According to automotive insurance industry statisticians, a typical American motorist will be involved in a traffic accident every 17.8 years. This means that over the course of a lifetime, an average driver may expect to find himself in three or four collisions. The seriousness of these accidents varies of course from the innocuous parking lot fender bender to major interstate highway pile ups. The truth of the matter is that only a very small portion of these unfortunate incidents results in a fatal injury; only 3 out of every 1,000 according to this industry.
In Florida, the number of fatal accidents on state highways has been declining steadily over the years but still hovers around 2,500 fatalities per year. So there is a small but nonetheless distinct probability that you may during the course of your lifetime find yourself involved in an accident which has resulted in the loss of life.
Accidents Caused by Impairment
When accidents are the consequence of impairment due to the use of alcohol or illicit drugs, such cases are pursued quite aggressively by Florida State prosecutors under the DUI manslaughter statutes. The consequences of a conviction under these statues are quite harsh, with up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Even in cases where impairment is stipulated as not at issue, the prison term upon conviction can rise to 15 years with a fine of equal magnitude. In addition to these criminal charges, a defendant may also incur civil liability in terms of a suit for damages and loss of life by survivors. In view of such severe and devastating consequences, a person charged with such an offense needs to vigorously address them with the utmost diligence.
Vehicular Manslaughter Has Several Unique Criminal Defenses
The circumstances under which a fatal automotive accident might occur are typically quite unique. As stressful and enervating and as all of these fatalities certainly are, not every case needs to result in a prosecutable charge of vehicular homicide. In the event that you are unfortunate enough to find yourself on the receiving end of a vehicular manslaughter charge, there is no reason for panic. Several tried and true defenses present themselves in vehicular homicide cases and each hinges upon the specific facts of the case.
Available Defense Strategies
For this reason, all of the relevant evidence must be investigated, all material witnesses must be deposed, and the most astute accident reconstruction specialist and expert witnesses must be brought to bear on the defense process. In addition to this substantive approach, the absence of certain specific procedural requirements on the part of law enforcement agencies may serve to diminish or entirely defeat a vehicular homicide charge.
Under the exclusionary rule, culpitory evidence may be thrown out entirely if law enforcement did not rigorously adhere to these requirements:
- The failure to read the accused his / her Miranda rights
- The failure to inform him / her of the commencement of a criminal investigation
DEFENSE LAWYER SERVING POLK COUNTY & BEYOND
The most effective defense approach to a particular vehicular manslaughter charge requires the discernment of an experienced, board-certified criminal defense attorney. If you are seeking to hire a criminal defense attorney to defend yourself or someone accused of vehicular manslaughter, you will want to ensure that you hire a legal team that has the expertise, experience, and track record to manage the defense of a charge as serious as this.
SPEAK WITH A POLK COUNTY CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER TODAY
David Carmichael of Boswell & Dunlap LLP, is a board certified and aggressive attorney with the knowledge of how to defend people accused of most any misdemeanor or felony crime, including vehicular homicide. We are also staffed with attorneys qualified to handle any civil liability claims that may arise from such charges. We value your privacy and will keep any information strictly confidential.