DUI Manslaughter

Driving intoxicated is always risky and increases the chance of injury or even death from an accident. If a person dies as a result of a DUI accident, then the drunk driver will face DUI manslaughter charges. The penalties for the crime are incredibly serious and can include expensive fines in the thousands and years in prison. In addition, the prosecution isn’t required to prove the driver’s intoxicated caused the accident. So, it can be difficult to defend a DUI manslaughter case effectively.

DUI manslaughter has a lower standard for the prosecutor to meet than ordinary manslaughter or vehicular manslaughter. Because of this, it can be easier for the District Attorney’s Office to secure a DUI manslaughter conviction. For these reasons and more, we highly suggest you gain legal representation as soon as possible if you’ve been charged with DUI manslaughter.

West Palm Beach Attorney for DUI Manslaughter in FL

If you were charged with any serious felony driving offense such as DUI manslaughter in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Pembroke Pines or anywhere in the area, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. Our skilled defense lawyers understand what is needed to fight a serious DUI charge. Let us be your guide through this legal process and call Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. 

Contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to set up your first consultation free today. We have the experience, the focus, and the passion for providing an aggressive defense to these difficult and serious charges throughout Palm Beach County or Broward County. Call (561) 557-8686 to discuss the case.

Overview of DUI Manslaughter in FL

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What Constitutes as DUI Manslaughter in Florida?

Even a standard driving under the influence conviction has consequences that have a lasting impact on a person’s life. When a person dies as a result of a DUI accident then the penalties for the crime are increased drastically. Florida Statue Section 316.193(1) and (3)(c)(3) states it’s unlawful for a person to drive a vehicle, or be found in actual physical control of a vehicle, within the state of Florida and is either. 

  • Under the influence of alcoholic beverages or a controlled substance to the point their physical and mental faculties are impaired beyong their control; OR
  • Has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher; AND
  • Causes the death of another person either directly or indirectly

Unfortunately, even if the offender never intended to harm anyone, they will still face the criminal penalties of DUI manslaughter. In some cases, a person can be charged with DUI manslaughter even if they weren’t driving throughout the whole offense. Being in actual physical control means a person is inside of the car and has the capability and control to drive the vehicle. For instance, if a person is found in their car passed out with the keys in the ignition and the engine off, they could be considered in actual physical control.

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What Are the Penalties for DUI Manslaughter in Florida?

Florida commonly tries DUI cases and normally offenders receive mild to moderate consequences for committing the crime. This changes when a person dies as a result of a DUI. A conviction for DUI manslaughter is a second-degree felony, which is punishable by:

  • Up to 15 years in prison;
  • Up to 15 years of probation; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

Florida judges are required to impose a mandatory minimum sentence of 124 and a half months (or 4 years) as an additional component to sentencing. Believe it or not this isn’t the end to the potential punishments for DUI manslaughter. The court may add the following conditions to your sentence to deter you from driving drunk ever again including, but not limited to:

  • Permanent driver’s license revocation;
  • Community service hours;
  • Impoundment of your vehicle for a period;
  • Successful completion of a DUI substance abuse course; and
  • Participation of a psychosocial evaluation and substance abuse treatment.

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Additional Resources

MADD | Florida Chapter – Visit the official website for MADD, also known as Mothers Against Drunk Driving for the state of Florida, a non-profit nationwide organization dedicated to stopping people from driving drunk. Access their site to learn DUI statistics in Florida, survivor stories, and additional information needed to participate in victim impact panels.

Florida Laws for DUI Manslaughter – Visit the official website for the Florida Statues to learn more about their laws for DUI manslaughter and the penalties. Access the site to read more on the elements of DUI, penalties and enhanced penalties and other traffic crimes.

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DUI Manslaughter Lawyer in Palm Beach County, FL

If you were arrested for any driving offense that involved the death or serious bodily injury of another person then contact the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to discuss the case. Many of these cases involve injuries or death to the passenger in your vehicle. Other cases involve injuries or death to the driver or passenger in another vehicle involved in the crash.

If the crash occurred in Palm Beach County, Broward County or one of the surrounding counties, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. Our lawyers have a thorough background with DUI cases of all types including manslaughter. No case is too big for us and you can always rely on us to advocate for your rights. Call to discuss your case today at (561) 557-8686 to set up your first consultation free.

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  • I just had to commend you on the outstanding job you did on behalf of your client in court yesterday. If my clients were ever to ask me if I know of a good DUI defense attorney, I know to whom I can refer them!

  • I was facing hard prison time and punishment. [Larry] did everything to pull strings and get me into rehab. After meeting with many therapists I finally got one to diagnose me successfully with Bipolar. Thanks to Larry I have been sober since 6/19/09. My health is great and my family life is amazing. It's because he saw something in me and my family that I wasn't just an alcoholic there was something that told me it was something else.

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  • Mr. Steven Bell, Words cant explain how thankful I am for you and your firm. I was facing felony charges and even looking at doing 5 years in jail! Not only did you fight for me, you got my case dismissed and dropped. For that, I don't have words to say “thank you” you were always kind and believed in me. You looked for every opportunity and you won! Thank you for being my guardian angel in disguise and steering me in the right direction. You are forever my “too go guy” thank you soooo much!

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