4th Apr 2017
Individuals who are charged with the crime of vehicular homicide may choose to quickly contact a criminal defense attorney in Miami Dade to protect their rights. A criminal defense attorney in Miami Dade may be able to explain the nature of the charges against them, the possible penalties and the plausible defenses.
Vehicular Homicide Charges
Vehicular homicide occurs when a person’s reckless driving results in the death of another person. Basic negligence or speeding is not adequate to establish vehicular homicide. The true point of contention with this particular type of criminal charge is whether the defendant drove the vehicle in such a way that it was likely and predictable that he or she would cause death or great bodily harm.
In Florida, vehicular homicide is considered a second degree felony. The minimum mandatory sentence is 9 years and 3 months in prison unless there are grounds for the court to impose a downward departure. The maximum penalties include:
• 15 years in prison
• 15 years of probation
• $10,000 in fines
Additionally, if a person does not provide information at the scene of the accident or does not render aid, additional charges can be imposed, along with bumping the crime to a first degree felony. This can cause the defendant to face up to 30 years in prison, 30 years of probation and $10,000 in fines.
A criminal defense lawyer can work with the defendant to determine which defenses may apply to the case in order to avoid these negative consequences. The attorney may attempt to show that the defendant’s conduct does not meet the definition of reckless driving under state law. He or she can also explore the possibility of a plea bargain if this would be favorable to the defendant.