Vehicular homicide is caused by either an accident or negligence towards road safety. After this occurs, the person in charge of the vehicle needs to determine how they proceed. There are lots of questions to ask: Was it an accident out of their control? How do they get an attorney? How will they be protected? What are their rights?
The answer to those questions all depends on the circumstances, evidence, applicable laws, and, of course, how well the attorney can defend them.
If this happens to you, we can provide the needed aid to defend you by providing you with a trusted attorney, whether your case is related to criminal vehicular homicide, DUI, or personal injuries. You and your rights will be well protected; your attorney will guide you on how to proceed and what not to say or do.
An Overview of Vehicular Homicide
If someone sustained injuries caused by a Florida car accident, the case’s outcome would be determined through Florida’s civil standard of negligence. There is a difference between civil negligence and recklessness, and the criminal standard for recklessness is more stern and thorough.
The civil standard of negligence in Florida says that because of neglect on the driver’s part to follow duty and abide by the rules, it resulted in a crash that caused a fatality.
The main question is whether the driver operated the vehicle in a reckless or neglecting manner under full knowledge. A case of vehicular homicide is a lower degree than vehicular manslaughter but still higher than simple neglect to carry out everyday driving.
According to Florida Statute 782.071, vehicular homicide is committed when a driver recklessly handles the vehicle in such a way for death or bodily harm to occur.
Causes of Vehicular Homicide
The following driving actions can support the case for a person to be charged with vehicular manslaughter:
- Negligent Driving: Careless or reckless driving situations, like texting while driving.
- Driving Under the Influence: The most frequent way people are found guilty of reckless driving is being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A blood-alcohol level reading of 0.08 or higher is considered to be under the influence. Note that this doesn’t say only alcohol -- prescription drugs can also be regarded as a contributing factor.
- Statute Violation: If a safety statute was violated that resulted in death, charges might be applicable.
- Drowsy Driving: Many accidents occur when drivers are tired.
Penalties for Vehicular Homicide
There are two possible penalties if someone is convicted of vehicular homicide in Florida:
- Standard Vehicular Homicide: Vehicular homicide is usually a second-degree felony, bringing up to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
- Aggravated Offense: This usually comes when a hit-and-run takes place. It can lead to a first-degree felony charge and bring 30 years in prison along with a maximum fine of $10,000.
You will still be convicted of vehicular homicide if you do not lend aid to the accident scene and do not provide your information. Suppose you do not provide your information or assistance. In that case, it will result in a first-degree felony in Florida, with a punishment of the highest 30 years imprisonment, 30 years probation, and a fine of $10,000.
According to Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code, Vehicular homicide without provided aid or information is a Level 7 offense severity ranking. A person convicted of this specific crime is still required to be sentenced by a judge. A minimum sentencing of 9¼ years imprisonment is not given.
Increase your chances of winning your vehicular homicide case when you contact Florida criminal defense attorney Thomas C. Grajek today! Call (863) 688-4606 now for a case evaluation.
Defenses to Vehicular Homicide
If you are accused of vehicular homicide in Florida, there are plenty of available defenses possible.
If the police committed a constitutional violation against you, the evidence could be suppressed. Sometimes if the suppressed evidence is highly critical to the state’s case, it could lead to dismissal because the government has no evidence for the trial.
If speeding occurred with no other occurrences, then it may not apply to vehicular homicide.
The most important defense is called “retrograde extrapolation.” This happens when an extended amount of time transpires between the accident and a test to determine if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Other defenses include lack of negligence, gross negligence, involuntary intoxication, causation, insufficient evidence, and mistaken identity.
Get In Touch with a Vehicular Homicide Attorney in Florida
If you have been charged with vehicular homicide, then the best decision you can make is to contact a vehicular homicide attorney. They can give you advice on how to proceed and defend your case.
Thomas C. Grajek has the skill to represent you and protect your rights.
FAQs for Guide to Vehicular Homicide in Florida
What are the aggravating factors that can worsen your sentence?
Your sentence could worsen when you did not gave your information or provided aid at the scene, you drove under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you were drowsy driving, you committed a statute violation, you caused a hit-and-run accident, or you were negligent or found to be reckless driving.
What is exculpatory evidence?
Exculpatory evidence refers to a type of evidence that favors the defendant to help excuse or justify the situation.
What is the major difference between vehicular manslaughter and vehicular homicide?
Vehicular homicide is when the vehicle was driven recklessly and subsequently caused death. On the other hand, vehicular manslaughter is when driving under the influence (DUI), drugs, or lack of sleep is involved.