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Defending Against DUI Manslaughter Charges in Florida

Fatal traffic accidents are tragic life events that may affect not only the victims and the families of the victims, but also those who may have precipitated the accident due to a lapse in judgment. Regardless of whether or not an intoxicated driver intended to cause an accident or not, Florida has some of the harshest penalties for those convicted of DUI Manslaughter. A DUI Manslaughter conviction will be punished with harsh penalties such as up to fifteen years in a Florida prison, vehicle impoundment, stiff fines, lengthy post-prison probation, a lifetime loss of driving privileges, a tarnished criminal record, community service, loss of the right to vote, loss of gun ownership rights, increased difficulty in obtaining professional licensing or gaining employment, among many other costly penalties.

Florida Criminal Justice Judges take DUI Manslaughter cases seriously. Although Criminal Justice Judges are fair and impartial, if you or a loved one lose your criminal trial and are found guilty, you can expect maximum penalties and punishments. There is a tremendous amount of pressure on state attorneys assigned to prosecute Florida DUI Manslaughter criminal cases. Therefore, law enforcement and the state's attorneys will work a DUI Manslaughter case thoroughly and utilize all of the resources available to create an air-tight case against the defendant.

You only have one chance to effectively defend against your criminal charges.

Contact the skilled criminal defense-focused law firm of Musca Law at (888) 484-5057. We are available 24/7 to speak with you or visit you wherever you or your loved one is located in the State of Florida.

Florida DUI Manslaughter Laws

In a DUI Manslaughter criminal case, as well as the lesser charge of DUI typically additionally charged to the defendant, does not compel the state's lawyer to show the defendant entered the motor vehicle with an intention to kill another person in an accident while driving intoxicated.

Rather, the state's lawyer is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  • The defendant drove or had control over a motor vehicle during the accident,
  • the accident killed someone, or an unborn child, otherwise known as a "quick child,"
  • the defendant drove the motor vehicle with his or her natural faculties impaired due to the defendant's consumption of drugs or alcohol, or,
  • the defendant's blood alcohol concentration was tested and was measured at 0.08 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or greater, or by 0.08 grams of alcohol (for every 210 liters of breath), or greater.

The state prosecutor is obligated to prove each "element" of the DUI Manslaughter charge beyond a reasonable doubt. If the state's attorneys failed to prove one or more of the aforementioned elements, the defendant will be acquitted of all criminal charges in that case.

Why You Need an Experienced DUI Manslaughter Attorney

An unseasoned attorney who does not possess extensive experience defending Florida DUI Manslaughter cases could feel overwhelmed by the state's evidence. Conversely, an DUI Manslaughter defense lawyer who has extensive criminal justice trial experience and success defending difficult criminal cases may expose the vulnerabilities in a prosecutor's case. This is key to give the defendant the best possibility of obtaining a not guilty verdict, acquittal, or to plea bargain down the criminal charges to a lesser offense and no, or little prison time.

Florida DUI Manslaughter Laws - Florida Statutes §316.193 (3)(c)(3)(a)

According to Florida Statutes §316.193(3)(c)(3)(a), an individual who is found guilty of DUI Manslaughter will be found guilty of at least a second-degree felony. A felony on the second-degree is punishable with up to (15) fifteen years in a Florida penitentiary. Also, the judge will levy a fine, which may be up to $10,000.00. In accordance with the Florida Criminal Punishment Code, a DUI Manslaughter is a Level 8 offense, and a conviction carries a 124 ½-month prison. The Criminal Justice Judge might consider a shorter prison sentence should the court determine not adhering to the state's sentencing guidelines is suitable in a particular criminal case. However, a judge is not permitted to reduce the prison sentence to less than four years as per Florida's criminal statutes. In other words, if found guilty of DUI Manslaughter in Florida, the defendant will, at minimum, be sentenced to (4) four years in prison.

The Collateral Consequences of a DUI Manslaughter Conviction

When a defendant is convicted of DUI Manslaughter, Florida's DUI statutes trigger specific collateral consequences.

By way of example only, a Criminal Justice Judge may order the offender to undergo a probationary term intended to help the offender to reintegrate into society successfully. This probationary period also aids the offender to maintain his or her sobriety. The offender could be ordered to return to prison if he or she violates their probation conditions. The court typically imposes the conventional terms of probation relevant in each criminal case, and the circumstances or terms may be unique to each offender.

The Criminal Justice Judge in the case could impose the wearing of an electronic monitoring device, hours of community service, random alcohol, and drug testing, order the defendant to enter, and complete a substance abuse treatment program. Substance abuse treatment programs may be outpatient or inpatient depending on the circumstances of the case and the special needs of the offender.

A different collateral consequence of a Florida DUI Manslaughter conviction pertains only to a select portion of the population. By way of example only, federal authorities might deport an individual who is not a legal citizen of the United States of America. If the convicted offender is not a U.S. citizen, he or she may also be denied naturalization rights.

Additional collateral consequences of a DUI Manslaughter conviction in the State of Florida relates to the access of the offender's motor vehicle. The judge in the criminal case might order the motor vehicles belonging to the offender to be impounded. Also, the judge might enter an order that mandates the DUI Manslaughter offender to undergo and complete DUI educational training programs, and install an ignition interlock device on each of the offender's automobiles once he or she has been released from prison.

You only have one chance to effectively defend against your criminal charges.

Contact the experienced Florida DUI defense law firm of Musca Law at (888) 484-5057. We are available 24/7 to speak with you or visit you wherever you or your loved one is located in the State of Florida.

Get your case started by calling us at (888) 484-5057 today!

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