DUI Manslaughter


SHORSTEIN, LASNETSKI, & GIHON
helps people defend against DUI MANSLAUGHTER

DUI Manslaughter cases are some of the most heart wrenching cases we handle.  Both the victim's family and the person charged and his or her family will never be the same.  Typically, the person charged doesn't have a record or has a minimal record.  Often, the person is very young and has his or her whole life ahead of them.  Florida law is very harsh on DUI manslaughter cases.  But there are defenses and mitigation available.  Call the experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers at SLG Law today to discuss your DUI Manslaughter case. 

What is DUI Manslaughter?

DUI Manslaughter is simply a DUI (Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol) where a death occurs and you contributed to or caused the death.  Law enforcement will charge a person with DUI Manslaughter in almost every case where there is an automobile accident with a death and there is any evidence of impairment.  In a DUI Manslaughter case, law enforcement is entitled to take blood from the driver and will send it off to FDLE to determine whether the blood alcohol level is a .08 or more or if there were controlled substances in the blood.  

DUI Manslaughter is defined in Florida Statute 316.193. In order for the State to convict a person for DUI Manslaughter, they must prove the following three things:

1.   You drove or were in actual physical control of a vehicle, and

2.   While driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle, you

a.   were under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, a chemical substance, or a controlled substance to the extent that your normal faculties were impaired, or

b.   had a blood or breath alcohol level of .08 or more.

3.   As a result of operating the vehicle, you caused or contributed to the cause of the death of the victim. 

What are the possible consequences of a DUI Manslaughter?

Under Fla. Stat. Section 316.193(3)(c)(3), a person convicted of a DUI manslaughter will be sentenced to term of imprisonment between a minimum mandatory of 4 years in prison up to 15 years in prison.  Only a prosecutor can waive the 4 year minimum mandatory sentence.  In cases where the evidence is substantial, your criminal defense attorney may be able to negotiate a disposition below the 4 year minimum mandatory by thoroughly investigating mitigating factors and presenting a compelling argument to the prosecution why the minimum mandatory should be pierced.  

ENHANCEMENT FOR FAILING TO GIVE INFORMATION OR RENDER AID

If you knew or should have known that there was a crash and failed to give information or render aid in a DUI Manslaughter, the possible maximum sentence is increased from 15 years to 30 years. 

What information or aid am I required to give?

Florida Statute 316.062 lays out the requirements to give information and render aid when you are the driver of a vehicle involved in a crash which includes property damage, injury or death.  You have a legal obligation to render reasonable assistance to a person involved in the crash and to provide your name, address, vehicle registration number, and upon request and if available, your driver's license.  You must provide this information to the victim of the crash, the driver, another occupant, or any police officer.  If none are available, you must report the information to the nearest law enforcement office. 



What are the possible defenses to DUI Manslaughter?

DUI Manslaughter cases are some of the most complex in all of criminal law.  There are several long complicated statutes that outline exactly how law enforcement must conduct their investigation.  Countless appellate cases have reversed DUI and DUI Manslaughter cases because the investigation was conducted improperly.  There are many potential legal defenses to DUI manslaughter.  For example, you criminal defense attorney will look to determine whether there is a viable motion to dismiss the case based on lack of probable cause.   Motions to Suppress can be filed if there is a belief that law enforcement conducted an illegal search and seizure, which includes seizing evidence, seizing blood, seizing information from your phone, obtaining statements from you, and more. Any blood test can be challenged.  How was the blood collected? How was it stored?  Is there a chain of custody?  How was it examined?  What are the problems with the science?  Was there contamination?  Did you cause the death or was it caused by other factors?  Can the State prove that you were the one who was driving.  Each DUI Manslaughter case is different in facts and evidence, so give our criminal defense attorneys a call today to discuss your DUI Manslaughter case. 
DUI Manslaughter is simply an aggravated form of DUI, with additional elements that the state must prove.  For more information about how the State can prove that you were impaired and other issues with DUI, click here.  

Call Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon now at 
904-642-3332 (Jacksonville).

Experienced Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorneys

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