In the State of Florida, 350 people die each year from drunk driving accidents. As well as this, alcohol-related fatal car crashes account for 29 percent of all traffic accident deaths across the entire state.
We realize the severity of this situation. If you find yourself in the position where you are facing a DUI manslaughter investigation in Tampa, FL, you are placing your future in jeopardy. Such charges have the ability to affect your chances of maintaining your job, your home, your driving license, and more. Like most legal situations in Florida, a DUI manslaughter charge is complicated and requires adequate legal advice and assistance.
Here at The Law Place, we want to help you and your loved ones during this frightening time. Together, we can work towards achieving the best possible outcome for you. We have a team full of experienced and skilled criminal defense attorneys with 75 years of collective experience in dealing with cases similar to yours.
Our team works tirelessly to strengthen the attorney-client relationship and will strive to defend your rights. Our telephone lines are always open, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. One of our representatives will be waiting to offer you your free consultation. Whether you’re looking for general information or clear legal advice, we can begin the first steps to help you with your charges.
What Is A Felony?
In the State of Florida, criminal offenses are divided into two categories – misdemeanors and felonies. If you are convicted of a felony, it has much greater severity and consequences than a misdemeanor. Should you find yourself in this situation, it is crucial that you have a strong Tampa criminal defense lawyer on your side, one who is well versed in the laws surrounding drunk driving, the death of another person in relation to DUI, and more.
This is so important because most DUI manslaughter charges are classed as second-degree felonies. This can sometimes be lowered to a third-degree felony if the defendant is not cooperative in offering information surrounding the situation. You are facing 15 years in prison or more, a position no one wants to be in.
What Are The Different Types Of Manslaughter?
In the State of Florida, including the county of Tampa, manslaughter cases are classified into two subcategories: voluntary and involuntary. They differ, but both come with grave consequences. However, they both involve the death of another human being, something you do not want to be associated with your personal record. Listed below are their definitions:
- Voluntary manslaughter – This is when someone kills someone in the heat of passion, under circumstances where a reasonable person would become emotionally disturbed to the point where they can’t control their emotions.
- Involuntary manslaughter –This is when someone kills someone without the intention to cause them harm, but rather through gross negligence or recklessness, such as drunk driving.
A DUI manslaughter charge is defined as an involuntary homicide as the person in question did not intend to harm someone, but rather caused someone’s death through gross negligence.
If you have been charged with a DUI manslaughter charge in the county of Tampa, FL, you urgently need to seek legal assistance. Contact The Law Place today to receive a free consultation from one of our experienced Tampa criminal defense lawyers.
We want to help in any way that we can. Whether it is by avoiding a potential prison sentence, limiting your overall penalties, or having your case dismissed entirely. Do not hesitate to get in touch and begin establishing your attorney-client relationship with us today.
For a free legal consultation with a dui manslaughter charges lawyer serving Tampa, call 941-444-4444
What The Law In Florida Says About Driving Under The Influence
Across all the states of America, there is a shared legal limit for the blood alcohol content (BAC) of drivers, which is 0.8 percent. If you are pulled over by law enforcement and, after a breathalyzer test, are found to have a higher blood alcohol level than this, you will subsequently be charged with driving under the influence. In the county of Tampa, you will face DUI charges even if you have not caused damage to properties or vehicles or caused any injuries.
In Tampa, you will equally be charged for a DUI if you were not drunk driving but rather under the influence of prescription drugs or illegal substances. In cases such as these, it is often more difficult for a law enforcement officer to confirm you are under the influence of drugs. However, if they have any reason to suspect this of you, an arrest and investigation will take place.
If you are in a situation like this in Tampa, and a police officer believes that you were operating your vehicle under the influence during an accident, the consequences against you increase rapidly. Therefore, we at The Law Place cannot stress enough the importance of having a qualified Tampa defense lawyer by your side in order to help minimize such grave charges.
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What Florida Law Says About DUI Manslaughter
There are several different factors that the prosecution must be able to prove during a DUI manslaughter case. These include:
- The defendant was found to be in control of the vehicle.
- The defendant was under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or another substance that impacted their driving.
- The defendant had a blood-alcohol level that met or surpassed the legal limit during a field sobriety test or breathalyzer test.
- The defendant in question directly or indirectly caused the death of another person whilst meeting the above-listed components.
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What Is The Average Sentence For DUI Manslaughter In Tampa?
DUI manslaughter cases are treated with great severity, and you should brace yourself for the charges and penalties to be high. In Tampa, if you are facing a DUI manslaughter charge, legally, the judge is required to give a compulsory sentence of four years. As is the case with most criminal cases, the sentence you face is highly dependent on the circumstances surrounding your case during the time of your arrest.
DUI manslaughter cases are divided into two separate categories, producing different penalties:
- Ordinary negligence – In this case, the defendant is likely to have violated a basic traffic law. E.g., being on a cell phone device while driving, which resulted in a fatality. It is known as ‘ordinary’ as the traffic laws haven’t been violated to a large degree.
- Gross negligence – In this case, it is likely that the defendant acted with complete disregard for traffic laws or other people. E.g., driving onto the sidewalk and causing the death of another person. This is violating traffic laws to a high degree.
If the prosecutor can prove that you acted negligently, then a manslaughter conviction is likely. They may also look to prove that you acted with gross negligence and not just ordinary negligence, which comes with harsher charges.
It is common for those who are charged with DUI manslaughter to face harsh penalties. As mentioned previously, DUI manslaughter is classified as a second-degree felony. The penalties for such are listed below:
- A minimum of a four-year prison sentence but could increase to up to 15 years.
- $10,000 of fines.
- Permanent driving license removal.
- Impoundment of your vehicle.
- Community service.
- The completion of a DUI substance abuse course.
If you face a DUI manslaughter charge, your penalties are not limited to just one of the above penalties listed. There have been cases where a person has faced up to 24 years in prison as a result of their actions. If you want to avoid a prison sentence of four years, 15, or even 24, you must get legal assistance today.
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How We Can Defend You Against DUI Manslaughter Charges In Tampa, FL
Due to the common nature of these cases, prosecutors are extremely harsh with those who are being charged. If you have been wrongfully accused of a DUI charge and are innocent, you do not deserve to be under the same category as those who have committed a serious crime.
With DUI manslaughter charges, the prosecution must prove that you are guilty “beyond all reasonable doubt.” Your Tampa criminal defense attorney must have a strong enough defense to argue your case in full: general information, factual information, and whether or not you were under the influence during the time of the incident.
Listed below are some defenses your attorney can argue for your case:
Your Breathalyzer Test Results Were Not Permissible
It is common knowledge that the equipment used to determine a person’s breath alcohol levels are sometimes inaccurate. Furthermore, if the law enforcement officer authorizing the test during the time of your arrest has failed to meet the legal requirements, your results can be disputed in court by your lawyer.
No Probable Cause
The law enforcement officer should have probable cause for your arrest and thus execute a field sobriety test. If this can be disputed, it can be argued that your arrest was illegal.
If you have a skilled Tampa criminal defense lawyer on your side who is well versed in the plausibilities around DUI manslaughter charges, it is more likely for you to have a fair judgment during your case, serving you the best possible outcome.
How You Will Be Sentenced Following A DUI Manslaughter Conviction In Tampa, FL
The common charge for a DUI manslaughter case is a second-degree felony. However, your charges could also depend on many factors, such as if you have prior DUI convictions or charges for reckless driving.
Florida Statutes 775.082-775.084 outline sentencing for this crime and offer both maximum and minimum terms. Legally, the judge must meet objectives, such as retribution, deterrence, and punishment. They also must look to see if you have a previous criminal history and properly analyze the circumstances surrounding your arrest.
Despite the seriousness of such charges, Florida has a history of consistency when involving sentencing. The Florida Department of Convictions outlines clearly that a judge must strive to maintain matters as fair. This is to avoid situations such as high media coverage if your case was to become high profile. Due to the modern age of social media, this is something that could happen, which you will want to avoid in order to prevent the impact on your life in the future. Regarding DUI manslaughter charges, there are 74 points that the judge must adhere to.
With so much to consider, something that can help alleviate the impact of your final sentencing is the experience of your criminal defense attorney.
What A Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Can Do for You
The right criminal defense attorney will work to achieve the best outcome possible for you regarding such serious charges as a DUI manslaughter case.
The Law Place can help. Your attorney will search through all the evidence surrounding your case, as it is vital to help minimize your charges. In cases involving a car accident, the evidence from the scene of the fatality will not remain there for very long. Our team understands the importance of all evidence. So, the sooner you contact us, the sooner we can go to the scene of the incident to obtain any evidence that might still be there that could be used to defend you.
We have a team full of experienced attorneys who will be able to thoroughly investigate all scraps of evidence, including that from the scene and those collected by the police. The more evidence available, the more your attorney understands the case before them. Your attorney will be able to present your case in a fair manner to those who are listening, whether that be a judge or jury.
We also have an in-depth understanding of Florida statutes and understand how to navigate your case in line with Florida law.
Our criminal defense team at The Law Place promise to:
- Appear with you at all police interrogations.
- Collect and analyze medical records of victims of the accident.
- Arrange any kind of interviews with witnesses and ask the questions that law enforcement may have missed.
- Uncover surveillance footage.
We will work tirelessly to defend you, which is why we place great importance on our attorney-client relationships. Honesty from you is a key component of how we can achieve the best possible outcome.
Contact A Tampa DUI Manslaughter Charges Lawyer Today
As a law firm, one of our main goals is to defend your Constitutional rights. Please do not hesitate to contact us today in order to have the best legal representation on your side during what will inevitably be a stressful time for you and your loved ones.
We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, meaning there is never a bad time to make a call. For a free consultation, contact The Law Place in Tampa today.
Call or text 941-444-4444 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form