Under the Florida Statutes, vehicular homicide is the killing of a human being, or the killing of an unborn child by injury to the mother, caused by the reckless operation of a motor vehicle.
In order to be convicted, the driver must be proven guilty, which means proving each element of every charge was the individual’s fault beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutor must present evidence that proves that a person died in a motor vehicle crash, the offender operated the vehicle that caused the collision, and that the person charged acted recklessly.
Penalties For Vehicular Homicide.
A conviction of Vehicular Homicide in the state of Florida is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to fifteen years in prison, fifteen years of probation, and a $10,000 fine. However, if the accident was a hit-and-run crash, the crime is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to thirty years in prison.
When a person commits Vehicular Homicide and fails to provide their information or render aid at the scene, commits the crime of “Vehicular Homicide Without Providing Information or Rendering Aid”. This is a first-degree felony and is punishable by up to thirty years in prison, thirty years of probation, and a $10,000 fine.
According to Florida´s Criminal Punishment Code, vehicular homicide is assigned a level 7 offense severity ranking. The minimum sentence an offender could face is 9 years and three months in prison, but an individual could also face a maximum of 15 years in prison.
Depending on the offender´s background and criminal history, a judge may reduce a sentence or impose a tougher sentence than the guidelines suggest.
There are defenses against an accusation of Vehicular Homicide for an individual accused of the crime, resulting in an acquittal of the charges, a reduced sentence or probation, or a conviction of a lesser charge.
Depending on the case, some defenses could include simple speeding. Speeding on its own is insufficient to support Vehicular Homicide unless the speed is shown to be grossly excessive, and in other cases, other factors combined with speeding are necessary to support a Vehicular Homicide conviction.
Further, if a police officer makes mistakes during the investigation, it leaves the case with reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the alleged crime.
Every case is unique and needs to be handled personally by an attorney who has the experience and knowledge to protect your rights. Criminal defense lawyer Russell A. Spatz has decades of experience handling serious criminal cases. To meet with lawyer Russell Spatz to discuss your criminal matter, please call the Spatz Law Firm, PL, at 305-442-0200.