Negligence is defined as the failure to behave with a level of care that another reasonable person would have exercised in the same scenario, and it is a prevalent issue in the field of civil law. If you or a loved one have been involved in a civil case involving an accusation of negligence, then legal aid is recommended, especially if the term culpable negligence has been used.
Culpable negligence is arguably more severe than a regular negligent act because of the fact it does not simply mean one has failed to exercise a reasonable level of care to those around them. Instead, it is defined as demonstrating a complete disregard for other people’s safety through the undertaking of reckless actions with no reasonable awareness of caution. For instance, it could be the case that the accused had willingly and consciously taken part in the act of negligence that they knew would likely result in the injury or even wrongful death of another person.
This form of negligence is recognized as the highest level of negligence classified under Florida law. For this reason, if you or somebody you know has recently been accused of culpable negligence in Clearwater, it is best to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Here at The Law Place, our team has a combined 75 years of experience in dealing with cases such as your own. Our wealth of skills, knowledge, and experience can greatly aid in the success of your case.
Our practice areas reach across the State of Florida, so do not hesitate to contact us. To organize a free consultation with an attorney at our Clearwater law firm, call (941) 444-4444 today. Our phone lines are open 24/7.
Duty of Care in a Clearwater, FL., Culpable Negligence Case.
The concept of a duty of care is very important in the field of law and is not something that is considered specific to culpable negligence only. It is a key notion used in most, if not all, civil personal injury cases. For example, cases of medical malpractice and car collisions can all be related to the importance of a duty of care.
The duty of care, in law, is something that every person will automatically owe to the other people who surround them, for example, the duty owed to a patient by their doctor. The concept represents the relevant legal responsibilities a person possesses to protect the people around them from harm resulting from their own actions or inactions. An example of a duty of care in action would be if somebody was driving on the road, they would have a duty of care to drive their car sensibly and following all rules of the road so that nobody is injured. This concept is recognized across all of America, not only the State of Florida.
If a person violates their duty of care, then they will have demonstrated negligence and will most likely be found liable for any personal injury, property damage, or death because of their actions. Regular negligence will become culpable negligence if the defendant has continued with the dangerous breach of their duty of care despite there clearly being a foreseeable risk of recklessness. Anybody accused of culpable negligence will most likely be unable to argue they were ignorant of the risks. This is because Florida law dictates that culpable negligence involves a situation where the defendant should be aware they are entering into a recognizably great risk.
If you have breached your duty of care, leading to a negligent act, then contact our law firm today. Criminal defense lawyer at The Law Place will be more than prepared to help you with the details of your case.
Florida Statutes Related to Culpable Negligence Cases
Any laws surrounding the act of culpable negligence in Florida can be located in Florida Statute 784.05.
The Supreme Court has also defined this offense as any conduct showing “reckless disregard for human life, or for the safety of other persons,” or conduct showing an “entire lack of care, which raises a presumption of indifference to the consequences.”
Potential Consequences Following a Culpable Negligence Case in Clearwater, Florida
There are different levels of consequences following a case of culpable negligence. The consequences that follow an instance of culpable negligence will depend heavily on the severity of the actions of the defendant, whether somebody sustained a personal injury, and how severe the injury was.
Below are the consequences that follow the different types of convictions:
A Second-Degree Misdemeanor Conviction
If another person has suffered a personal injury or property damage because of the culpable negligence of the accused, then the person who was negligent could face a second-degree misdemeanor charge. This is the least severe conviction, but it still has serious consequences.
A second-degree misdemeanor for a culpable negligence conviction could result in:
- Up to $500 in fines.
- A maximum of 60 days in prison.
A First-Degree Misdemeanor Conviction
A first-degree misdemeanor conviction could be placed upon a defendant if, because of their negligence, they inflicted personal injury onto somebody else around them.
If somebody has been convicted with a first-degree misdemeanor charge, the consequences could be:
- Up to $1,000 in fines.
- A maximum of one year in prison.
A Felony Conviction
It is possible that a charge of culpable negligence in Clearwater, Florida, could result in a felony charge. This is a crime regarded as more serious than a misdemeanor.
The circumstances that can lead to a felony conviction are often very case-specific. For instance, cases of neglect, especially that of children, that then results in serious bodily harm could then lead to a second-degree felony charge. A second-degree felony conviction of this type could result in:
- Up to $10,000 in fines.
- A maximum of fifteen years of jail time.
- The additional consequences that come with the label of a felon. Such a label can seriously impact your employability and make it much harder to seek gainful employment in the future.
If the case was serious enough to lead to the death of another, then this could then lead to the defendant being charged with even more severe charges, such as vehicular homicide or manslaughter. The lawyers at our law firm possess skills and experience that can greatly aid in overcoming these charges.
The Different Types of Culpable Negligence Cases as Seen in Clearwater, FL.
In the State of Florida, there are multiple different events and situations that could be classed as culpable negligence. Some of the most common examples of this include, but are not limited to:
- Neglecting the elderly or disabled – Often, the instances of these charges are associated with cases involving hospitals, specialist facilities, and nursing homes. Anyone that is responsible for the safety and well-being of an elderly/disabled person could face such charges. A successful conviction of negligence will be based upon evidence of neglect that has caused the elderly and/or disabled person to suffer permanent disfigurement, disability, or any serious bodily harm. The State of Florida considers the neglect of the elderly or disabled to be a second-degree felony, whether the abuse was at home, in a nursing home, or in any other setting.
- Neglecting a child – Understandably, the charges that follow leaving a child in a position of serious risk of neglect are similarly severe. If the defendant was responsible for the safety and well-being of the child in a work setting, their home environment, or whilst carrying out childcare, then they could face charges of neglect if the child receives a permanent disfigurement, disability, or actual bodily harm. Similarly, this offense is a second-degree felony charge across Florida.
- Firearms within reach of children – If a person has left an operational firearm within a child’s reach, and then this firearm is discharged, causing an injury or loss of life, the person who left that firearm out could be charged. This instance of culpable negligence could lead to a third-degree felony charge in Florida.
If you or somebody you know has been involved in a case similar to those described above, then do not hesitate to contact a criminal defense attorney from our Clearwater, FL., law firm. A lawyer at The Law Place will be more than happy to discuss your case with you in an initial free consultation.
Culpable Negligence Manslaughter in Clearwater, Florida
If the case of gross negligence is severe enough to have resulted in the loss of another person’s life, be that a relative, friend, or a stranger, then the defendant could be facing a manslaughter charge.
A manslaughter charge of this kind is classed as a second-degree felony in Clearwater, FL. The circumstances needed to be proved for a manslaughter charge of this type is that somebody has displayed a reckless disregard for the life of somebody else. Such charges rest heavily on a complete display of indifference towards the consequences of actions that can be considered reckless. Therefore, the defendant in question will have violated their duty of care regarding the rights of those around them.
Below is a list discussing the most common ways in which defendants in Clearwater, FL., have received a manslaughter charge. It is common to find that a motor vehicle has been involved in such cases.
- Fleeing from the law – In the case that the accused was involved in a high-speed pursuit when fleeing from law enforcement, they could lose control of the vehicle or drive recklessly. This negligence could then lead to a loss of life.
- Driving whilst intoxicated – Cases involving somebody driving under the influence are another leading cause in negligent manslaughter cases. When under the influence of drugs or alcohol, reaction times are slowed, and recklessness is increased. This heightens the chance of an accident and loss of life.
- Driving recklessly – Reckless driving can create multiple ways that the negligent actions of a driver could inadvertently lead to a wrongful loss of life.
Common Defenses Available in a Culpable Negligence Case in Clearwater, Florida
As with most criminal and civil offenses, there are legal precedents and several different approaches when defending someone accused of culpable negligence in Clearwater, Florida. A criminal defense lawyer will heavily base their defense around the specific details of your case, but some common defenses would consider the following factors:
- State of mind of the accused – If it could be argued that the defendant was not in a fit state or sound of mind when the negligent act occurred, then it can then be argued that they were unable to act in the way that would be expected.
- Foreseeability – If the risk that led to the damage, personal injury, or loss of life was not actually easily foreseeable, then this could be argued as a defense.
- Responsibility of the victim – If the defendant was acting in a way that was reckless, careless, or creating undue risks, then the defendant could argue that they were not the only person in the wrong.
Following your free case evaluation and subsequent meetings discussing your case, a criminal defense lawyer from The Law Place in Clearwater, FL., will ensure that every piece of information you provide will be used to further your case and ensure the very best defense. Call our law firm today if you are seeking legal aid.
Average Cost for a Criminal Defense Attorney at a Clearwater Law Firm
A culpable negligence case can lead to a wide range of possible fines. Because of this potential cost, many people accused of negligence falsely believe that they cannot afford legal representation or, alternatively, that it is not worth the cost. This is far from the actual truth. Instead, in many cases, the damages of a successful conviction will heavily outweigh the cost of legal representation in financial terms. This is without considering other losses, such as the loss of your own freedom that a jail sentence would cause.
Here at The Law Place, our law firm strongly believes in ensuring our team is wholeheartedly open and transparent with something as important as legal fees. Whilst our firm cannot give you a quote here due to the case-by-case basis surrounding legal fees, we will be able to give you a direct quote after your free consultation and case evaluation.
Contact an Attorney at The Law Place Today!
If you or somebody you know are currently facing a culpable negligence charge in Clearwater, Florida, then do not hesitate to get into contact with a lawyer from our law firm as soon as possible. Our law firm possesses a combined 75 years of experience in Florida law, and many lawyers at our firm are AVVO rated 10.0, so you can be confident that your case is in experienced hands. Our team can offer a dedicated attorney-client relationship from your very first free consultation.
Contact The Law Place today to get in contact with a lawyer from our Clearwater law firm. Contact our law firm today using our toll-free number, (941) 444-4444. Phone lines are open 24/7.