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Key Facts About Florida DUI Manslaughter Laws

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Florida imposes strict penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. If an impaired driver causes a fatality, they may face DUI manslaughter charges. Unfortunately, some individuals get wrongfully accused of DUI and face severe and lifelong consequences.

A person can face a DUI in Florida if their blood alcohol content is 0.08% or higher or if they are under the influence of a controlled substance impairing their ability to drive. Convictions can result in jail time, fines, mandatory alcohol abuse courses, and more severe penalties if injuries are involved.

What are the legal consequences of a DUI manslaughter conviction in Florida?

A DUI manslaughter is an even more serious offense in Florida than a simple DUI, and it carries severe penalties. Unlike other crimes, DUI manslaughter doesn't require proof of intent to kill. You can be charged with DUI manslaughter if the following conditions are met:

  • You're driving or have physical control of a vehicle within the state of Florida.
  • You're found to be under the influence of alcohol or another chemical or controlled substance, impairing your normal driving abilities.
  • Your breath-alcohol level is 0.08% or higher, or your blood-alcohol level is 0.08% or higher.
  • You caused the death of another person, either directly or indirectly, while under these circumstances.

In Florida, DUI manslaughter is classified as a second-degree felony. Penalties include up to 15 years in prison, with a minimum mandatory sentence of four years. If you leave the scene of a DUI accident without providing information or offering assistance, you can be charged with a first-degree felony and face a prison sentence of up to 30 years.

Those convicted of DUI manslaughter face additional consequences beyond prison time. These include fines, probation, mandatory community service, substance abuse treatment, and potential immigration issues. They also lose their driving privileges, though they may apply for a hardship license after meeting specific criteria, such as:

  • Completing DUI educational courses.
  • Undergoing inpatient alcohol treatment.
  • Installing an ignition interlock device.

Is there a solid defense for DUI manslaughter charges?

If you're accused of DUI manslaughter in Florida, an experienced attorney may be able to devise a strong defense to reduce or dismiss charges. These defenses may include challenging the legality of the traffic stop, the accuracy of field sobriety and breath tests, and the probable cause for arrest. Effective defense strategies often involve demonstrating that the tests were improperly administered or that the driver’s impairment didn't cause the accident.

When should I hire a defense attorney?

If you're facing DUI manslaughter charges in Florida, you should contact an experienced attorney at Aguilar & Sieron, P.A., immediately. Attorney Mark Sieron has over thirty years of experience as a former prosecutor. He understands the criminal defense system and has a proven track record of achieving favorable results in DUI and criminal defense cases.

Don't face this battle alone—get the professional help you deserve. Contact Aguilar & Sieron, P.A. today to schedule a consultation. Our team is available 24/7 to provide the legal guidance you need to protect your future.

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