When it comes to vehicular manslaughter charges, the unfortunate irony is that the conduct involved in these tragic incidences would typically only result in a traffic citation (e.g., speeding, running a red light, following too closely, etc.), however the charges suddenly escalate to vehicular manslaughter because a death resulted from the accident.
You will likely be arrested and charged if you were liable for an accident that resulted in a fatality. At this moment, hiring an experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer is extremely important. You need an advocate on your side fighting for your rights. You need someone to preserve evidence and fight to protect your rights, including, but not limited to, having an attorney present for a law enforcement interrogation, having pictures taken of the vehicle damage, having pictures taken of the scene of the collision, talking to witnesses, and obtaining pertinent medical records.
Understanding the Vehicular Manslaughter Statute in Florida
According to Florida Statute § 782.071, vehicular manslaughter charges result from an alleged death caused by the reckless operation of a motor vehicle in such a manner likely to cause death or serious injury. An example would be a death caused while two cars are racing on a city street.
Keep in mind, a Florida prosecutor does not need to prove that you had the intent to hurt or kill anyone. Instead, the burden is merely to show that you operated the vehicle in a manner likely to cause death or bodily injury (e.g., drunk driving).
The Ramifications of a Vehicular Manslaughter Conviction
Vehicular homicide is a second-degree felony, which carries up to 15 years in prison and a monetary fine of up to $10,000. A conviction will also remain on your record for years, which could negatively affect your ability to apply for certain jobs, apply to universities, rent an apartment, etc.
Let a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Build Your Defense
Have no doubt: a Florida prosecutor, in conjunction with law enforcement officials, will conduct an extensive investigation to support the vehicular manslaughter charges. This is not surprising since they must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you operated your vehicle recklessly. You need an aggressive, experienced litigator on your side who will consult with top-tier experts to conduct an independent accident investigation and reconstruction to show defenses that may exist in your case.
Beyond a reasonable doubt is an extremely high standard that the prosecution must meet to convict you. It means that if a juror has any reasonable doubt regarding the events that led up to the unfortunate passing of the other party, they must find you not guilty, as a matter of law. For your defense, the objective is to gradually and systematically dismantle the government’s case by engendering that doubt in the jury.
Contact an Experienced West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Being charged with vehicular homicide is a traumatic event and can have life-changing consequences. Contact the Skier Law Firm, P.A. today. Our attorneys want you to be informed and we are confident that we have the experience and trial skills to help you. We offer free, confidential consultations and serve Palm Beach County, Dade County, Broward County, Martin County, St. Lucie County, Okeechobee County, Lee County and the surrounding areas.