There is no doubt that accidents resulting in death have devastating and life-changing impacts for all parties involved. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV), in 2018, a staggering 3000 people died because of car accidents.
Even though there is often no intention to cause injury or death to others in an accident, this does not mean that you won’t be held liable. Your involvement in an accident may mean that you are held responsible, and therefore liable, for the damage and injury caused, which can result in serious penalties.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident that resulted in death in North Port, then it is strongly advised to seek legal advice from a criminal defense lawyer. At The Law Place, our team of attorneys has over 75 years of combined experience in handling a variety of cases like yours. Our personal injury attorneys will investigate the intricacies of your case and will be on hand to support and guide you through the legal process every step of the way. Our North Port phone lines are open 24/7, so call us today at (941) 444-4444 and receive a free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers.
Negligence Under Florida Law
When it comes to accidents that are unfortunate enough to result in death, negligence is often a major factor. Negligence can be defined as the failure to act or behave with the level of care that any reasonable person would have under similar circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions but can also consist of inaction where there is a duty to act.
If you are involved in an accident that resulted in death, then the prosecution will seek to establish that your actions were reckless, negligent, or that they showed a wanton disregard for the safety of others around you. In line with Florida law, it is a legal requirement for all citizens to act with a duty of care towards others, and any breach of this may result in criminal charges.
In order for the prosecution to achieve a successful conviction, they must prove a number of factors beyond a reasonable doubt. Such factors include
- The legal requirement to act with a duty of care – This legal duty states that a person must meet a certain standard of conduct in order to protect others.
- The breach of the legal requirement to act with a duty of care – This is the defendant’s failure to meet this standard of conduct.
- Causation – This is the connection between the injury or death of the victim and the defendant’s negligent actions.
- Damage and injury caused – This refers to the injury, damage, and loss that was caused as a result of this breach of the legal requirement to act with a duty of care.
Possible Penalties for an Accident Involving Death in North Port
Many factors are considered when it comes to establishing the charge that the accused should face. The court will consider any prior convictions as well as the circumstances surrounding the case. Depending on these factors, the accused may face any of the following charges:
- Third-degree felony – If you are convicted of a third-degree felony, then you will face up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 payable in fines.
- Second-degree felony – Punishments for a second-degree felony include up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
- First-degree felony – A first-degree felony conviction is the harshest charge that you may receive. If convicted, you will face punishments of up to 30 years behind bars and up to $10,000 payable in fines.
It is also worthwhile highlighting that according to Florida Statute 775.084, the Florida legal system operates under a recidivist sentencing scheme, more commonly known as ‘three strikes and you’re out.’ This means that if you have a prior criminal record or have previously been convicted, then you may find yourself facing even harsher penalties as a result.
Possible Defences for an Accident Involving Death in North Port
Cases involving death can often be complex, which is why it is strongly advised to seek legal representation from an adept accident attorney. An experienced car accident lawyer will work alongside you to tailor a strong defense strategy that can stand up in court and may even have your penalties reduced or eliminated. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, an experienced North Port accident lawyer may put forward any of the following defenses:
- Wrongfully accused – There may be evidence that proves you have been wrongfully accused of the crime.
- Comparative negligence – This refers to the contact of the deceased and if they were somehow partly responsible for their own death.
- No causation – There may be evidence that proves your actions did not cause the death of the deceased. The prosecution must establish a clear connection between your contact and the death that occurred due to the accident. If your lawyer is successful in finding weaknesses in their case, then your charges may be reduced or dismissed entirely.
- State of mind – There may be evidence to prove that you were not in the right state of mind at the time of the accident due to no fault of your own.
No matter the circumstances surrounding your arrest, at The Law Place, our personal injury lawyers are here to help and guide you through the legal process every step of the way. Call our offices in North Port today and arrange a free consultation with an adept attorney.
Call The Law Place Today!
If you have been unfortunate enough to be facing criminal charges for an accident that has resulted in death, then it is strongly advised to seek help from an adept lawyer. At The Law Place, we have a team of car accident lawyers with over 75 years of collective experience in handling cases like yours and defending the accused.
At The Law Place, we completely understand how daunting facing criminal charges can be, which is why we pride ourselves on developing transparent attorney-client relationships built on trust and honesty. Your lawyer will be there to support you every step of the way and will work to ensure you receive the best possible outcome. At our law firm, an experienced attorney will assess the intricacies of your case as well as any evidence being used against you and will work alongside you to tailor a defense strategy that may see your charges reduced or dropped entirely.
Our North Port phone lines are open around the clock, so you can call us at a time most convenient for you, and rest assured, a skilled car accident attorney will be on hand to offer valuable legal advice at no obligation. Contact our law firm today at (941) 444-4444 and arrange a free case evaluation with an adept attorney.