If you are charged with DUI in Florida, you may be facing serious consequences depending on your blood alcohol content, whether you have had previous DUIs, and a number of other factors. However, if you are driving while intoxicated and cause the death or serious injury of another person you may face an even harsher sentence. That’s why it is so important to work with an experienced Clearwater criminal defense attorney if you are charges with DUI manslaughter or another crime.
If you are convicted of DUI manslaughter in Florida you will be required to spend a certain amount of time in jail. The Florida Criminal Code classifies DUI manslaughter as a crime with a mandatory minimum sentence. That means that there is a certain amount of time that everyone convicted of DUI manslaughter must spend in jail and the judge does not have the discretion to lower that sentence (though they can order more time be served). In Florida, the mandatory minimum sentence is four years for DUI manslaughter.
Though the mandatory minimum sentence is four years, those convicted of DUI manslaughter in Florida can get up to fifteen years in prison and fifteen years of probation. However, the presumptive amount of jail time for a DUI manslaughter conviction is a little over ten years in prison. Those convicted of DUI manslaughter may also have to pay up to $10,000 in fines, have their vehicle impounded, and have their driver’s license revoked permanently.
Florida Appeals Case
In a case heard by the Florida First District Court of Appeal, a man was charged with DUI manslaughter and DUI with seriously bodily injury. The facts are as follows: after about 14 beers the defendant was allegedly driving the wrong way on the intersection. He crashed with another car head on and then that car was hit by another car. The driver that the defendant collided with head on was killed and the other driver was seriously injured.
The defendant agreed to enter a guilty plea and he was sentenced to 13.25 years in jail and 6.75 years of probation. After serving about four years of his sentence, the defendant appealed on the grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel. He alleged that his attorney was faulty because he did not hire an accident reconstruction accident. However, the defendant’s attorney did have a reconstruction specialist look into the accident but decided against using the expert at trial.
The defendant argued that someone who specialized in accident reconstruction could find alternate theories of the accident that were not due to defendant’s drinking. In fact, one expert that the defendant hired in preparation for this appeal found that there was inadequate signage which could mislead drivers into going the wrong way on the highway. However, the appeals court held that the actions of the attorney did not rise to the level of deficiency to constitute ineffective assistance and, thus, the defendant’s conviction and penalty was affirmed.
Contact an Experienced Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are charged with DUI manslaughter or another serious crime, you should contact Hanlon Law Firm as soon as possible. Our experienced Clearwater criminal defense attorneys can be called at (727) 897-5413 or contacted online via the website. Contact us today for your free consultation.
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