A 19-year-old University of Miami student was charged with DUI Manslaughter Monday in Miami-Dade Circuit Court as a result of an Oct. 3 car crash that killed a 68-year-old mother of five and grandmother of seven.
According to Coral Gables police, the student allegedly had a blood alcohol level nearly triple the legal limit when she rammed her 2011 Audi Q5 into a Ford Focus shortly after 4:30 a.m. The driver of the Ford Focus was killed instantly.
The student was first charged with vehicular manslaughter, but prosecutors tacked on the DUI manslaughter charge as well as a third-degree felony count of possessing a false driver’s license. The student is accused of possessing several fake IDs.
The student’s toxicology report indicates that shortly after the crash her blood alcohol level was .231, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
The girl has allegedly pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial under house arrest.
The victim’s family is supposedly suing the student and her father, the owner of the Audi, for negligence.
In accidents such as this one, it is important to note that police and Florida Highway Patrol reports are often drawn up quickly and biased against a driver that indicates impairment from either alcohol or drugs. It is crucial to contact an experienced Criminal-DUI Defense Lawyer after an alcohol-related wreck occurs so that the defense can begin a separate investigation while any evidence is still fresh. The sooner the defense can perform an independent toxicology analysis and accident reconstruction, the better.
When a driver causes an accident either by operating a vehicle negligently or by disobeying a traffic law, he or she may be charged with Vehicular Manslaughter. If police find that alcohol was involved, then prosecutors often charge the person that consumed alcohol with Vehicular Manslaughter even if the accident was unavoidable and quite possibly not his or her fault. A DUI Manslaughter conviction can carry up to 15 years in prison with a minimum mandatory sentence of four years. There is a mandatory lifetime driver’s license revocation in addition to prison time if convicted.
In allegations of DUI Manslaughter, there are two main factors a criminal defense attorney explores – the intoxication level and the cause of the accident. There are several standard ways of fighting a DUI in regards to intoxication level, including the accuracy of BAC testing devices, assumption of the BAC at the time of the accident, the possibility the driver did not consume enough alcohol to be considered under the influence and poor police DUI investigation tactics. It is critical for a Florida Criminal-DUI Defense Attorney to conduct an independent accident reconstruction with the help of private experts to determine the exact cause of the accident. DUI Manslaughter charges arise from speculations that the defendant’s impaired driving caused the death of the victim. The victim of a DUI Manslaughter case could be a passenger as well as a passenger in another car or even a innocent bystander.
The Florida Criminal-DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can vigorously challenge the prosecution’s case. We understand that these are extremely emotional cases and the family of the victim will be pushing the State for maximum penalties. Our staff and attorneys have the training and experience needed to properly evaluate the facts of your case and successfully defend your DUI manslaughter charges.
If you have been charged with DUI Manslaughter throughout the state of Florida, contact the Florida Criminal-DUI Defense Lawyers at the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, LLC online or reach us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).