DUI Death Cases in Orlando, Florida

Getting arrested for DUI in Orlando carries severe penalties and heavy fines. Drunk driving is a serious offense which can have a long term effect on your life if you are convicted. The penalties and charges against you can increase multiple times if you are involved in an accident causing serious injury or death to another person.

According to Florida Statutes FS 316.193, DUI is one offense, proved by impairment of normal faculties or unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of 0.08 or above. The penalties upon conviction are the same, regardless of the manner in which the offense is proven.

Penalties for DUI in Orlando, Florida

In the case of a first offense, state law defines it as misdemeanor DUI with fines ranging between $250 to $500, driver license revocation of 6 to 12 months, 10 day vehicle impoundment and jail sentence up to 6 months.

Any repeat offense is considered Felony DUI which have higher fines, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 and a mandatory permanent suspension of the drivers license in case of a fourth conviction.

Felony DUI with injury or death

In case the drunk driving accident involved serious injury or death of another person or pedestrian, or involves serious damage to property, the conviction rises from a level 6 (third degree felony) to a level 7. In such a case, the sentence includes up to 15 years of jail time along with monetary fines.

Florida Statutes 316.193 (2), (3) define DUI Felony Conviction as:

Any person convicted of a third DUI within 10 years or a fourth or subsequent DUI commits a Third Degree Felony (not more than $5,000 fine and/or 5 years imprisonment).

Any person who causes serious bodily injury while driving under the influence is guilty of a Third Degree Felony (not more than $5,000 fine and/or 5 years imprisonment) or if habitual/violent felony offender as provided in s. 775.084, F.S.

Manslaughter and Vehicular Homicide as defined in the Florida Statutes

DUI Manslaughter – DUI Manslaughter is considered a Second Degree Felony with fines no more than $10,000 and /or 15 years imprisonment.

DUI Manslaughter / Leaving the Scene – A driver who failed to give information about the accident knowing that it had occurred is guilty of First Degree Felony with fines no more than $10,000 and /or 30 years imprisonment.

Vehicular Homicide – This is considered a Second Degree Felony with fines no more than $10,000 $10,000 and /or 15 years imprisonment.

Vehicular Homicide / Leaving the Scene – A driver who left the scene of an accident and was convicted of vehicular homicide is guilty of a First Degree Felony, with fines no more than $10,000 and /or 30 years imprisonment.

Fighting a DUI Death Case

Fighting a DUI death case is tricky and difficult. The prosecution will do its best to prove that your conduct was reckless or that you were negligent of the safety of others which lead you to take drastic actions, causing the death of an innocent person. The prosecution may even accuse you of having criminal intent of committing murder.

Even though proving all this will be difficult for the prosecution, you will still need to get in touch with a professional DUI defense lawyer who understands DUI death cases. Your DUI attorney will try and find loop holes in the case as it proceeds to prove your innocence. He or she will work to have the charges against you reduced, if not fully dropped.

In DUI death cases, it is important that the DUI charge and the penalty for death case are handled separately. This way, your attorney can find loop holes in the DUI case to prove that you were not intoxicated above the allowed legal limit. He or she can do this by finding errors made by the police at the time of your arrest, gathering physical evidence related to malfunctioning equipment used to test your blood alcohol level, collecting differences in the statements given by the arresting officer or by finding mistakes in the way the field sobriety tests were administered.

If your lawyer is able to prove that you were not intoxicated, the charges against you can be significantly reduced. Your lawyer will also make every effort to protect your legal rights and also prove in court that you do not disregard human life which you might be getting accused of.

DUI death cases are severely inherent in nature, as they involve death of an innocent person, but if your lawyer is able to have the charges against you reduced from a DUI death case to reckless driving or a straight DUI, the penalties you may have to face will reduce.

So get in touch with an experienced Orlando criminal DUI attorney to receive the best chance of getting a positive outcome from your case.

Author: Amir Ladan
A former assistant state attorney for Orange/Osceola Counties, Amir has handled thousands of cases and dozens of trials, ranging from DUI and traffic offenses to murder, in both adult and juvenile court.

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