Life-changing accidents can happen at the blink of an eye. Sometimes these incidents are terrible tragedies that involve the death of a person involuntarily. Accidents like this can occur due to an auto accident, boat accident, or even the unintentional shooting of a firearm. Often labeled as negligent homicide, these types of incidents require a criminal defense attorney's counsel the same as any other murder defense.
What is Negligent Homicide?
When someone is killed through an act of negligence without malice or ill intent it's called, "negligent homicide." This kind of death is most often found as the result of a motor vehicle accident. While a first instinct out of fear may be to leave the scene of the crime, it's always best to stay and deal with the consequences right away. This shows responsibility and can have a major impact on how the case is handled.
Negligent homicide is usually charged as a lesser degree of murder and is typically referred to as involuntary manslaughter. According to Florida law, a person commits negligent homicide if he or she negligently causes the death of another person, not constituting murder or manslaughter, as a result of operating a vehicle, an aircraft, or a watercraft: (A) While intoxicated; or (B) If at that time there is an alcohol concentration of eight-hundredths (0.08) or more in the person's breath or blood...as determined by a chemical test of the person's blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substance.
Consequences Resulting From Negligent Homicide
When convicted of involuntary manslaughter due to negligent homicide, a defendant can receive up to 15 years in prison, 15 more years of probation, and fines up to $10,000. If there is a history of criminal defenses or the case involves the elderly or a child, these may not be the maximum penalties.
During the trial, your attorney can help to maintain your innocence by showing that the event was a terrible accident and you were not acting out of reckless abandonment. If you are charged with taking someone's life, especially if it was an accident, you need to seek the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate the complicated legal process and protect your rights. Russell Spatz can be reached at (305) 442-0200.
Florida Involuntary Manslaughter Laws. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://statelaws.findlaw.com/florida-law/florida-involuntary-manslaughter-laws.html
Involuntary Manslaughter: An Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://resources.lawinfo.com/criminal-defense/involuntary-manslaughter/