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DUI Manslaughter in Miami

DUI Manslaughter in Miami

Posted By Parks & Braxton, PA || 11-Oct-2016

DUI Manslaughter is a felony offense in the State of Florida whereby a person faces a maximum penalty of fifteen years in prison. If a person is accused of both DUI Manslaughter and leaving the scene of the accident, the person faces a maximum penalty of thirty years in prison. Additionally, the legislature added a mandatory minimum penalty of four years in prison for any person who is convicted of DUI Manslaughter. This means, if convicted, a Judge cannot sentence a person to less than four years in Florida State Prison. With so much hanging over a person’s head, what are the chances for success? Typically, a DUI manslaughter charge comes down to two main issues. First, in almost every DUI manslaughter charge there should be some type of blood alcohol analysis.

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The blood alcohol results may come from two different sources. First, the individual most likely gave a legal blood draw. In addition, the hospital probably conducted a blood draw for medical purposes. Thus, the first issue deals with the reliability as well as admissibility of the blood test. I use the term admissibility to point out that simply because evidence exists does not automatically mean that it can be used in trial as evidence. Now more than ever, the admissibility of a blood sample is being challenged, most often because of the failure to secure a search warrant. In addition, as it relates to a blood draw for medical treatment purposes, a privacy issue exists with regards to law enforcement’s ability to secure an individual’s medical records. While over simplified, the above information is an explanation of the first issue that typically exists in a DUI manslaughter charge. A person charged with DUI manslaughter is usually injured. Many times, the individual is taken to a medical facility. Thus, components like field sobriety testing which would otherwise make up a typical driving under the influence case do not exist in the majority of manslaughter cases. As a result, the blood analysis becomes a crucial part of a DUI crash involving death. The second issue which presents itself in the majority of DUI manslaughter cases involves causation. Specifically, the burden is on the State of Florida to prove beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt that regardless of the blood alcohol results, the driver either caused or contributed to the accident. Over the years, Parks & Braxton has handled cases whereby the accident was caused by the driver of the other vehicle. At the same time, our office has handled cases where the vehicle itself was defective. This issue often requires an expert in accident reconstruction. As stated earlier, the purpose of this article is to give the reader a better understanding of the general topics that surround the charge of DUI manslaughter. If you have any specific questions concerning the charge of DUI Manslaughter in Florida, feel free to call Parks & Braxton.

Categories: DUI

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