Driving under the influence is a serious charge on its own. However, there are some circumstances when a DUI can also result in additional charges, such as DUI manslaughter.
When can a DUI result in manslaughter charges?
Florida DUI manslaughter
A DUI can result in a DUI manslaughter charge if you cause an accident that kills another person while you are driving under the influence. DUI manslaughter is a second-degree felony that may result in a sentence of up to 15 years in prison if you receive a conviction. It is similar to a vehicular homicide charge, except that DUI manslaughter requires the intoxication element and vehicular homicide requires you to be driving recklessly.
If you fail to comply with the requirement to render aid and provide information at the scene of the accident, your charge could be a first-degree felony with a penalty of up to 30 years in prison.
DUI manslaughter defenses
The primary defense to a DUI manslaughter charge is to disprove that you were driving while intoxicated. If your DUI charge results from a breath test, your defense may question the accuracy of that test. Additionally, if you received medical treatment at a hospital, your defense may assert that medications administered at the hospital interfered with the accuracy of the test.
The serious nature of a DUI manslaughter charge makes it important to mount a strong defense. In some cases, your defense may be able to negotiate a lesser charge that carries a less severe potential penalty.