Yesterday, a Hillsborough county dentist was sentenced to 12 years in prison pursuant to a plea agreement with prosecutors for causing the deaths of two people in a horrible DUI Manslaughter accident during Halloween. The drivers blood alcohol level was 0.13 which is over the 0.08 legal limit.
The case took 3 years to resolve by a plea to the charge. These cases can take a very long time to resolve due to the nature of the offense, the amount of evidence to thoroughly read, depositions, research case law, consult with experts, and file motions.
DUI Manslaughter is a 2nd degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison under Florida Statute 316.193(3)(c)3.a. However, a driver can be sentenced for more than the statutory maximum of 15 years if they score more under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheet. DUI Manslaghetr is a Level 8 offense. A summary of the “Scoresheet” with no prior record would be:
- Count 1- Primary Offense - DUI Manslaghter – Offense Level 8 – 74 Points
- Count 2 - Additional Offense - DUI Manslaghter – Offense Level 8 – 37 Points
- Victim Injury – Death – 120 points x 2 deaths = 240 Points
- 74+37+240 = 351 Points
- 351-28 = 323 x 0.75 = 242.25 which is the lowest permissible prison sentence in months or about 20 years in prison.
This is where the term “scores out to” comes from that defense attorneys and prosecutors use in felony cases. That means in this case the driver “scores out to 242.25 points. Because each point represents a month in prison, and there are 12 months in a year, if we divide 242.25 by 12, we get a minimum term of prison of just over 20 years in prison.
In this case the “Scoresheet” for DUI Manslaughter in this case would look something like DUI Manslaughter Scoresheet
A DUI Manslaughter case is even more serious and “scores” even more prison time if the driver fails to render aid to the accident victim or give information. Under Florida Statute 316.193(3)(c)3.b. “DUI manslaughter; failing to render aid or give information”, the crime is a 1st degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison for each offense. The offense level is raised to 9 which would increase the “Primary Offense” points from 74 to 92. This crime was enacted by the legislature to punish drivers who flee from the scene in hopes of escaping being detected or having their blood drawn as evidence to prove impairment.
These cases are very emotional for the victim’s family. At the same time, we as defense attorneys have to insure that the investigation was conducted properly, that the evidence is reliable, and the prosecutor can prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Defending a DUI Manslaughter, DUI with serious bodily injury, or even a simple misdemeanor DUI requires extensive knowledge of the DUI laws, forensic sciences, trial experience, and the administrative rules governing blood and breath collection. If you have been arrested for an alcohol-related offense you need a DUI lawyer that is not afraid to file motions and fight for you in court. You also need an experienced DUI attorney that studies the changes in the law, how blood or breath evidence is collected, how the blood or breath is processed through a gas chromatography or breath test machines.
If you have been arrested for DUI Manslaughter, DUI with serious Bodily Injury, or DUI you need to call a DUI lawyer IMMEDIATELY! There are many things that need to be done immediately to start defending you of these very serious criminal charges.
Thomas C. Grajek – 863-838-5549
Experienced DUI attorney