Articles Posted in DUI Manslaughter

Planning a trip to Key West for the holiday? There will be a DUI checkpoint on Stock Island, according to reports.

As most Florida drivers know, there can be huge traffic delays in the Florida Keys if there is a crash on U.S. 1, which is the main thoroughfare through the island chain. However, this Labor Day weekend, expect delays because the DUI checkpoint will be on Stock Island, which you have to travel through to get to Key West.

According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, deputies will stage it for northbound drivers on U.S. 1 at Cross Street, from 8 p.m. Saturday through 2 a.m. Sunday.

2816552570_c25300d775_mPer usual sobriety checkpoints, vehicles will be checked for safety violations, and drivers will be observed for signs of impairment.

Authorities claim they are expecting lots of visitors to the Keys for the long weekend, so deputies will be heavily enforcing laws against speeding, passing in the no passing zones and drunk driving.

While the police are allowed to establish DUI roadblocks, they still are required to follow certain constitutional guidelines. With that said, police cannot just create a checkpoint at anytime and anywhere on impulse. They must sufficiently justify their reasons for the roadblock in that vicinity, clear guidelines must be established for the conduct of the roadblock and prior notice must be given to the public. If proper procedures are not followed, any evidence gathered during the investigation may be deemed inadmissible in court.

In many instances, police do not follow required procedures for DUI roadblocks. However, irregularities on their part can actually benefit your case. A Florida DUI Lawyer at Whittel & Melton will scrutinize every facet of your DUI arrest and find anything that could possible help defend you.

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Labor Day weekend is just around the corner. For many people, that means an extra day off work, backyard and beach barbecues, visiting with friends and family and the unofficial end of summer. However, with the good comes the bad and unfortunately, Labor Day means a sharp increase in drunk-driving-related fatalities.

Beginning August 15 and continuing through September 1, local law enforcement and the Florida HIghway Patrol will be aggressively targeting drunk and drugged drivers as part of a nationwide effort to put an end to impaired driving and save lives.

13002617474_07a9010503_mPolice will be patrolling streets and highways looking for impaired drivers throughout the the state. Residents should expect to see an increase in police as well as DUI checkpoints.

The Fourth of July is just around the corner. Most Americans love to celebrate this day by hanging out with friends and family which usually means cookouts, pool parties, festivals, parades and fireworks.

In gearing up for the Fourth, it is important to remember the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. This campaign is designed to inform drivers that if they get behind the wheel of a car at or over the legal limit of .08 blood alcohol content, they will be arrested and charged with DUI.

Florida drivers can expect to see lots of police cars out patrolling this holiday weekend. That means more roadside checkpoints and more drivers getting pulled over for speeding and other infractions. The period just before the Fourth and immediately after, from July 3 to July 6, usually means Florida law enforcement will be out in full force patrolling cities looking to stop those suspected of DUI.

The Fourth of July holiday is a dangerous time to be on the road, and not just in the state of Florida. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2012, 179 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents between 6 p.m. on July 3rd and 5:59 a.m. on July 5th. Of these accidents, 44 percent were found to be alcohol-related and 28 percent involved a driver that had a blood alcohol content of .15, which is almost twice the legal limit in all 50 states.

IFThis holiday weekend, the Florida DUI Lawyers at Whittel & Melton urge you to play it smart. Exercise caution and safety and do not drink and drive. While a DUI charge is serious, what is even more serious is that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol places everyone on the roadway at risk for injury or death.

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From cookouts and family get-togethers to concerts and parades, Memorial Day weekend is a time for remembrance and celebration. Like any holiday, law enforcement will be out in full force this weekend looking for intoxicated drivers, so partygoers should exercise extra caution to avoid criminal charges.

memorial dayGiven the extent of potential consequences, it is in everyone’s best interest to try and avoid a DUI charge during the 2014 Memorial Day weekend. The following tips can help you prevent an unnecessary DUI charge:

  1. Use Alternate Transportation. Alternate modes of transportation, such as taxis, buses or even car services like Lyft and Uber can prevent you from driving under the influence and help you have an enjoyable holiday weekend.
  2. Try to Stay Within Walking Distance of Your Destination. Travel risks are increased during holiday seasons whether you have been drinking or not. When venturing away from the home, try and stay within walking distance so that you are not tempted to get behind the wheel after consuming a few alcoholic beverages.
  3. Never Drive Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs. Many people fail to realize that DUI laws do not just apply to those who have been drinking alcohol. Any substance that can lead to intoxication, including marijuana and prescription pills, can result in a DUI charge if you decide to drive.

The above safety tips can help you and those closest to you stay safe this holiday weekend. However, if you are stopped for a DUI it is important to know how to react. It can be frightening to be stopped by law enforcement, but being prepared can help you get through this experience unscathed. Understand that during busy holidays, like Memorial Day, police usually set up checkpoints throughout the state and will be stopping drivers. If you get stopped this weekend, remember the following tips:

Stay Calm. Anytime you are pulled over you should remain calm. While you may be anxious or scared, staying cool and collected is the best way to handle the situation.

Know Your Rights. Reviewing and understanding your rights is crucial in order to protect yourself. If you know nothing else, remember that you have the right to speak with an attorney before answering any questions.

Contact a Florida DUI Defense Lawyer. A Florida DUI Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can assist with your defense following an arrest for DUI. We can also make sure your rights remain protected throughout the entire legal process.

Retaining an attorney is just the first step towards resolving your DUI case. At Whittel & Melton, we can review all the evidence against you and scrutinize every detail of your case in order to map out the best course of action. Every DUI charge involves different factors with time-sensitive requirements that must be met, so do not delay.

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The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, dubbed the name “Black Wednesday,” is one of the busiest nights of the year for police departments making DUI arrests. People travelling to see old friends in combination with the long weekend often results in many impaired drivers on the roadways. Law enforcement is certainly aware of this which is why starting the Wednesday before, and lasting through Thanksgiving weekend, police will be increasing their efforts to catch intoxicated drivers on the roads. Police will be using sobriety checkpoints and DUI saturation zones to keep all impaired motorists off the roads.

Understand that while it is important to drive responsibly at all times, it is not illegal to consume alcohol and drive. As long as you are not intoxicated, or your blood alcohol content is not at the legal limit of .08 or above, it is legal to operate a vehicle. Many law enforcement ads during the holidays convey that it is illegal to get behind the wheel of a car if you have had anything to drink. However, this is not true – the legal limit is still 0.08 percent.

drinking betch.jpgLaw enforcement officers are extremely aggressive when it comes to DUI arrests during the holidays, regardless of the legal limit. Anyone suspected of being even close to the legal limit could be arrested for DUI. Unfortunately, many of these arrests are borderline cases, and you could be slapped with a DUI charge even if you were not intoxicated. If you are arrested over the course of this Thanksgiving holiday for a drunken driving offense, you must act fast and enlist the help of a DUI defense lawyer who can examine the facts of your case and help you beat these charges.

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Just four days before her 21st birthday, a woman who once described herself on Twitter as a “party princess” was sentenced to four years in prison after accepting a guilty plea to DUI manslaughter, leaving the scene of a fatal accident, resisting arrest without violence and DUI property damage.

The young girl admitted to drinking heavily during her bartending shift at South Beach’s Nikki Beach nightclub. She then confessed to getting behind the wheel of her car and driving down Collins Avenue last January where she ran over a 49-year-old father of three and the executive chef at Terrazza at the Shore Club.

The man was apparently walking to his job at the Shore Club, when the woman hit him and drove away, even as a witness tried to stop her.

In her plea deal, the woman was sentenced to four years in prison, two years of house arrest and 15 years of probation.

In addition to the above sentence, her driver’s license has been permanently revoked.

The former Florida International University student must also complete 1,000 hours of community service and speak to students about the consequences of driving drunk at least five times a year.

DUI.jpgWhile the woman was sentenced as an adult on most of the charges, she will serve her prison time in a state youthful offender facility.

The man’s family is pursuing legal action in civil court as well. The family is suing Nikki Beach, claiming they were negligent in allowing an underage employee to drink.

A witness to the crash followed the woman to her condo, where police arrested her a short time later.

She refused to take a Breathalyzer at the scene. Two hours after the crash, police claim her blood alcohol content was .225; three times the legal limit of .08.

The woman faced more than 50 years in prison, but the man’s wife did not want revenge. Instead, she encouraged the court to give the woman a second chance. She asked the woman to dedicate her life to improving the lives of others by educating young people of the dangers associated with drinking and using drugs.

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A 29-year-old Tampa man was arrested and charged Thursday morning with DUI manslaughter, as well as multiple other offenses, as a result of an April 28 crash that resulted in the death of a Brooksville woman in Tampa.

Records from the Florida Highway Patrol indicate the man was driving a 2006 Dodge Magnum with a blood-alcohol level of 0.18 when he ran a red light and collided with another vehicle in the intersection of Fletcher and Nebraska avenues. The Dodge Magnum the man was driving flipped multiple times.

Neither the 29-year-old driver nor his 24-year-old female passenger was wearing a seat belt when the accident occurred. The woman was ejected from the Dodge Magnum, according to FHP. Both were taken to Tampa General for their injuries.

The 24-year-old woman, of Brooksville, died in the hospital two days after the collision.

40290_without_face___2.jpgThe other driver involved in the crash was driving a 1992 Jaguar. According to police, the driver was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital with minor injuries.

The 29-year-old was arrested Thursday and booked into the Orient Road Jail. Records indicate that as of Thursday, the man remained in custody with no bail amount set. In addition to DUI manslaughter, he is also facing charges of vehicular homicide, driving with a license suspended or revoked resulting in death, DUI property damage and DUI bodily injury.

The FHP said that investigators did not arrest the man until his toxicology results were verified.

When it comes to drunken driving, Florida law enforces extremely harsh penalties, especially when a death occurs as the result of a drunk driver’s negligence. If you or someone you care about has been charged with DUI manslaughter it is absolutely vital to contact a Tampa DUI lawyer as soon as possible. A conviction for DUI manslaughter often carries consequences that include hefty fines, large amounts of restitution to be paid to the victim’s family, as well as lengthy time in state prison. It is important that you contact an experienced Tampa DUI Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton right away so that we can help you mount an aggressive defense to challenge the State’s charges against you. Delaying will only hurt your chances of obtaining a successful outcome. Rest assured that the state attorney’s office will begin building a case against you immediately, so by acting quickly we can fight to have the charges against you dismissed or significantly reduced.

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A Clearwater woman was charged this week with DUI manslaughter in connection with an October accident where a passenger in her car was killed.

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Reports allege that the woman had just exited the Bayside Bridge in the early hours of Oct. 27 when the accident occurred. She was headed south on County Road 611 just north of Roosevelt Boulevard when she failed to handle a curve and left the roadway, traveling into the median. The woman’s Nissan Altima struck some landscaping before entering the roadway’s northbound lanes. Her front-seat passenger, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was partially ejected from the car. Law enforcement reports say the passenger was taken to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg and died from her injuries three days later.

The Clearwater DUI Attorneys at Whittel & Melton represent many innocent clients, but also represent clients who want to move past their arrest and need an attorney with the experience and respect in the courtroom to secure a fair disposition for a client. Too often, a complacent private attorney will convince a client to plead to a DUI case with a host of probation conditions that sets the client up for failure and puts them at risk for an eventual probation violation that almost certainly will result in jail time.

St. Petersburg law enforcement has charged Timothy Michael Deacon for the DUI manslaughter of a St. Petersburg woman and DUI with serious bodily injury for the woman’s life-long partner relating to a hit and run on Coffee Pot Boulevard late last year.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Gloria Mastell and Roger Wurr were walking down the picturesque road when 21-year-old Deacon, allegedly under the influence of alcohol, approached a bend in the road and lost control. His pickup truck hopped the curb and slammed into the couple with such force that Mastell was launched into the water, where she later died. Wurr was taken to Bayfront Medical Center with severe injuries. According to authorities, Deacon sped away from the scene–but not before a bystander was able to record his license plate number.

1398073_security_fence_4.jpg Later that night, Deacon was found by police at his home–sitting on the ground and smelling of alcohol. Reports allege that his eyes were bloodshot, his speech slurred and that his expression was blank.

1152457_signal.jpgWinter Haven, FL – A 19-year-old woman and her unborn child were killed Sunday night after an alleged drunk driver slammed into the back of the van they were riding in.

Police claim witnesses saw a man driving a 2012 Dodge Ram pickup truck recklessly on US Hwy 27 right before he rear-ended a Chrysler van carrying four passengers stopped at a red light around 10:19 p.m.

The 19-year-old mother-to-be was riding in the left rear passenger seat of the van when the collision occurred. She suffered severe trauma during the crash and died on the way to the hospital. An emergency C-section was performed to try and save her baby girl, who was 9 months along, but the child died due to severe injuries.

The woman riding in the front passenger seat of the van was flown to LMRC with serious injuries.

The man in the right rear passenger seat was taken to Winter Haven Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the van was also taken to Winter Haven Hospital where she was treated for bruises and lacerations.

The driver of the truck, a 27-year-old Oklahoma resident, was apparently driving at least 20 mph over the speed limit at the time of the accident.

Initial toxicology reports indicate the man’s Blood Alcohol Content was .131 at the time of the crash. A blood sample was taken from the man and has been sent to the FDLE lab for analysis.

The man has been charged with two counts of Vehicular Homicide, two counts of DUI Manslaughter, two counts of DUI involving Serious Bodily Injury, DUI crash involving property damage and DUI.

The charges this man faces are undoubtedly serious. In cases involving vehicular homicide or DUI manslaughter, it is essential to act swiftly as time can play a crucial role in uncovering evidence in your favor from the scene of the accident. As with all serious collisions, a thorough investigation must be conducted in order to challenge any evidence that the State may have against you. Despite the amount of evidence stacked against you, there are many issues that must be looked into that could assist in your defense against the charges.

A Florida DUI Manslaughter Defense Attorney can investigate any issues related to the accident, including the following:

• Was the breath or blood test conducted appropriately and were results properly preserved according to the law? Is this evidence reliable?

• Did your actions while behind the wheel actually cause the accident?

• Were you the one driving the vehicle at the time of the accident? Can prosecutors actually prove this?

• Did the actions or reactions of the other driver involved cause or contribute to the collision?

• Could seat belts have prevented the death or serious injuries of the driver and/or passengers?

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