. A DUI attorney knows that it is critical to reconstruct the accident scene, whenever there is a fatal accident and alcohol may be involved. At The Law Office of Ben Mironer, we work with an accident reconstruction expert to examine and research the proximate cause of the accident, in all of our felony DUI cases. These cases take on a different tone because there are no winners and there is no glory, but there must be justice for all.