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Florida DUI Defense Attorney > Blog > DUI Defense > Woman Sentenced To 6 Months Following DUI Death

Woman Sentenced To 6 Months Following DUI Death


A Florida woman avoided a DUI manslaughter charge but was still sentenced to six months after she struck and killed a pedestrian. Initially, she fled the scene of the accident but returned as police were assisting the victim. She told police she was unsure if she struck an object or a person. Police performed a breathalyzer and found her BAC to be over twice the legal limit.

Prosecutors told the press and the victim’s family that they had a responsibility to pursue only those charges they believed were likely to succeed. In this case, the woman pleaded no contest to a charge of aggravated DUI. She was not required to face the DUI manslaughter charge. Below, we’ll discuss some of the reasons why she avoided substantial prison time even though a death occurred.

Understanding DUI manslaughter charges 

In order to prove DUI manslaughter, the prosecution must establish that you were drunk at the time of the accident. They must also establish that your negligence greatly contributed to the death of another person. For those who are speeding along the highway and kill someone else while drunk, it’s easy to establish the connection between the inebriation and the accident. However, if the other driver’s negligent driving was primarily to blame for the accident, you can’t be blamed for their death. You can only be held responsible for the law you did break: Driving while impaired.

In this case, it seems likely that the defendant claimed that the pedestrian walked in front of her car while it was moving. She was initially charged with DUI manslaughter, but prosecutors dropped the charges and the case settled with 6 months of jail time and 6 months in an alcohol rehabilitation facility.

In this case, an accident reconstruction specialist testified on behalf of the defendant and presented an expert opinion that the crash was unavoidable. They found that the pedestrian walked out into the street without looking both ways and even a sober driver could not have avoided the collision. While the family is upset, the defense would have presented this evidence at trial and the prosecution would have incurred the cost of trying to force a DUI manslaughter charge down the jury’s throats without the requisite evidence.

In this case, the driver is lucky that evidence was found to corroborate her claim that she was not responsible for the accident. Juries tend to assume deaths caused by drunk drivers are the fault of the driver. The accident reconstruction specialist was able to present evidence that her drunkenness did not contribute to the fatal accident. Additionally, charges of leaving the scene of a fatal accident were dropped because the defendant returned to the scene and admitted to intoxication.

Talk to an Orlando DUI Attorney Today 

FL DUI Group represents the interests of Orlando residents and tourists who are charged with DUI in the Orlando area. Call our Florida DUI defense lawyers today to schedule an appointment and we can begin discussing your options immediately.



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