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DUI Homicide

St. Petersburg Defense Lawyers Representing the Accused

Getting arrested for a DUI can be a stressful, scary and costly experience. If you do not have an effective defense, you may be subject to stiff fines, a lengthy term of probation, substance abuse classes and treatment, and in rare cases, jail time. However, a DUI arrest and even a DUI conviction is usually something that people recover from and does not necessarily have a lasting effect on one’s life. Florida’s DUI statute, however, contains several enhancements that punish certain types of DUI cases far more seriously. If you have been charged with any type of DUI, you should consult a skilled St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer immediately to protect your rights and craft your defense.

The most serious enhanced DUI offense is that of DUI manslaughter. Deaths associated with drinking and driving are unfortunately all too common. Of the over 30,000 traffic related deaths each year in the United States, about 10,000 involve alcohol. Because of public pressure against DUIs and lobbying by organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, DUI cases involving death or serious injuries are treated very seriously by Florida’s courts. Because of the higher risks and penalties involved, building an effective legal defense is all the more important.

DUI Manslaughter Elements

As an enhanced offense, DUI manslaughter includes all of the elements of misdemeanor DUI with the addition of the key element: causation of the death of another human being. Under Florida Statute 316.193(3), the State of Florida must prove that the defendant was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle, and at that time, the defendant was under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance to the point his or her normal faculties were impaired. The law defines normal faculties as the ability to walk, talk, operate a motor vehicle, and to understand and follow simple instructions.

In a DUI Manslaughter case, prosecutors must also prove that another person’s death was caused by the defendant. This element is unique among DUI cases and creates the possibility for a built in defense. For example, if a DUI driver is involve in an accident with a sober driver, but the sober driver is found to be 100% at fault for the accident, the DUI driver can and will still be arrested and prosecuted for DUI. This is because the act of drinking and driving is the criminal act, while the crash has little to do with it.

In a DUI manslaughter case, causation of the crash is a key issue. If your lawyer can present evidence that the deceased person or another person caused the crash resulting in the death, the prosecution may be forced to drop the DUI manslaughter charges. While you may still end up charged with a DUI, the state’s failure to prove that you actually caused the death can save you from the stiff penalties associated with this criminal charge. In order to build the best defense for your case, it is critical that you consult with a seasoned St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney.


The penalties associated with a DUI manslaughter are severe. A simple DUI is a misdemeanor case punishable by a maximum sentence of 180 days in county jail. A DUI manslaughter is upgraded to a second degree felony that is punishable by up to fifteen years in prison. Because a death is involved, prosecutors will often seek significant prison trial during negotiations and after trial. If convicted of DUI involving death, there is also a four year mandatory minimum sentence, along with a permanent license suspension, probation and other sanctions.

Speak to a Dedicated Criminal Defense Attorney Today

The lawyers at Hanlon Law have years of experience defending even the most complex DUI cases. We have the skills to build the best defense to your case and to secure the most favorable results possible. Call us today for a consultation at 727.289.0222.

Client Reviews
As a practicing attorney, I was shocked to hear that a family member of mine was alleged to have committed a sex crime. Knowing full well the consequences this type of allegation can have on anyone and their future, I immediately reached out to William Hanlon for help. I had every confidence that Mr. Hanlon had the knowledge, expertise, and experience to handle this problem. Approximately 4 weeks from an initial conference with Mr. Hanlon, we received a call with the news that a letter of release was being issued and the case was being dropped. Now my family member can finally exhale, take a deep breath, and go on with his life. Thank you, William! Jerry
Was on the ball. Remembered names, events, places, situations. Never need to re explain the situation. Keeps in touch through out the entire experience and keeps you feeling safe, comforted and protected. Fights hard. Worth every single penny. Would never settle for anything less than Will. Carrie
I was facing a charge that if convicted would carry two years in prison minimally. Not only was he empathetic and listening to what I had to say but he arranged with the prosecutor for my charges not to be filed under terms of a pre trial investigation. Would highly recommend. Alec
I am very happy for what he did for me. Always there when I needed him. Explained everything well. He Fights for his clients. He got me what I needed. Hes an excellent lawyer. Mutaz
Mr. Hanlon did what no other lawyer could do. Not only did he turn my criminal history into a thing of the past so I could move on, he was a loyal associate. No matter how bad the situation is, he has miraculously cleared me on every charge since he became my lawyer 5 years ago. I have the best lawyer that the legal system has to offer. I have had other really good lawyers try to get my business, but I know that no one can do a better job than William Hanlon. Jesse