In July of 2008 a Largo, FL DUI motorcycle accident killed the motorcycle driver and caused the passenger to lose her leg. The man allegedly causing the accident was recently extradited from Illinois, according to the Tampa Tribune, and was charged with DUI-Manslaughter and DUI-Serious Bodily Injury under Florida statutes.
In criminal cases where multiple victims are alleged to have been injured, or as in this case killed, the State of Florida always has the option of charging multiple crimes. The law in Florida generally states that each crime must contain separate, specific allegations for the charges not to be duplicative. Here, although the bond in the matter was reported to $55,000, it could have potentially been higher as the prosecution could have also charged the defendant with misdemeanor DUI and misdemeanor DUI-property damage.
One of the essential elements to both the DUI-Manslaughter and the DUI-Serious Bodily Injury case is whether or not the State can show a nexus or connection between the impairment – in this case, the defendant’s BAC (Breath Alcohol Content) was reported .195, twice the legal limit– and the death or injury. Simply put, in order to prove these charges, the State of Florida needs to show that somehow the defendant’s impairment lead to the crash.
Whittel & Melton, LLC focuses on representing clients in civil and criminal matters arising out of DUI and DUI crashes. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a DUI and needs a lawyer, OR if you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, please contact Pinellas County DUI Attorney Jason Melton at 727-847-2299 or Tampa DUI Lawyer Whittel & Melton, LLC at 813-221-3200.