Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Call NOW to Save Your Driver’s License!
  • 321-256-1141
  • 200 East Robinson Street, Suite 1140
    Orlando, FL 32801

  • facebook
  • twitter
  • linkedin
  • AVVO
Florida DUI Defense Attorney > Blog > DUI Defense > Merrit Island Man Faces Charges of DUI Manslaughter in Death of 70-Year-Old Woman

Merrit Island Man Faces Charges of DUI Manslaughter in Death of 70-Year-Old Woman


A 36-year-old Merritt Island man is facing a charge of DUI manslaughter for the death of a 70-year-old woman that occurred on New Year’s Eve. The crash left three others in the vehicle hospitalized, one of whom is in critical condition. According to police, the defendant was operating his vehicle at a reckless speed while under the influence of alcohol. Authorities noted that the defendant appeared “highly intoxicated.” He had slurred speech, watery and bloodshot eyes, and smelled strongly of alcohol. The defendant allegedly refused to speak to police and would not confirm or deny that he was injured in the crash. According to the arrest affidavit, the defendant kept asking the officer if he could stand up. When the officer told him to stay seated, he immediately stood up leading to an altercation with police. The defendant yelled obscenities at police and told them that he would “stand up if I want to.” Police initiated a takedown of the defendant during which he continued to resist. As he was seated on the pavement in cuffs, he allegedly jerked his elbow into the police officer’s calf, leading to an additional charge of battery. He also allegedly spat at another police officer.

The defendant was initially charged with resisting an officer without violence and two counts of battery on a police officer. He has subsequently been charged with DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, DUI fourth offense, and two counts of DUI causing serious bodily injury.

Analyzing the charges 

The defendant is facing a litany of charges the most serious of which is DUI manslaughter. DUI manslaughter is considered a second-degree felony under Florida law and is punishable by a maximum sentence of up to 15 years in state prison. The recommended sentence for DUI manslaughter is just under 10 years. Those convicted of DUI manslaughter face a mandatory minimum sentence of 4 years. The defendant is unlikely to qualify for the mandatory minimum sentence given his lack of cooperation with police and previous convictions for DUI. The courts only award a minimum sentence in cases where the defendant has enough mitigating circumstances to warrant the downward departure from the statutory recommended sentence.

In addition to DUI manslaughter, the defendant is facing two counts of DUI causing serious bodily injury. DUI causing serious bodily injury is considered a third-degree felony under Florida law. It is punishable by a maximum sentence of up to 5 years in state prison. Often, if the victim is permanently injured, then the defendant will face prison time on this charge. It is unclear whether or not the victims will face permanent injuries as a result of this crash.

Talk to an Orlando DUI Defense Attorney Today 

The Florida DUI defense lawyers at FL DUI Group represent the interests of those charged with various DUI-related offenses. Call our office today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin preparing your defense right away.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn