In Florida, there are over nearly 14.2 million residents who are registered with a car. Therefore, it is not surprising that crashes frequently occur throughout the busy state. If you live near the St. Petersburg area, the likelihood is that you have witnessed a car accident firsthand. With numerous different reasons for an accident, one of the causes of reckless driving resulting in a collision is due to driving under the influence (DUI). In fact, statistics show that 29% of all motor vehicle accidents involve a drunk driver. As a result, 350 residents die a year from drunk driving-related accidents.
If you or a loved one was involved in a DUI offense that involved a fatality, the consequences could result in you facing severe punishments and which could reprimand your future for the rest of your life. If you wish to avoid unaffordable fines, probation, or years in prison, then you need professional legal support as soon as possible.
All you have to do is reach out to The Law Place today. With the many attorneys within our law firm specializing in DUI manslaughter defense cases, we are more than adequately trained to handle your case. We will offer you a free consultation once you take the first steps in calling us, allowing you to ask us any questions or queries about what happens next. Call us now. We want to offer you our full guidance and support.
DUI Manslaughter in St. Petersburg, FL.
In St. Petersburg and the rest of Florida, it is well known that driving under the influence is illegal and that you must stay within a certain limit when consuming alcohol and driving a vehicle. The law clearly states that a driver must not operate a vehicle if they have blood alcohol content (BAC) levels higher than 0.08%. Any alcohol levels found in breath or blood exceeding this amount will be classed a DUI offense.
If a person has been fatal due to being involved in driving under the influence incident, the consequences for the driver held liable can be life-changing. Under Florida Statute 316.193, the crime of DUI Manslaughter is committed in Florida when the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle and is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance, or any controlled substance, when affected to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired, the person has a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, or the person has a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
Penalties for DUI Manslaughter
The crime of DUI manslaughter is punishable by a second-degree felony, and there is a 4-year mandatory minimum prison sentence for a DUI manslaughter offense, regardless of whether the defendant has no previous offenses.
Some of the consequences that come with being charged with a second-degree felony are the following:
- Up to fifteen years in prison.
- Up to fifteen years of probation or/and community service.
- Up to $10,000 in fines.
- Permanent driver’s license revocation.
- Impoundment of the driver’s vehicle.
- Mandatory completion of a DUI substance abuse course.
- Mandatory completion of a psychosocial evaluation and substance abuse treatment course.
If you wish to avoid any charges, then you cannot enter a lawsuit alone. You will befit best from getting the help of a DUI defense attorney who is experienced enough to get you through your case successfully. Contact our law firm today for a helpful and informative free consultation from a law team you can trust.
What Are the Different Types of Manslaughter?
There are a number of different ways in which somebody could commit manslaughter. To help distinguish the intentions of the person who committed the manslaughter, the law separates the offense into different categories.
- Voluntary manslaughter – This is otherwise known as a homicide. This is when a person purposely and intentionally goes out of their way to commit murder or kill a person purposely. The person convicted of manslaughter may have killed someone after being provoked or as part of a hate crime.
- Involuntary manslaughter – This is when a person has committed manslaughter accidentally and had no intention of purposely killing anybody. They may have acted negligently or carelessly, which has resulted in the death of another.
The difference between involuntary manslaughter and voluntary manslaughter is a great difference that could determine whether a defendant goes to jail or walks away free of all charges. Therefore, you must establish with your defense lawyer early on which type of manslaughter offense you have committed. This way, our attorneys can quickly establish how you will plead and begin to build up your defense based on this.
Potential Defenses to Florida DUI Manslaughter Charges
As each manslaughter case is individual to the last with its own specific details, our DUI lawyers will build up a tailor-made defense specifically designed to benefit your case the best. There are a few defenses that our lawyers commonly use in DUI cases that could be of potential use to your case. It could be argued that there was:
- Incorrect or inadmissible breath results – Breathalyzer tests are known for sometimes giving out incorrect results. Therefore the breath test could have shown the defendant to have more alcohol molecules in their breath or blood alcohol levels than they actually had. In this case, a lawyer may be able to prove that the manslaughter was not caused by the driving being under the influence.
- The victim of manslaughter was already dead – The fatal person was already dead when the DUI incident occurred.
- Insufficient probable cause – A law enforcement officer presumed that the driver was under the influence of alcohol; for example, they could smell alcohol on them. However, it could be argued that the odor of alcohol on a driver is not sufficient evidence to prove that they were under the influence or had been drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
- Improper field sobriety tests – These are tests that ask specifically by a law enforcement officer to be performed by a potential DUI suspect. For example, the law enforcement officer may ask the suspect to walk in a straight line or take a balance test. However, the suspect may have a disability or underlying condition which affects their balance or eye coordination.
In a court of law, a prosecutor must be able to prove “beyond reasonable doubt” that there is enough evidence to prove the suspect was, in fact, driving under the influence, which resulted in the death of another. Your lawyer will examine every aspect of the incident, for example, looking into whether you were actually under the influence or finding other evidence to prove you were elsewhere at the time of the incident.
All of our lawyers understand that you are not a bad person and that you have made a mistake, so please don’t feel as though you will be judged or that your case is shocking to us in any way. It is our criminal defense lawyers’ duty to defend your case and ensure that you receive the fairest outcome possible.
Mandatory Minimum Sentence Requirement
Committing a DUI manslaughter offense will indefinitely result in a defendant facing a mandatory prison sentence of a minimum of 4 years. To be charged with a minimum sentence of up to 4 years can be life-changing for a defendant, especially if they have no previous convictions and have caused manslaughter by accident. Our criminal defense lawyers are here to do everything in our power to prevent you from having to serve any jail time whatsoever.
What a St. Petersburg DUI Defense Attorney Can Do for You
Our criminal defense lawyers promise to stand firm by your side at all police interrogations. We strongly advise you to never attend an interrogation without a lawyer present and use your right to remain silent. Law enforcement officers are highly trained at tricking defendants into giving over information that will later be used against them in court. A DUI defense lawyer can help collect evidence for your defense by:
- Taking time gathering all medical records from the accident and examining them carefully for any details which could aid your case.
- Retrieving any video surveillance footage from the incident that law enforcement officers have not yet viewed. There may be footage to prove that you were elsewhere or had not been drinking alcohol at the time of the accident. This is another method that could be used to prove your innocence.
- Arranging any interviews with witnesses or collecting statements from witnesses that could be of aid to your defense.
You are not alone. Our excellent team here at The Law Place is knowledgeable and qualified enough to handle your case with confidence and ease. We will work tirelessly to ensure that you avoid all sentencing whatsoever and promise that you will receive an outcome you can be happy with.
How Much Will Hiring a DUI Defense Lawyer Cost Me?
We understand the level of uncertainty and unrest you must be feeling at this time. To have to worry about legal fees on top of this can become all too much stress for you to deal with. In fact, you may be wondering if you can afford to hire an attorney at all.
It can be almost impossible to determine how much our services will cost straight away as it depends entirely on your case at hand. However, our attorneys promise to always show complete transparency on all costs and legal fees. We promise that there are no hidden costs or nasty surprises. You only pay for the service we provide for you.
Contact The Law Place Today!
If you have been arrested in the area of St. Petersburg, FL., for committing a DUI manslaughter offense, then you must be feeling such uncertainty and unrest at this time. You may be wondering what lies ahead on the road for you in terms of your future and might be worrying about the effects your sentence could have on your family, friends, or partner.
For expert advice, all you have to do is pick up the phone and contact a DUI defense attorney today! Once you feel you are ready to contact us and explain the incident at hand, we can schedule you a free consultation. Once you carefully talk us through the event of the DUI incident, we can begin to determine what the best options are for you, ensuring you are fully aware of your rights at all times.
Please do not hesitate to contact our lawyers. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for you to call, and are free of charge. There is always a DUI manslaughter lawyer available to discuss your case with you and support you through this extremely challenging time.