Driving under the influence is already a serious offense in Florida, and if another person’s death was the result of DUI, then you could be facing a felony offense and stiff penalties.
Because of the loss of life in an accident, DUI manslaughter can be a traumatic experience for everyone involved. If you are being investigated for DUI manslaughter, it would be in your best interest to seek legal representation.
Attorney for DUI Manslaughter in Treasure Coast, FL
The sooner you start building your defense for a DUI manslaughter case, the better your chances of a favorable outcome in the courtroom. Meltzer & Bell has proven experienced defending clients of DUI manslaughter, and we will do everything in our power to achieve the best possible outcome in for your situation.
Call us today at (772) 291-2534 to schedule a free case consultation, or submit your information in the online contact form. Meltzer & Bell represents clients in counties along the Treasure Coast that include Martin and Saint Lucie.
Overview of DUI Manslaughter in Treasure Coast, FL
DUI manslaughter is not the same as murder since the driver had no intention of killing anyone. For starters, the driver must be operating a vehicle or in actual physical control while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance or a combination of both and they need to have a blood or breath alcohol level of 0.08 or higher.
Chapter 316.193 of the Florida Statutes deals with DUI and DUI manslaughter, and it defines the crime as causing the death of another when driving under the influence. The death can be of any human or unborn child.
If you are convicted of DUI manslaughter, you could be charged with a second-degree felony that is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of four years in prison. The crime is also punishable by the following penalties:
- Mandatory prison term of 4 years
- Up to 15 years in prison
- Up to 15 years of probation
- Permanent driver’s license revocation
- Up to $10,000 in fines
- Impoundment of the driver’s vehicle
- Complete a DUI substance abuse course
- Complete a psychosocial evaluation and substance abuse treatment.
If the driver is aware the crash occurred and fails to stop and render aid then the crime becomes a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The charges can be elevated depending on the number of lives lost, the BAC of the driver after the crash and the suspects driving and arrest record.
Because of the harsh sentencing in Florida and the nature of a manslaughter case, the best defense you can take is hiring an attorney who has proven experience in defending DUI manslaughter. Meltzer & Bell will work with you to devise the best defense strategy for your case. Listed below are some of the possible defenses that could be used:
Testing Errors: Field sobriety test have a large margin or error. The conditions under which the tests were given, a driver’s medical conditions, lack of coordination, fatigue, and physical limitations can all affect the test results.
Miranda Rights: If an officer failed to or improperly read the defendant their Miranda Rights, any incriminating statements made by the defendant during an arrest may be thrown out of court.
Implied Consent Warnings: When an officer administers a chemical test, they are required to warn the driver of the penalties for declining to take the test. If they failed to do so and did so improperly, the test results may be thrown out.
Other Motorist Driving Behavior: The driving behaviors of the other motorist, who may have contributed to the fatal accident, could be called into question.
Florida Statute 316.193 Driving Under the Influence– Visit Online Sunshine to read through the state statute that defines Florida’s DUI laws. The statute defines the penalties for DUI manslaughter and DUI as well as penalties for both crimes. Online Sunshine is the official website for the Florida Legislature.
Driver’s License Suspension and Revocations– Learn more about licenses suspensions and revocations in Florida. The page provides information on situations where your license could be suspended or relocated and how to get it reinstated. The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides the information and is responsible for conducting studies regarding highway safety which can also be found on the site.
Lawyer for DUI Manslaughter in Treasure Coast, FL
If you are being investigated for DUI manslaughter in the Treasure Coast area, it would be in your best interest to contact Meltzer & Bell as soon as possible. Our attorneys have experience defending DUI cases in Florida, and they will fight to protect your rights.
We represent clients in the counties along the Treasure Coast that include Martin and Saint Lucie. Call Meltzer & Bell today at (772) 291-2534 to schedule a free case consultation or submit your information in the online contact form.