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DUI Manslaughter Lawyer In West Palm Beach, Florida

dui lawyerBeing charged with DUI manslaughter in Palm Beach County, Florida, is an immensely serious legal matter carrying profound consequences. According to Florida Statute, DUI manslaughter is defined as operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances, leading to the death of another individual. Conviction results in severe penalties, potentially including imprisonment, substantial fines, probation, and the permanent loss of driving privileges. In such dire circumstances, the expertise of a skilled DUI attorney becomes indispensable. Not only do they navigate the intricate legal landscape, but they also delve into pre-trial defenses, such as contesting the legality of the traffic stop, challenging the reliability of field sobriety tests, and meticulously examining procedures for evidence collection, specifically attacking the blood results. The significance of mounting a comprehensive defense cannot be overstated, as it holds the potential to mitigate consequences or even achieve an acquittal.

If you have been in an automobile accident that resulted in serious bodily injury or death and a hospital or police officer took a sample of your blood, do not wait to call DUI Defense Attorney, Roger P. Foley, for a comprehensive consultation.

DUI Information
If I Am Charged With DUI Manslaughter Am I Entitled to a Bond?

Yes, this offense is bondable. However, the court can deny you bond if the prosecutor files a detention motion based on Florida Statute Section 907.041(4)(a)(c) which states,

The defendant is charged with DUI manslaughter, as defined by s. 316.193, and that there is a substantial probability that the defendant committed the crime and that the defendant poses a threat of harm to the community; conditions that would support a finding by the court pursuant to this subparagraph that the defendant poses a threat of harm to the community include, but are not limited to, any of the following:

a. The defendant has previously been convicted of any crime under s.316.193, or of any crime in any other state or territory of the United States that is substantially similar to any crime under s. 316.193;

b. The defendant was driving with a suspended driver license when the charged crime was committed; or

c. The defendant has previously been found guilty of, or has had adjudication of guilt withheld for, driving while the defendant’s driver license was suspended or revoked in violation of s.322.34;

If and when a bond is granted, the presiding judge will likely require the accused to be on house arrest and you will not be allowed to drive.


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What Does the Prosecutor Need to Prove to a Jury to Convict a Person of DUI Manslaughter?

DUI manslaughter in Florida is governed by Florida Statute 316.193(1) and (3)(c)(3). According to this statute, DUI manslaughter occurs when a person operates a vehicle within the state while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances, resulting in the death of another person.

To be convicted of DUI manslaughter, the Florida Jury Instructions on DUI Manslaughter require that the state of Florida prove beyond a reasonable doubt to the jury that:

  1. (Defendant) drove [or was in actual physical control of] a vehicle.
  2. While driving [or in actual physical control of] the vehicle, (defendant)

    Give 2a or 2b or both as applicable.

    • was under the influence of [alcoholic beverages] [a chemical substance] [a controlled substance] to the extent that [his] [her] normal faculties were impaired.
    • had a [blood] [breath]-alcohol level of .08 or more grams of alcohol per [100 milliliters of blood] [210 liters of breath].
  3. As a result of operating the vehicle, (defendant) caused or contributed to the cause of the death of [(victim)] [an unborn child].
What Are the Penalties for DUI Manslaughter in Florida?
  • Second Degree Felony (Maximum of 15 years Florida State Prison)
  • Probation
  • $10,000 in Fines
  • Lifetime Revocation of Drivers’ License by DHSMV
  • Community Service
  • Impoundment of Driver’s Vehicle
  • DUI School
  • Drug and Alcohol Evaluation With Follow Up Treatment

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What Are the Minimum Penalties if I Plead Guilty/No Contest or if Am Found Guilty by a Jury of My Peers?

DUI Manslaughter scores approximately 10.3 years in Florida state prison based on the Florida Punishment Code. It ranks as a level eight (8) offense and scores one hundred and twenty four months.

  • Fines Up To $10,000
  • Permanent Loss Of Driver’s License
  • Community Service Hours
  • Impounding Of Vehicle
  • DUI School And Drug And Alcohol Evaluation Along With Any Follow Treatment Recommended

If convicted of DUI Manslaughter, Can The Judge Sentence The Defendant To Less Than The 10.3 Years Required By The Florida Punishment Code?

Yes. The judge is permitted to depart from the sentencing guidelines however the lowest that he/she can sentence for DUI Manslaughter is four (4) years in Florida state prison. That is a day for day sentence and the defendant is not entitled to early release for good behavior or any other reason.

*See above for all penalties that include fines, dui school, impoundment, and driver’s license revocation

*Statistics demonstrate that Palm Beach County sentences on DUI Manslaughter average eleven and a half years (11.5).

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What Are Common Pre-Trial Defenses to DUI Manslaughter?
  • Illegal Stop Of The Defendant's Vehicle
  • Improperly Ordering The Defendant To Perform The Standard Field Sobriety Tests
  • Motion In Limine To Eliminate Evidence Presented To A Jury Regarding The Horizontal Gaze And Nystagmus (HGN) Also Referred To As The Eye Test. Only A Certified Drug Recognition Expert Can Testify To HGN.
  • Motions To Suppress Evidence Based On No Reasonable Suspicion To Begin A DUI Investigation
  • Motion To Quash The Arrest Based On No Probable Cause To Arrest
  • Motions To Suppress Blood Draw Results (Must attack The Following)
    • Competency Of A Lab Performing The Testing
    • Training-Examinations, Authorizations, Memos
    • Make, Model And Manufacturer Of Instrumentation
    • Methods Of Use
    • Maintenance And Repair
    • Quality Control
    • Calibrators
    • Certified Reference Materials
    • Certificates Of Analysis
    • Refrigeration And Temperature Logs
    • All Chromatograms Including Raw, Reprocessed, Recalibrated, And Reprinted Chromatograms
    • Calibration Curve With Regression Equation And Coefficient Of Determination
    • Reagent And Solution Records
    • Laboratory Conformance To Standard Operating Procedures And Accreditation-Mandated Technical And Management Requirements
    • Assess The Reliability And Accuracy Of A Reported Result
  • Motions To Suppress Blood Alcohol Content Related To Intoxilizer 8000
    • Failure To Read Implied Consent
    • Improper Calibration Of Intoxlizer
    • Failure To Adhere To 20-Minute Observation
  • Causation Arguments
    • In the legal precedent set by State v. Hubbard, 751 So. 2d 552 (Fla. 1999), it was clarified that mere involvement of a driver's vehicle in an automobile accident resulting in serious bodily injury or death does not automatically warrant felony charges. Rather, the basis for felony charges lies in whether the driver, through their operation of the vehicle, directly caused or contributed to causing the accident, as delineated by Florida Statute § 316.193(3)(c).
    • The establishment of causation is typically achieved through various means, including eyewitness testimony, scientific evidence utilized for accident reconstruction, or a combination of both methodologies. In the absence of compelling evidence demonstrating causation, the driver may be subject to misdemeanor charges for Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
  • Trial Defenses
    • Observations And Testimony Of Officer Conflicts With Video
    • Conflicts In Blood Alcohol Level And Performance On The SFST’s
    • Officers Failure To Properly Instruct Defendant On SFST
    • Law Enforcement Improperly Assigning Clues Of Impairment
    • Attacking The Manner In Which Blood Was Collected, Stored And Analyzed
    • Causation Argument - Note That The Prosecutor Is Not Required To Prove That Defendants Actions Were The Sole Cause For The Accident

The stakes are high in a DUI Manslaughter case and the attorney retained must examine each defense via motions and by consulting experts to find ways in which to eliminate evidence. Eliminating evidence is the key to a successful defense.

* Note: Although defending a DUI manslaughter charge involves attacking every aspect of the criminal investigation, it also requires respect of the decedent and their family.

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What Are the Legal Fees Required to Begin a DUI Manslaughter Case in West Palm Beach, Florida?

For those facing the daunting prospect of a DUI manslaughter charge, securing legal representation from a seasoned attorney is paramount. The law office of Roger P. Foley, a recognized name in DUI defense, typically starts its legal fees for handling DUI manslaughter cases at $60,000. However, this initial legal fee serves as a baseline, costs are additional, fees subject to increase based on the intricacies of the case and whether it proceeds to trial. Given the seriousness of such charges and the potential lifelong consequences, investing in competent legal counsel is imperative. Clients can expect Roger P. Foley and his team to meticulously assess the nuances of each case, craft robust defense strategies, and provide unwavering support throughout the legal process. While the financial commitment may be substantial, the expertise and dedication offered by Roger P. Foley's firm can be instrumental in securing the best possible outcome in what is undoubtedly a challenging and high-stakes legal battle.

“Just Call Me”, Attorney Roger P. Foley.

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After Being Convicted for DUI Manslaughter and Receiving a Permanent Driver's License Revocation Can I Acquire a Hardship License to Drive?

It is possible to receive a hardship but there are several requirements:

  • After Incarceration, Wait A Minimum Of Five (5) Years Before Driving
  • No Prior Dui Convictions, If So Ineligible
  • No Consumption Of Drugs Or Alcohol For Preceding Five (5) Years
  • Proof Via A Certificate Of Completion For A Drug And Alcohol Course
  • No Drug Or Alcohol Arrests Prior To The 5 Years
  • No Driving Any Citations Or Admission To Operating A Vehicle Will Require You To Wait Another 5 Years To Apply For Hardship
  • Florida Special Supervision Service (SSS) Program, See Dhsmv Administrative Rule 15a‐10 (This Means You Are In The Program For The Rest Of Your Life And If Terminated You Cannot Drive)
  • Ignition Interlock Device (2-Year Minimum But Likely Longer)

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Searching for a West Palm Beach Attorney for DUI Manslaughter

The Law Office of Roger P. Foley, P.A. is a seasoned DUI Law Firm dedicated to vigorously defending clients facing DUI charges. With Mr. Foley leading the team, armed with comprehensive training in SFST, ARIDE, and recognized as an NHTSA instructor for DUI, clients can expect a quality defense. Additionally, Mr. Foley's knowledge extends to the Intoxilizer 8000 machine and crucial blood draw procedures that are key aspects in determining if blood alcohol levels are accurate.

In cases involving DUI Manslaughter, a skilled attorney with extensive experience, access to top-tier experts, and a meticulous approach to analyzing state-presented evidence is essential. The primary objective is to compel the state to substantiate their claims beyond a reasonable doubt. Given the high stakes, it's crucial to ensure thorough scrutiny of any evidence presented by the prosecution.

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Client Reviews
I was charged with Domestic Violence few years ago and I was referred to Roger Foley from a family member! Roger is a BULLDOG! He was great ... Thomas
My wife (Mother of Stepson) and I Hired Mr Foley to represent my stepson in a minor criminal case. We would highly recommend ... Steve
Roger P. Foley got me reinstated. Also he got my COS waived, and got me to still be terminated off of probation on my expected termination date ... Jamar
Roger is a very compassionate person, he truly cares about his clients. He helped me with my case and was there for me every step of the way ... Cassandra G.
I think your firm did a great job on 3 cases that were 28 years old. The results are better than expected. I truly appreciate the hard work that ... Jim