A 27-year-old Fort Lauderdale man has been charged with driving while under the influence (DUI) manslaughter and other offenses after a fatal traffic crash in Southwest Florida. A conviction could result in a hefty fine and a long prison sentence, which is why this suspect and others who have been similarly charged will need the services of a Fort Lauderdale DUI lawyer. This type of help is available from the Fort Lauderdale criminal law firm of Hassett & Associates.
The crash involving the Fort Lauderdale resident occurred on Interstate Highway 75 in the community of Naples. The accident sequence began when his southbound vehicle side-swiped a truck that had come to rest on the shoulder of the highway after stalling. The victim was a 25-year-old man who was a passenger in the suspect’s car. After the accident, the suspect tried to hide in a wooded area adjacent to the road, but he soon surrendered to sheriff’s personnel, who employed a K9 dog unit as part of their search efforts. In addition to manslaughter, he has been charged with causing a death while driving without a license and with DUI property damage.
Driving while under the influence of alcohol is not taken lightly in Florida. Those convicted of even first-time DUI offenses will have to deal with a number of consequences, including fines of up to $1,000, jail terms of as long as six months, community service programs and the loss of their driving privileges. Subsequent convictions can lead to harsher penalties, especially if the impairment results in a crash. A conviction of DUI manslaughter can result in a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison term of up to 15 years.
Fortunately, there are defenses to even the most serious DUI charges. Prosecutors must prove that a person’s blood alcohol level exceeded the required limit in order to guarantee a conviction. A defense attorney will examine this and other issues, including the nature of the arrest and the status of the vehicle, and will strive to find the best possible outcome in a DUI case. It is for these and other reasons why those charged with DUI offenses should consider contacting the law firm of Hassett & Associates at 954-791-3939.