Police arrest Jacksonville man for DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide in 2012 crash

Jacksonville police charged a man this month with various felony DUI charges in connection with a 2012 crash that killed one of his passengers and injured himself and two others.  The driver is accused of driving his SUV into a guardrail in December 2012 and then rolling the vehicle several times, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The passenger riding in the front seat died days after the crash and the driver and two others in the car were seriously injured. The driver is now charged with vehicular homicide, DUI manslaughter, DUI causing serious injury, DUI with property damage and driving with a suspended license.

In many serious Jacksonville DUI Cases were someone is killed or seriously injured, there can be a lengthy delay from the time of the crash until the time charges are filed. But that delay is typically six to nine months, rather than more than two-and-a-half years. Officials from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement told the newspaper the delay was because police were waiting on several pieces of evidence to be analyzed by the department. In most Jacksonville DUI Cases such as this one, police are waiting for blood results to come back. When there are injuries in a Jacksonville DUI Case, police can take blood without the driver’s consent – unlike a standard DUI with a breath test.

In this case, it appears the driver was injured to the point he would not have been able to provide consent anyway, so the issue would have been moot.  Police likely could have easily proceeded with some of the other charges in this Jacksonville DUI Case, but likely wanted to proceed with all of them at one time. Many of the charges here are felonies, including vehicular homicide, which is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. DUI manslaughter is also a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in state prison. While all charges in this Jacksonville DUI Case are serious, the DUI Manslaughter charge carries a four-year minimum mandatory prison sentence. Unlike most prison sentences in which the defendant can be released after serving 85 percent of the sentence, every single day of a minimum mandatory sentence must be served.  DUI causing serious bodily injury is also a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of up to five years in state prison. The remaining DUI charges are misdemeanors, which is what most Jacksonville DUI Charges are. But, when serious injuries or deaths occur, the penalties increase severely.

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.

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