Orlando Mother on Life Support After DUI Accident
An alleged drunk driver is being charged with DUI after a crash that put an Orlando mother on life support, according to a recent news article. The mother was coming home from a work-related trip when the accident occurred. The victim and her wife had recently launched a new business and were only 40 minutes from their home when the crash occurred. They had traveled to Miami for a business trip, according to the report.
The victim is currently in the hospital with severe injuries to legs, ankles, and pelvis. Doctors say that it is a miracle that she survived the crash at all. The suspect in this case will be hoping that she continues to improve as it could be the difference between prison time and staying out of prison.
If the victim dies, the suspect would be charged with DUI manslaughter which has an automatic 4-year sentence attached to it. If the victim lives, then the suspect would be charged with DUI causing serious bodily injury.
DUI causing serious bodily injury
“Serious bodily injury” is defined as an injury that creates a substantial risk of death, disfigurement, or a risk of the loss of a bodily organ. Since the victim in this case is in a coma, the defendant is likely to face charges related to DUI causing serious bodily injury. But that’s only if the victim survives. It may happen that the victim does not survive this crash and if that’s the case, then the defendant would be charged with DUI manslaughter.
Under Florida statutes, DUI causing serious bodily injury is a third-degree felony which has a maximum prison term of 5 years in state prison. However, prison time for DUI causing serious bodily injury is not a forgone conclusion like it is with DUI manslaughter. If this is the driver’s first offense, then they may be able to negotiate a deal that avoids prison time. This is especially true if they agree to seek treatment for drug and alcohol abuse.
Under Florida law, DUI manslaughter has a recommended sentence of nearly 10 years. However, the courts can impose a downward departure sentence of 4 years in cases where it is a first offense. In these cases, the suspect must ask the court for the lesser sentence, but there is a mandatory minimum of 4 years no matter what if someone dies while you are intoxicated and behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.
You do not want to be charged with DUI manslaughter in the State of Florida. It is the most serious DUI offense you can face and qualifies as a second-degree felony under the law. Those with prior DUIs on their record will find it difficult to plead the sentence down to four years.
Talk to an Orlando DUI Lawyer Today
FL DUI Group represents the interests of Orlando residents who have been charged with DUI-related offenses. Call our Florida DUI defense lawyers today to set up an appointment and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.