New Port Richey DUI Pedestrian Manslaughter Defense Lawyers
Fatal Drunk Driving Hit and Run Defense Attorneys in New Port Richey, Florida, FL
In Florida, when an individual is caught driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.08% or higher, they will be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI). DUI enforcement officers are also trained to detect those drivers who are intoxicated by narcotics. Drivers under the influence of drugs will also be charged with Driving Under the Influence in Florida. A DUI criminal charge is a very serious criminal offense in Florida, but when a drunk driver injures or tragically kills someone, the penalties and punishments are severe.
According to Florida Statute Section 316.193(3)(c)(3), DUI manslaughter is defined as a person who was operating a vehicle and unintentionally kills a person while the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Florida Statute Section 782.071 states that victims of the DUI manslaughter can be viable fetus, a child, or an adult. DUI manslaughter criminal offenses are charged as felonies in Florida.
New Port Richey Police and state prosecutors are a lot of pressure to obtain convictions in pedestrian manslaughter criminal cases. Many times drunk drivers run from the scene of the collision to avoid prosecution. Each and every weekend in Florida, there are several news reports concerning fatal hit and run pedestrian accidents. However, fatal hit and run crashes are caused by cars, motorcycles, mopeds, trucks, motor scooters, ATVs, buses, SUVs, and any other motor vehicle. What makes these hit-and-run accidents so deadly is the speed of the motor vehicle. Most fatal pedestrian accidents caused by drunk drivers happen during the late night and early morning hours from approximately 11 PM to 5 AM in the morning on Saturday or Sunday mornings. When police investigate the fatal accident scene, they usually catch the offender by reviewing surveillance camera footage, collecting crash debris to identify the make, model, and year of the vehicle, and interviewing eyewitnesses.
Individuals Charged with a Fatal DUI Pedestrian Accident in New Port Richey Need Aggressive Legal Counsel
At Musca Law, our fatal drunk driving pedestrian collision defense lawyers in New Port Richey, Florida, act fast to protect our clients' rights and their freedom. It's essential for those charged with a manslaughter criminal offense in Florida to start preparing the legal defense early based on the facts and circumstances of the case. Early intervention by an experience DUI manslaughter defense attorney in New Port Richey, Florida, can help a defendant weaken the prosecutor's case and fight to have the prosecutor’s evidence suppressed.
In Florida, when a driver of a motor vehicle has been involved in an auto accident with a pedestrian, cyclist, or any other vehicle leading to death, homicide investigators will begin a DUI manslaughter case. As part of the investigation, police officers will put in a formal request or will petition the judge to obtain a warrant to draw blood samples from the alleged drunk driver. The blood samples would then be tested for the presence of all types of narcotics and alcohol. Moreover, DUI investigators will obtain a copy of the suspect's medical records. It is the medical aspect of a DUI pedestrian manslaughter case in Florida that makes defending a drunk driver so complex. Anytime scientific evidence is entered into a criminal case, the prosecutor's case will become more and more compelling to the jury. However, defendants should know that they are innocent until proven guilty and not give up on fighting the DUI manslaughter charges as aggressively as possible.
If you, a friend, or a family member have been charged with DUI pedestrian manslaughter in New Port Richey, Florida, contact our firm by calling Musca Law today at (727) 480-9675 or visit us at our New Port Richey law office located at 8520 Government Dr, STE 5, New Port Richey, FL 34654. Our phones are answered 24/7.
Subpoenas for HIPAA and Medical Records Privacy Rights in New Port Richey Fatal DUI Pedestrian Manslaughter Cases
A subpoena, also known as "duces tectum, will be submitted by Florida’s prosecuting lawyers and will request the medical records of the driver who allegedly hit and killed a pedestrian, cyclist, motorcyclist, or occupant in a motor vehicle. Florida prosecutors might also mail the defendant a "HIPAA 15-day letter," which is also known as a "Notice of Investigating Subpoena for Medical Records.” It is crucial that you know the implications and legal rights concerning your medical records. In Florida, medical records are protected by federal HIPAA laws. In order for the prosecutor’s office to acquire the medical records, the offender’s right to privacy must be dealt with in the proper manor. Fortunately, Florida courts take the due process rights of its citzens very seriously.
Our New Port Richey drunk driving pedestrian defense attorneys at Musca Law are here to help you understand your legal rights, know what must be done to defend yourself according to Florida law. Musca Law works hard to preserve your due process rights. Our firm represents those accused of all types of criminal offenses and DUI criminal cases, including those involving death, property damage, and serious personal injury.
Penalties in Drunk Driving Homicide Cases in New Port Richey, Florida
In Florida, DUI manslaughter criminal charges are a second-degree felony, and are sentenced with a maximum prison sentence of up to 15 years. The criminal offense is also categorized as a Level 8 crime, according to Florida's Criminal Punishment Code. DUI Manslaughter conviction usually carries a mandatory-minimum prison sentence of four years and a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
In addition to prison, there are other potential punishments such as:
- Community service
- Fines of up to $10,000
- Mandatory prison sentences
- Lengthy probation.
- Mandatory counseling for alcohol or drug abuse
- Permanent loss of driver’s license
- Impounding of the suspect’s vehicle
The Three Key Elements Prosecutors Must Prove to Win a Conviction in a New Port Richey DUI Manslaughter Case
Under Florida criminal code, state prosecutors is required to prove specific key elements of a crime in order to obtain a conviction in a DUI manslaughter case. For police officers to take a blood sample from the suspect, officers must believe the following three elements happened to arrest the suspect and for the prosecution to win a conviction.
- The accused was driving a motor vehicle or in control of a motor vehicle;
- The defendant was under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and
- The motor vehicle in which the defendant was driving struck and killed another person.
Florida law requires that law enforcement officers act responsibly and meet all of the mandatory requirements to obtain a blood sample from the accused.
Building a Strong Defense in a DUI Pedestrian Manslaughter Case in New Port Richey, Florida FL
Our New Port Richey Pedestrian Manslaughter Defense Attorneys Musca Law know how to build a powerful and persuasive defense. State prosecuting lawyers will have the benefit of having detectives conducting a thorough investigation. Defense experts are often used to uncover evidence that may later be used to weaken the prosecutor's case.
Every Musca Law client knows that our legal professionals will always be there fighting for them and assisting them through every step of the criminal trial process. Our New Port Richey defense attorneys can be with you during police interrogations, help seek out potential witnesses, collect vital evidence, acquire witness statements, and take photos to help our clientele fight their criminal charges. Moreover, our New Port Richey Fatal DUI Pedestrian Accident Defense Lawyers examine each case with a critical eye, and our legal professionals aggressively file motions to suppress as much of the prosecution's evidence against our clients as possible.
Hit and Run DUI Criminal Charges in New Port Richey, Florida
When a motorist has consumed certain medications, alcohol, or illicit narcotics and they hit and kill a pedestrian, their first impulse is to flee the accident scene. About 1/3 of all pedestrian accidents that involve a motor vehicle are hit and run pedestrian accidents. In many fatal hit and run pedestrian cases, if the intoxicated driver stopped and rendered aid to the pedestrian by calling 911, the pedestrian could have survived the accident. Then no manslaughter or homicide charges would have been necessary. Almost all pedestrian accidents involving drivers who are intoxicated happen late at night or early in the morning hours along unlit highway or dark city streets. Failure to stop and provide aid to the injured pedestrian after an accident is a serious crime in Florida. All drivers, by law, must to stop and render aid and provide their contact and insurance information to the other people involved in the accident.
In Florida, a driver has committed a third-degree felony, which is punishable with up to five years in a state prison, when the driver leaves the scene of an accident and they caused injured another person. The judge might also impose a fine of up to $5,000. If the pedestrian suffered severe bodily injury, the hit-and-run driver might face a second-degree felony punishable with a five-year prison sentence and a fine of no more than $10,000. If a driver hits and kills a pedestrian and then flees the accident scene, the motor vehicle operator will be charged with second-degree felony DUI manslaughter and fleeing the scene of an accident. If the driver is convicted of these criminal offenses, he or she could receive a prison sentence of up to 30 years plus a $10,000 fine.
Building an Powerful Defense For a New Port Richey DUI Pedestrian Manslaughter Case
If you, or a friend, or a loved one were charged with DUI manslaughter for striking sand killing a pedestrian, cyclist, or another driver, there are effective defenses available to you. Determining which of the defenses would apply in a particular case requires the review of the facts and circumstances surrounding your case by an experienced DUI pedestrian manslaughter attorney in New Port Richey, Florida.
Disputing the Prosecutor’s Evidence Against the Defendant
For prosecutors to win a conviction against a driver arrested and charged with DUI pedestrian manslaughter in New Port Richey, the prosecuting lawyers must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was in control of the motor vehicle, he or she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and caused the death of the alleged victim. In some cases, the circumstances of the case could lead your defense lawyer to argue that you are not driving at the time of the fatal accident or that you were not driving under the influence. Another solid defense is to refute that the injuries sustained in the fatal accident actually caused the pedestrian's death. In many hit and run pedestrian collisions, drivers were able to successfully explain that the pedestrian either caused the accident or was partially at blame for the crash. For example, the pedestrian may have been attempting to cross the street in front of the driver's oncoming motor vehicle. This is an incident that happens several times when pedestrians are walking along roadways while intoxicated.
A "lack of witness defense” is used to deny that the accused was operating the motor vehicle at the time of the crash. If there were no eyewitnesses to see who was actually driving the motor vehicle at the time of the collision, and the driver did not admit to driving the vehicle involved in the accident, there's a potential for the case to be dismissed or your defense attorney to win an acquittal.
In any criminal case, it's important to know that those accused of a crime or those being questioned by police do not speak with police or answer questions without having a criminal defense attorney present. In any significant number of criminal cases, the defendant has been convicted of a crime because of statements they made to law enforcement officers. There are many people in prison right now who are innocent, but decided to speak to police and they were tricked into making certain damaging statements.
Improper Collection of Accident Scene Evidence
In Florida, police officers are bound to certain rules and procedures while investigating a fatal accident and collecting accident evidence to be used against the suspect. If those procedures have been violated, your New Port Richey defense attorney should file a motion to suppress to exclude evidence collected due to improper handling or collection of evidence. An example of a procedural mistake that could benefit the defense is the collection of a blood sample from the accused without obtaining a search warrant or the consent of the accused. If the defense lawyer is able to show this has occurred, the blood evidence plus relevant chemical analysis may be prevented from being used as evidence in that defendant's DUI Vehicular Homicide trial.
Breathalyzer and chemical tests are complex pieces of equipment that require calibration and proper maintenance. If there electronic devices are not properly calibrated and/or maintained, the chemical tests will provide invalid results. If your criminal defense lawyers is able to prove improper calibration or maintenance of a breathalyzer or other lab equipment has occurred in your case, those evidentiary results could and should be thrown out.
A breathalyzer test could also produce false results following an accident due to the chemicals used in certain types of airbags. Once airbags are deployed during an accident, the breathalyzer test results could be proven to be inaccurate by your DUI vehicular homicide defense attorney.
Miranda Rights Violations as a Defense in New Port Richey DUI Pedestrian Manslaughter Cases
Under certain circumstances, statements made by the suspect may not be used against him or her in a court of law. When law enforcement place a suspect under arrest, the arresting officer is required, by law, to read the suspect their Miranda rights. The Miranda Warnings inform the accused of their constitutional rights, such as their right to have an attorney present with them during questioning by law enforcement and their right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination.
In a DUI arrest, the officer must read the driver the “Implied Consent Warning.” Those drivers who hold a commercial driver's license must be read the standard “Implied Consent Warning,” and a special implied consent warning for commercial truck drivers. If these have not been read to the accused, this may provide an opportunity for your defense attorney to petition the court for dismissal.
Our phone lines are open 24/7. Call Musca Law today at (727) 480-9675 or visit us at our New Port Richey law office located at 8520 Government Dr, STE 5, New Port Richey, FL 34654.
New Port Richey Location
8520 Government Dr, STE 5
New Port Richey, FL 34654