Clearwater DUI Manslaughter Lawyer
DUI manslaughter is charged when someone is accused of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while operating their motor vehicle and causes the death of another person. The person killed can be one of your passengers, a pedestrian, a cyclist or most commonly someone in a different vehicle. If your BAC is over the legal limit and you cause a death while driving, you face the possibility of a felony conviction, substantial fines, and significant prison time.
Understanding DUI manslaughter
While the penalties of a DUI Manslaughter are much more significant than a traditional DUI, the requirements for a prosecutor to prove the cases are not all that different. For a misdemeanor DUI, all the prosecution must prove is that you had actual physical control of the car while you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For a DUI Manslaughter, the prosecution must prove the same two elements and that the driver caused the death of another person. If they can establish those three factors, then you’re facing the possibility of up to fifteen years in prison.
Penalties for DUI manslaughter
Without proper representation, the penalties for a DUI Manslaughter in Florida can be devastating. Even with no prior criminal history, the recommended sentence of Florida’s sentencing guidelines would exceed ten years in prison. There is also a four-year minimum mandatory prison sentence, which even the judge does not have the authority to waive. In addition to the possible prison time, there could also be a fine up to $10,000 along with a mandatory permanent driver’s license revocation.
DUI manslaughter burden of proof
The prosecution cannot just prove you were drunk at the time of the accident and someone died. They must prove that your impairment while driving directly resulted in someone’s death. In some cases, the other car may have caused the accident, the police take both individuals to the hospital, and one dies. It turns out your BAC was over the legal limit, so you’re charged with DUI manslaughter. Without data concerning how the accident occurred, the prosecution does not have enough evidence to meet their burden of proof.
Other defenses to DUI manslaughter
Other defenses to DUI manslaughter are procedural or forensic. Procedural defenses mean that the officer violated the law while taking you into custody. A failure to read you the implied consent warning or your Miranda rights could complicate the prosecution’s case.
Many cases of DUI Manslaughter involve a scientific measurement of alcohol through either breath or blood. There are significant legal and scientific requirements for each of these and any sort of misstep could call into question the validity of the results.
Cases in which someone refuses to take a sobriety test create more possibilities of defenses. In these instances, an experienced DUI attorney can use a number of factors to argue that the driver was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Talk to a Clearwater, FL DUI Manslaughter Lawyer
If you’re facing DUI manslaughter charges, you need an experienced Clearwater DUI lawyer who understands the science behind breath, blood, and other tests. We can begin chipping away at the prosecution’s case and either get the charges dismissed, an acquittal, or negotiate a plea that you can live with. Call King Law Group today to discuss the matter in greater detail.