Vehicular Homicide

While the difference between murder and homicide is vast in terms of the level of felony, homicide charges can easily result in years behind bars for a convicted person–all for a death that they did not intend to cause. The main difference between homicide and murder is intent. A plot to kill or an intent to kill during a spur of the moment decision would be murder. If someone caused the death of another due to negligence (an accident), the criminal charge, if any charge is given, would be homicide. Such is the case in a 2014 Florida tragedy for which a man has just recently been charged and convicted.

Sentenced to Five Years for Killing His Wife While Drinking and Driving

The Florida man, who was driving with his wife as a passenger, crashed after the couple had been drinking and having sex in the car. According to the man, the two had been drinking Crown Royal from a flask, stopped the car to have sex in the driver’s seat (though both were found in the driver’s seat without seat belts), and the next thing he remembers is waking up in the wrecked vehicle, which, according to authorities, had been launched 30 feet into the air upon hitting a canal. Crash investigators discovered that he had been traveling 55 in a 30 mile per hour speed zone, his blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit, and he had THC, the chemical compound in marijuana that causes a high, in his blood system, according to People Magazine. The man’s attorney argued that his sentence should be reduced to probation and house arrest in order for him to continue raising the couple’s two young children, and also because the couple had both made a bad decision together. However, his wife’s father asked for the maximum allowable prison sentence, citing to the defendant, “You had a responsibility to get your wife home safely.” When issuing the sentence, the judge proclaimed, “You failed your wife, you failed your children and you failed all your family that is here today.” The defendant was sentenced to five years in prison.

Definition of Vehicular Homicide

According to Florida statute 782.071, vehicular homicide is killing another person or an unborn child, caused by injuring the mother, by recklessly operating a motor vehicle that is likely to cause serious bodily injury or death. Vehicular manslaughter in Florida is a second degree felony, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. By failing to provide information and aid to the victim (a hit and run), the charge will be upgraded to a first degree felony, punishable by a maximum of 30 years in prison. To be charged with vehicular homicide, the defendant need not know that the accident they caused resulted in injury or death.

Call the Skier Law Firm Today for Immediate Assistance

If you have been charged with vehicular homicide or driving under the influence (DUI) call the West Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys of the Skier Law Firm today at (561) 820-1508. Our skilled legal team is prepared to help you today.

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