Six months after a fatal wreck on Jacksonville's Westside, the at-fault driver was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide. Tamara Miller was arrested this month after police said she was weaving in and out of traffic, driving more than 30 mph over the speed limit and ran a red light leading to the fatal crash, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Miller is charged with vehicular homicide, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in state prison.
Witness told police they saw Miller veer into a turn lane to go around stopped traffic and then go through a red light and slam into the victim's car about 8:30 a.m. on a June morning, the newspaper reported. It is not uncommon for vehicular homicide investigations to take this long in Jacksonville Traffic Cases such as this one. Vehicular homicide can be difficult for the state to prove and is not simply the default charge in a traffic accident that results in a death. For someone to be convicted of vehicular homicide in a Jacksonville Traffic Case, a death must be "caused by the operation of a motor vehicle by another in a reckless manner likely to cause the death of, or great bodily harm to, another," according to Florida Statutes.
Police told the newspaper that part of the reason for the delay in charges was the wait for investigators to be able to determine the speed at which Miller was driving at the time of the crash. That can be determined by the impact of the crash and other factors, but calculations and other testing is needed so the results are not immediately available. The investigation found Miller was traveling 76 mph on a road with a 45 mph speed limit, which will likely be a key for the state in this Jacksonville Traffic Case. Delays in charges are also common while the state waits for results of toxicology tests that would determine if the driver had any drugs or alcohol in his or her system. In this Jacksonville Traffic Case, police said there was alcohol in Miller's system, but not enough to render her legally impaired. While that detail is something police might want to release to the media, it is something a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney would likely seek to have excluded from a trial, arguing that the amount of alcohol is less that legal limits and it not relevant in this Jacksonville Driving Case.
Very few Jacksonville Traffic Cases end up in vehicular homicide charges, but when the state deems reckless driving results in injuries or death, there can be very serious consequences. In many cases, these are the first serious criminal charges a person has faced though many, like Miller in this case, have a history of traffic violations.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Duval County Traffic Attorney, Victoria "Tori" Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.