DUI manslaughter is a serious crime in Florida that can result in equally serious penalties. In Florida, if a driver causes another person’s death while operating a motor vehicle and while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then the State can charge him or her with DUI manslaughter.
If a judge or jury convicts you of DUI manslaughter, the penalties can be serious and may include substantial fines and jail time. For this reason, if you are facing DUI manslaughter charges in Florida, you should retain an experienced attorney as soon as you can. Your freedom may depend on it.
The St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyers at Khonsari Law Group are available to review the facts of your case for free. If we represent you, we will do everything possible to resolve your case with as little consequence to you as possible. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our lawyers, call our office today at (727) 269-5300 or send us an email through our online contact form.
DUI Manslaughter is a Felony
Crimes can be categorized into misdemeanors and felonies, with felonies being the more serious of the two. Under Florida law, DUI manslaughter is a second-degree felony. In cases in which a person knew or should have known that the crash occurred and failed to give information and render aid, it is a first-degree felony. Felonies in Florida are punishable by significant jail time and fines.
Determining Innocence or Guilt
Determining whether or not the accused is guilty of DUI manslaughter is up to the trier of fact. The trier of fact may be a judge or the jury, depending upon whether you waive your right to a jury trial. In any criminal case, the prosecution must prove all of the elements of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt.
This is the highest standard of proof under the law. However, it does not mean that the prosecution must prove its case 100 percent. Rather, the prosecution need only prove its case beyond a doubt based on ordinary reason and common sense.
Beating a Florida DUI Manslaughter Charge
In order to beat a criminal charge and obtain a dismissal, you must successfully introduce one or more legal defenses. Some common defenses to a DUI manslaughter charge include:
- That you lacked physical control over the vehicle involved
- That your BAC level was questionable (for example, the breathalyzer rendered an incorrect reading or the machine malfunctioned)
- That your constitutional rights were violated by the police or investigators (for example, the police did not read you your Miranda rights)
- The police officer did not warn you of the potential penalties for declining to take a breathalyzer test
Call a St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If Florida has charged you with DUI manslaughter, you should not delay in seeking legal representation. The St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyers at Khonsari Law Group can safeguard all of your legal rights and apprise you of all your legal options. To schedule a free case evaluation with an attorney, contact us online or call our office today at (727) 269-5300.