In 2011 alone, 716 people were killed in Florida from car accidents involving alcohol impaired drivers. DUI Manslaughter occurs in Florida when a person is driving under the influence and causes an accident where the result is the death of another person or an unborn child. A DUI which results in the serious bodily injury of another individual is a separate offense.
Definition of a DUI in Florida
A DUI is defined in Florida as operating a motor vehicle while impaired with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08 or higher, a chemical substance, or a controlled substance.
A person may be charged with a DUI criminal offense if they are under the influence of alcohol or of some other chemical substance which includes prescription drugs or other illegal drugs such as cocaine or marijuana.
The penalties related to a DUI Manslaughter are severe and may result in long prison sentences and expensive fines. In addition a DUI offense may remain on your driving record for 75 years. If you have been charged with DUI manslaughter, contacting a Florida DUI attorney is an important step to fighting these charges.
The Difference between a First Degree and Second Degree DUI Manslaughter in Florida
The circumstances of a case determine which degree of DUI Manslaughter a person will be charged with.
A first degree offense occurs if at the time of the crash, the person knew, or should have known, that the crash occurred; and the person failed to give information and render aid as required by Florida law. A person found guilty of a first degree offense may receive a fine up to $10,000.00 and a jail sentence for up to 30 years.
A Second degree DUI offense occurs if a person driving under the influence causes the death of another human being or unborn child. A person found guilty of a second degree offense may receive a fine up to $10,000.00 and a jail sentence for up to 15 years.
DUI with Serious Bodily Injury
A DUI which results in the serious bodily injury of another individual is a third-degree felony in Florida. The law defines serious bodily injury as an injury to any person, including the driver, which consists of a physical condition that creates a substantial risk of death, serious personal disfigurement, or loss or impairment of the function of any body part or organ. A guilty conviction of this offense may result in up to 5 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000.00. Fines and prison time may increase if an individual is considered a habitual offender.
Contacting a Florida DUI Attorney
Under Florida law a person who is convicted of DUI manslaughter will be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 4 years. The penalties related to these charges are severe and may result in long prison sentences and expensive fines. If you have been charged with a DUI Manslaughter or a DUI with serious bodily injury contact a Florida DUI Attorney today at 877-663-5110.