Man with history of DUIs sentenced to 30 years in prison in hit-and-run death

A Georgia man with four previous DUI convictions on his record was sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to two felonies in connection with a fatal crash.  The driver was attempting to turn into an apartment complex, but turned into the path of a motorcyclist, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The driver then sped into the apartment complex, parked his car and tried to walk away, the newspaper reported. Witnessed identified the man and led police to him, the newspaper reported. The motorcyclist was hospitalized and died more than a week after the crash, the newspaper reported. The driver had a blood-alcohol level of .18, more than double the legal limit of .08.

The driver was charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving a death and with DUI manslaughter. Leaving the scene of an accident involving a death is a first-degree felony with a maximum penalty of 30 years in state prison. The DUI manslaughter charge in this Jacksonville DUI Case is also a first-degree felony with a 30-year maximum sentence, but only because of the circumstances of the case. Had the driver not left the scene of the crash, the crash would have been a second-degree felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison. Both the leaving the scene causing death and the DUI manslaughter charges carry a 4-year minimum mandatory sentence, so the driver was looking at a range between 8 and 60 years in prison after pleading guilty.

With more routine DUI charges that don’t involve serious injury or death, the penalties gradually increase when drivers are convicted of multiple DUIs. That is not the case in these types Jacksonville DUI Cases with first-degree felony charges, regardless of the driver’s history of DUI convictions, but his record undoubtedly played a significant role in the judge’s decision to sentence him to 30 years in state prison. Judges do not take kindly to a person repeatedly making the same mistake, and not learning from previous convictions, so the sentence often reflects that. The sentence for the driver, now 34 years old, also includes 11 years of probation once he is released from prison and the permanent revocation of his driver’s license.  Our Jacksonville DUI Attorney represents people on all types of DUI charges, from a first-time offender’s misdemeanor DUI to felony charges with a possibility of time in state prison.

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 Jacksonville DUI Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.