Understanding DUI Manslaughter in Jacksonville
In 2017, there were 515 fatalities due to DUIs in the state of Florida. While DUI fatalities decreased across the state in recent years, they are still unreasonably high in Jacksonville, Florida. According to DUI statistics, Jacksonville had the highest number of absolute DUI deaths within its’ borders over the last three years. It is also the only city in northeastern Florida to be in the top 10 most dangerous DUI cities and even Gainesville, home to the University of Florida, is 71% safer.
Of all the roads in and around Jacksonville, Route 1 was by far the most dangerous road with 15 major DUI fatalities between 2015 and 2017.
One most recent and tragic DUI accident occurred on December 9, 2018 when Kim Johnston caused a crash that killed Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office bailiff, Cathy Adams, and severely injured her husband. Nearly seven hours after the fatal DUI accident, Johnston’s blood alcohol level was still 0.126, well above the legal limit in Florida. She was initially charged with two counts of DUI with serious bodily injury, until January when the prosecution added a DUI manslaughter charge.
Consequences of DUI Manslaughter
In the state of Florida, anyone who causes the death of another person when driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs could be charged with DUI manslaughter. The prosecution often aggressively pursues conviction after a DUI fatality, especially when blood alcohol content levels are high. If you are convicted of DUI manslaughter in the state of Florida, the consequences and penalties are severe, including:
- Second Degree Felony
- Mandatory minimum prison sentence of 124.5 months (over 10 years)
- Up to 15 years in state prison
- Fines up to $10,000
- Permanent driver’s license revocation
- Impoundment of driver vehicle
Even after you’ve paid your debt to society and served your time behind bars, a felony conviction for DUI manslaughter will follow you throughout your life. You may find it difficult to find employment, continue your education, obtain housing, or even apply for financial aid. A conviction can be devastating for you and can irreversibly affect your entire life.
Due to the severity of these penalties and consequences, it is important to have an experienced Jacksonville DUI defense attorney on your side from the very start. Your attorney may be able to have these charges reduced or even dismissed altogether if evidence is lacking. No matter how serious the charges are, you deserve to have a fair trial and be represented aggressively.
Have You Been Charged with a DUI Manslaughter in Jacksonville?
At Lockett Law, our Jacksonville DUI defense attorneys know that DUI manslaughter charges are serious and can impact your entire future. If you are convicted, you could spend considerable time behind bars for your crime. We also know that having a felony record will follow you throughout your life. As such, we can help you fight all criminal and DUI charges, including serious DUI manslaughter charges.
If you’ve been arrested and charged with DUI in Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Palm Valley, or anywhere in the state of Florida, we can help. Call Lockett Law today at (904) 667-0626 or fill out our confidential contact form. We are ready to fight for you and we can protect your future and your freedom every step of the way.