Gainesville DUI Manslaughter Defense Attorneys

Available 24/7 to Fight Your DUI Manslaughter Charge

If you’ve been arrested for DUI manslaughter in Florida, you must act fast. The law does not mess around when it comes to penalizing those convicted of this offense, which means you could be looking at up to 15 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines without the right defense lawyer on your side. At Barbarette & Quirk, our Gainesville DUI manslaughter attorneys obtain more than 40 years of combined legal experience, during which time we have developed respected professional relationships with the same local judges and prosecutors who will likely be working on your case. We know how they think and operate, and, more importantly, we know how to build a strategic defense that will resonate with them in court. As such, you can rest assured that you are in good hands when you choose us for your defense.

We are available 24/7. Contact us online or by calling (352) 356-4999 for a free consultation!

What Is DUI Manslaughter?

DUI manslaughter is defined as a person who drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol and kills a human being or an unborn child in the process. Manslaughter alone is the unlawful killing of a human being without intent. It can be involuntary or voluntary, but in this case, most DUI manslaughters are involuntary because of the inhibiting effects of alcohol on a person’s decision-making skills.

The legal blood alcohol content limit for a person aged 21 or over is 0.08%. Anyone who operates a vehicle with a BAC that exceeds this limit and kills someone in the process could be charged with DUI manslaughter. Because the crime is two-fold, involving both DUI and manslaughter, the prosecution has to prove both elements of the offense in order to make a conviction. As such, they have a lot of work to do to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Our attorneys are prepared to aggressively defend against their attacks and investigate holes in their arguments to better prove your innocence.

DUI Manslaughter vs. Vehicular Homicide in Florida

According to the Florida Bar, “One of the most important distinctions among … vehicular homicide and DUI manslaughter are that each has a different threshold of negligence … Vehicular homicide contains the middle standard of recklessness or willful or wanton disregard for safety, and DUI manslaughter contains the lowest standard—simple negligence.”

DUI manslaughter: The defendant, while driving under the influence, causes another person’s death due to simple negligence; unlike vehicular homicide, which requires willful or wanton behavior to convict.

  • Example: Operating a vehicle under the influence and killing another driver after speeding through a stop sign and hitting the victim’s car in an intersection.

Vehicular homicide: the defendant recklessly operates their vehicle with a “willful or wanton disregard for safety.” The prosecution must prove the intent element.

  • Example: Speeding in a windy, two-lane road during dangerous weather conditions and killing another driver by attempting to pass another car in a no-passing zone.

Penalties for DUI Manslaughter in Florida

DUI manslaughter is a second-degree felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of four years in prison, which could increase to 15 years at the judge’s discretion. Further, you may face driver’s license revocation, as well as steep fines amounting to up to $10,000. A conviction could not only cost you your freedom and financial stability, but also rob you of your livelihood: Your ability to commute to work, take care of your family’s needs and travel outside of your home could have devastating impacts on you and your family’s wellbeing.

If you are currently facing DUI manslaughter charges, we will handle your case as if it were our own freedoms at stake. You can count on us to be available around-the-clock, exhaust our resources and insights to build your case, and stand by your side as fierce advocates no matter how challenging or complex the situation gets. Our goal is to reduce your sentence or dismiss your charges altogether so you can move forward with your life.

We offer a free consultation. Call (352) 356-4999 today!

Defense Strategies for DUI Manslaughter

In the wake of a serious charge like DUI manslaughter, you need an aggressive and compelling defense strategy to better convince the jury of your innocence. Our attorneys at Barbarette & Quirk are no strangers to how brutal the courtroom can get: It’s a heated, high-pressure experience that could only get worse with a weak defense.

We are prepared to fight tirelessly on your behalf and confront the prosecution’s attacks head-on. After taking the time to get to know you and learn about your situation, we can create a personalized defense strategy using the following methods as a base, and building upon them according to the unique details of your situation:

  • Faulty breath and/or blood test administration: At the scene, the officer may have measured your BAC using a field sobriety or breathalyzer test. However, it is not uncommon for officers to conduct or administer these tests incorrectly, which could result in a falsely high BAC reading. Additionally, any number of external conditions could have interfered with your ability to successfully complete one or both of these tests.
    • Ex: Road and weather conditions, as well as improper footwear, may prohibit you from being able to adequately complete the walk-and-turn test or the one-leg stand test. We can argue this point in court. We can also attempt to prove that the breathalyzer test equipment was outdated or broken.
  • No intoxication at the time of the alleged offense: We can work to reduce your charge by proving that you weren’t intoxicated or driving with a BAC above the legal limit at the time of the alleged offense.
  • Improper police investigation: If the officer failed to read you your Miranda Rights or didn’t obtain a warrant to search your vehicle (Fourth Amendment violation), among other flaws, your case may be dismissed altogether.
  • No negligence: The main element of a DUI manslaughter conviction is negligence. If the prosecution cannot prove that your actions were negligent but rather something that a reasonable person would do, it is more likely that we can help you overcome your charge.

We want what’s best for you: Freedom. Schedule your free consultation with us online or by calling (352) 356-4999!

Do not hesitate to call Barbarette & Quirk for a case evaluation at (352) 356-4999