“Negligence” is a term regularly used in the world of Florida civil law. It is defined as “the failure to behave using a reasonable degree of care,” and every person is expected to act as any reasonable person would in the same scenario. If you believe you or a family member have been the victim of a violation of civil law that has involved somebody being accused of negligence, then we recommend contacting our lawyers as soon as possible – especially if the term “culpable negligence” has been mentioned in relation to your case.
Culpable negligence is a lot more serious than a simple failure to exercise appropriate care for others and is instead recognized by a complete disregard for the safety of individuals by acting recklessly and without caution. If you have been accused of culpable negligence or have suffered because of somebody else’s failure to act reasonably, then contact a criminal defense lawyer from The Law Place today! Our St. Petersburg team possesses 75 years of combined experience in dealing with cases such as your own, so you can be confident we have all of the knowledge and experience needed to help you get the best possible result.
What Is the Aim of Florida’s Culpable Negligence Statute?
The Florida Supreme Court has claimed that the aim of Florida Statute 784.05 (Florida’s statute regarding culpable negligence) is to suitably punish any behavior that has caused an “unreasonably significant risk of harm to others.” The Florida Supreme Court has defined culpable negligence on multiple occasions and recognizes it as “a form of conduct that shows reckless disregard for human life, the safety of other persons, or conduct showing an entire lack of care, which raises a presumption of indifference to the consequences.” It is an extremely serious offense that the Supreme Court takes very seriously.
For a free legal consultation with a culpable negligence lawyer serving St. Petersburg, call 941-444-4444
Duty of Care in a St. Petersburg Negligence Cases
The term “duty of care” is another concept that is regularly mentioned within the field of civil law, and it is not something that should be solely considered within the world of culpable negligence. You may have heard this term mentioned in cases such as medical malpractice, or if there has been a car accident, all of these cases will focus heavily on if the defendant owed a duty of care.
A duty of care is something that every single individual will automatically owe to the people that are around them, an example being all doctors will owe a duty of care to all of their patients. A duty of care represents all of the legal responsibilities an individual has in order to protect the people surrounding them from harm. This harm relates to actions or the inability to act. An example of a duty of care in action would be that a driver on the road owes a duty of care to every other driver as well as any pedestrians to drive sensibly and to follow all of the rules of the road. This, in theory, should prevent anybody from being injured or fatalities. Duty of care is a nationwide concept, and it is not solely limited to Florida law.
If an individual has violated their specific duty of care, this breach has caused injuries or damage, and this requires compensation, then the individual will more than likely be found liable for any of the resulting personal injury, property damage, or fatality resulting from their negligence. Regular negligence will move to culpable negligence if the defendant continues with the reckless breach of their duty of care despite there being an obviously foreseeable element of recklessness. If somebody is accused of culpable negligence, then it is very unlikely they’ll be able to argue they were not aware of the risks surrounding their actions. This is due to the fact the law in St. Petersburg states that culpable negligence will involve a scenario whereby the defendant should be aware that they are carrying out an action of recognizable risk.
If you have breached your duty of care or have suffered because of somebody else breaching their duty, then do not hesitate to contact the St. Petersburg lawyers at our law firm. Our lawyers have years of experience in dealing with cases such as your own and are more than ready to help you with your case.
St. Petersburg Culpable Negligence Lawyer Near Me 941-444-4444
What Are the Different Types of Culpable Negligence in St. Petersburg, FL?
Throughout St. Petersburg and Florida as a whole, there is a multitude of scenarios and events that a culpable negligence case could be found within. Some of the most common examples of this type of negligence are as follows:
- Neglect of the elderly or disabled – Many people could be considered responsible for the well-being and safety of an elderly and/or disabled person. This could be a relative, partner, friend, or somebody employed to do so (e.g., a carer or nurse). These individuals can face charges of culpable negligence if they are discovered to have willfully neglected a disabled or elderly individual, and in doing so, their actions (or failure to act) caused the victim to suffer from permanent disfigurement, permanent disability, or grievous bodily harm. Florida law states that a crime of this degree against an elderly or disabled person can be classified as a second-degree felony in most cases.
- Firearms within reach of a child – If an individual has been found to have left an operational firearm within reach of a child, and subsequently this firearm is then discharged, causing an injury or fatality (either to the child or another person), then the person who left that firearm out will be charged. This offense will most likely lead to you being charged with a second-degree felony charge in St. Petersburg, FL.
- Neglect of a child – Child neglect is another example of culpable negligence. As with the elderly and disabled, many people can be responsible for the well-being and safety of a child. This could be a parent or guardian at home or someone in a place of work (e.g., a babysitter or teacher). These individuals could face a culpable negligence charge if they are proven to have willfully neglected the child, and with this neglect, they have caused permanent disfigurement, permanent disability, or grievous bodily harm. Florida law classifies this crime as a second-degree felony.
- Medical malpractice – Medical malpractice is when a medical professional (e.g., a doctor or nurse) demonstrates negligence that leads to the serious injury or death of a patient. Examples of this include improper medicine prescriptions or preventable birth injuries.
If you or a loved one have suffered because of any of the aforementioned crimes, then call us to contact a free case evaluation. Our lawyers will be able to provide you with the suitable legal advice needed to understand your claim.
What Are the Potential Charges Following a Culpable Negligence Case in St. Petersburg, FL?
Culpable negligence crimes will result in different levels of consequences and are categorized into three specific charges. The consequence you face will depend heavily on the severity of your actions, whether or not the victim(s) suffered an injury or fatality, and to what severity any injuries were.
The potential charges and their resulting consequences are as follows:
Second Degree Misdemeanor Negligence Charges
If the victims in the case have suffered a personal injury or property damage due to the culpable negligence demonstrated by the defendant, then the accused could be facing a second-degree misdemeanor charge. This is the least severe conviction of the three, but it can still result in some serious consequences.
A second-degree misdemeanor culpable negligence conviction may lead to:
- A maximum of 60 days prison time.
- Up to $500 in fines.
First-Degree Misdemeanor Negligence Charges
If the defendant has inflicted actual or severe personal injury on the victims because of their negligent act, then they may be convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor charge.
If somebody has committed a first-degree misdemeanor charge, then they could be punished by:
- A maximum stay of one year in prison.
- Up to $1,000 in fines.
Felony Negligence Charges
In some cases, a culpable negligence charge in St. Petersburg can be classified as a felony charge. This is a conviction that is considered to be much more serious than any misdemeanor. Examples of cases that could lead to a felony conviction are cases of neglect (especially when young children are involved), where this neglect has resulted in serious bodily harm or death. Cases like this will often be classified as a second-degree felony.
If somebody has committed a second-degree felony charge, then they could be punished by:
- A maximum stay of fifteen years in prison.
- Up to $10,000 in fines.
- There are added consequences that follow being labeled as a felon. A felony conviction can severely impact a person’s employability and make it a lot harder to find worthwhile employment in the future, e.g., it is likely you will not be able to work with the vulnerable (children or elderly).
If the crime is serious enough that it caused the death of an individual, then this could result in the defendant being charged with even more serious crimes such as manslaughter or vehicular homicide. The team of lawyers at our firm have years of experience in the legal field and possess the skills necessary to help overcome these charges.
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What About Manslaughter Crimes in St. Petersburg, FL?
If your instance of culpable negligence was so severe that it resulted in the death of another person, whether that be a relative, friend, child, or complete stranger, then it is possible you will be facing a manslaughter conviction.
If you are charged with manslaughter, this will be classified as a second-degree felony in St. Petersburg. Whilst it is not as legally serious as a murder conviction, it is still severe. The grounds needed to successfully prove a manslaughter charge are that the defendant had to have shown a level of recklessness that illustrated a disregard for the life of another. A manslaughter charge will most likely rely on a complete display of indifference towards the outcome of actions that are labeled as reckless. The defendant also has to have clearly violated the duty of care that they owe to those around them.
The most common ways a person can receive a manslaughter charge in St. Petersburg are as follows. You may notice many of these involve a motor vehicle.
- Driving whilst under the influence – This is also known as a DUI and is when a driver is on the road whilst being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. This is one of the leading causes of negligent manslaughter cases. When a person is under the influence, their reaction times are reduced, and the likelihood of reckless driving increases. This can heighten the risk of an accident and the risk of a fatality.
- Fleeing from police persecution – In cases that involve the individual fleeing from the law in a high-speed pursuit, it is likely that they could lose vehicular control and cause a car accident. Car accidents can commonly cause a loss of life.
- Driving recklessly – Reckless driving is a very common offense that can cause a driver to inadvertently cause a loss of life, e.g., speeding, not paying attention, or ignoring stop signs.
Potential Defenses Following a Culpable Negligence Charge in St. Petersburg, FL.
As with any civil and criminal case, there will be certain legal precedents and different approaches when going about how to defend somebody accused of culpable negligence in St. Petersburg. A criminal defense lawyer will base their defense on the specific details of your case. But to get a basic idea of how a criminal defense argument may work, here are some important factors:
- Foreseeability – If the risk that caused the damage was not actually easily foreseeable, then this fact could be used as a defense.
- Responsibility of the victims – If the victim was also acting in a way that was careless, reckless, or creating unnecessary risks, then it could be argued that the defendant is not solely to blame.
- State of mind of the defendant – If it can be argued that the defendant was not of fit or sound mind when the crime occurred, then this could be used as a defense as they were unable to act in a way that would be expected.
The St. Petersburg lawyers at our law firm will be able to give you a better idea of possible defenses in your free consultation. Call us today to get your free consultation arranged!
Contact a St. Petersburg, Florida, Lawyer from The Law Place Today!
If you have been involved in a case of culpable negligence in St. Petersburg, FL., contact The Law Place today. The St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyers at our law firm have 75 years of combined experience in dealing with cases such as your own and will do everything in our power to help you get your charges reduced.
Contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation with our injury lawyers. Call us using our toll-free phone number at (941) 444-4444. Phone lines are open 24/7!