A St. Augustine Beach man was arrested last week, charged with two counts of DUI manslaughter after a one-car crash that killed both people riding in his car. The driver was hospitalized in the crash and toxicology results showed the driver had a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit, according to the St. Augustine Record. The newspaper reported he also had marijuana in his system. Often times in traffic crashes, police have to wait until test results are finished before charging someone with driving under the influence in Jacksonville and all of Florida. Just because you are not immediately arrested does not mean you are off the hook. Police do not make an immediate arrest for misdemeanor DUI because they may charge DUI manslaughter if the suspect’s blood alcohol level is above the legal limit of .08. In order to be convicted of DUI manslaughter in Florida, the state attorney must prove your normal faculties were impaired and you contributed to someone’s death while driving.
With a blood-alcohol level that high, the driver likely had little doubt what the results would show. That’s the time to get an attorney – immediately after the crash. Our St. Augustine criminal defense attorneys can start early planning your strategy and letting you know your options long before the charges come. If you are represented during the investigation, criminal defense attorney can talk to the police for you and negotiate a time for you to turn yourself in, if needed, so police don’t come to your work or home and make more of a scene than necessary.
In this case, the suspect was run down by the U.S. Marshal’s Regional Fugitive Task Force, who found him inside a St. Augustine Beach home. Police investigated the one-car accident for six months. The suspect, who did not have a driver’s license, was the only one in the car wearing a seatbelt. He hit a tree on S.R. 13 just after 8 p.m. one May evening. Now, he’s in the St. Johns County jail on a $225,000 bond.
If you have an idea the police will be hunting you down soon, you’re probably right. Hire an experienced Northeast Florida criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Our St. Augustine criminal defense lawyer can work on your case prior to the physical arrest and help contain the problem immediately.
If you need a criminal defense attorney in St. Augustine or the surrounding area, call Mussallem and Associate, PA at 904-365-5200 for a free consultation.