DUI Manslaughter

Tampa DUI Manslaughter Defense Lawyer

Pursuant to Florida law, a person is guilty of DUI manslaughter if: the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state and who, by reason of such operation, causes or contributes to causing the death of any human being or viable fetus, and:

• The person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in s. 877.111, or any substance controlled under chapter 893, when affected to the extent that the person's normal faculties are impaired; OR

• The person has a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; OR

• The person has a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

Essentially, the State must prove that the defendant-driver was impaired by his or her use of alcohol or some other substance, and that his or her actions while in control of a vehicle caused or contributed to the death of another person.

An effective defense strategy should challenge the two main types of expert testimony. First, the law enforcement officer's opinion that the accused driver caused the accident, and second, that the blood analysis results are reliable to establish the defendant's blood alcohol level as being above 0.08 at the time of the accident, or that the blood concentration of drugs caused the defendant to be impaired at the time of the accident. 


Accident Reconstruction

The attorney who handles your Tampa DUI manslaughter case should have extensive experience in the area of accident reconstruction. Counsel will need to carefully analyze all of the evidence, including the accident scene, weather information, law enforcement reports, witness statements, and the vehicles, for purposes of determining an alternative cause of the collision. To successfully defend a DUI manslaughter case, it is crucial to know what evidence to look for and what experts to retain.

DUI attorney Dereck Capaz has extensive knowledge and experience with handling auto accident cases involving death and serious bodily injuries. Following his time as a criminal prosecutor at the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office, he worked for a well-respected civil defense firm in Tampa, focusing most of his practice on tractor-trailer accidents and serious bodily injury cases. Mr. Capaz was one of the attorneys hired by large trucking companies and was on the "first response team" and would often be called out to accident scenes involving death and/or catastrophic injuries.

Having personally responded to many accident scenes, and handling death or serious accident cases from the beginning through trial, Mr. Capaz has the extensive experience necessary to defend your case.


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Florida DUI Manslaughter Penalties

• DUI/Manslaughter: A driver convicted of DUI Manslaughter is guilty of a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. The Florida Legislature recently added a four-year minimum mandatory prison sentence on all DUI manslaughter convictions pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 316.193. In addition, the defendant is subject to a mandatory permanent driver's license revocation. However, if the individual has no prior DUI related convictions, he or she may be eligible for hardship reinstatement after 5 years.

• DUI Manslaughter/Leaving the Scene: A driver convicted of DUI Manslaughter who knew, or should have known, the accident occurred and failed to give information or failed to render aid is guilty of a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.


Contact an Experienced Tampa DUI Lawyer

Individuals facing this serious criminal charge should hire an experienced defense attorney immediately in order to start building a strong defense while the evidence is still fresh. If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with DUI manslaughter in Tampa or its surrounding areas, contact Tampa DUI attorney Dereck Capaz at (813) 440-2700.


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