Thomas & Paulk, P.A. Articles Too Many Drinks Before Hitting the Road Can Turn into DUI Manslaughter

Too Many Drinks Before Hitting the Road Can Turn into DUI Manslaughter

By Thomas & Paulk  Dec. 17, 2010 11:28a

When a person has a few drinks or is under the influence of some other substance and decides to take to the road, they can easily make errors in judgment. They may think they can drive unimpaired; perhaps they ate some food which they think will lessen the effects of any drug or alcohol, or they may think that because a few hours have gone by they are now back to normal and alert. This does not always turn out to be the truth of the matter however, and when it doesn't, accidents happen and even deaths can result.

Manslaughter and Vehicular Homicide

Manslaughter and vehicular homicide are the most serious of drunk driving related charges that someone can be faced with in Florida. If a person takes this even a step further and leaves the scene of the accident, it turns into a hit and run and the penalties become even more severe. The penalties for these offenses are as follows:

  • DUI Manslaughter/Vehicular Homicide (second degree felony) up to 10,000 fine
  • Can be sentenced up to 15 years in prison
  • If a person is charged with hit and run, the offense is elevated to a first degree felony, and they can be sentenced up to 30 years in prison for the offense.

Recent Example

You may be familiar with the recent verdict from a South Florida jury acquitting former World Series hero Jim Leyritz of DUI manslaughter, but finding him guilty of DUI for drinking and driving. Leyritz could still be facing up to six months in prison but will not have to face the possible 15 years he might have been sentenced for hitting and killing 30 year old Freida Veitch while he was driving drunk. Being the custodial parent of his three children, he experienced great relief at the verdict. Working with a competent attorney is vital if you have been charged with DUI in Florida.

If you are in the Tampa or surrounding area and have been charged with DUI, you need to contact a Tampa DUI attorney as quickly as possible. At Thomas and Paulk, we are experienced DUI defense lawyers and can help build a defense strategy for your specific situation. We will investigate all details with the goal of enabling you to maintain your freedom and get the charges reduced or possibly even dismissed if at all possible. 

Contact a Tampa DUI Attorney at our office for a free consultation and we will advise you as to what options are best for you.

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