Jacksonville Vehicular Manslaughter Lawyer

Jacksonville Vehicular Manslaughter Lawyer

Jacksonville Vehicular Manslaughter Attorney

Vehicular manslaughter, also known as vehicular homicide, is a serious criminal offense in the state of Florida. It includes the unlawful killing of a human being while using a motor vehicle in a reckless manner that is likely to cause death or great bodily harm. This offense covers a range of driving behaviors that can lead to fatal accidents. If you have been charged with vehicular manslaughter, a Jacksonville vehicular manslaughter lawyer can help.

Jacksonville Vehicular Manslaughter Lawyer

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What Is Vehicular Manslaughter?

In Florida, vehicular manslaughter is defined as the killing of a human being or the killing of an unborn child through injury done to the mother caused by operating a motor vehicle by another in a reckless way that is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another person. The key elements that must be proven for a conviction are:

  • The defendant operated a motor vehicle.
  • The defendant’s operation of the vehicle was reckless.
  • The recklessness caused the death of another person or an unborn child.

Recklessness in this context involved more than just negligence. It includes a willful disregard for the safety of other people who may be nearby and their property.

Common Causes of Vehicular Manslaughter

Vehicular manslaughter can occur for a number of reasons. Some of these include:

  • Reckless driving. This is defined as driving without regard to the risk of a person’s actions, such as driving a significant speed over the speed limit. In this case, the driver was aware of their actions and the threat they posed but proceeded anyway.
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Driving under the influence significantly impairs a person’s ability to drive responsibly.
  • Traffic violations. Sometimes, traffic violations like running red lights or evading police contribute to fatal accidents.

Penalties for Vehicular Manslaughter

The penalties for vehicular manslaughter in Florida vary based on the circumstances surrounding the offense. Vehicular manslaughter is generally classified as a second-degree felony, but it can be elevated to a first-degree felony under certain circumstances.

  • Second-Degree Felony. This is the most common charge for vehicular manslaughter. Penalties are typically up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and a $10,000 fine.
  • First-Degree Felony: If the driver did not give information or provide aid as required by law at the scene of the crash, the offense is increased to a first-degree felony. Penalties are typically up to 30 years in prison, 30 years of probation, and a $10,000 fine.

The court may also impose other penalties such as mandatory community service, driver’s license revocation, and restitution to the victim’s family.

Defenses to Vehicular Manslaughter

In Jacksonville, Florida, defending a vehicular manslaughter charge requires an in-depth understanding of the facts surrounding the case and the legal implications that are appropriate for the circumstances. Common defenses include:

  • Lack of Recklessness. This shows that the defendant’s driving was not reckless but instead just an unfortunate accident.
  • Intervening Cause. This establishes that the death was caused by an intervening event not related to the defendant’s driving, such as icy roads or a sudden road obstruction.
  • Mechanical Failure. This proves that the vehicle malfunctioned, leading to the accident, thus absolving the driver of fault.
  • Medical Emergency: This proves that the driver experienced a sudden medical emergency that led to losing control of the vehicle, such as a heart attack or seizure.


Q: What Is the Minimum Sentence for Vehicular Manslaughter in Florida?

A: The minimum sentence for vehicular manslaughter in Florida depends on a number of factors, including whether the charge is classified as a first-degree or second-degree felony. Generally speaking, vehicular manslaughter is considered a second-degree felony. This does not have a required minimum sentence, but can result in up to 15 years in prison.

Q: How Long Do You Go to Jail for DUI Manslaughter in Florida?

A: In Florida, a DUI manslaughter conviction is more serious than a manslaughter conviction. This charge is a second-degree felony and carries a minimum sentence of four years in prison. However, the maximum sentence can go up to 15-30 years, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case.

Q: Is Vehicular Manslaughter the Same as Vehicular Homicide in Florida?

A: In Florida, vehicular manslaughter and vehicular homicide are terms that are used interchangeably. They are both used to describe the unlawful killing of another human being or unborn baby through reckless driving. In vehicular homicide, the term “reckless” goes beyond simple negligence. In these cases, the offender willfully acted out high-risk behaviors, even with the knowledge of the amount of risk their actions could cause.

Q: How Many Years for Vehicular Manslaughter in Florida?

A: In Florida, vehicular manslaughter is typically a second-degree felony, with penalties of up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and a $10,000 fine. If the driver does not give information or provide aid, it becomes a first-degree felony with penalties of up to 30 years in prison, 30 years of probation, and a $10,000 fine.

Contact Gates Law Firm Today

If you have been charged with vehicular manslaughter, you do not have to navigate the legal process alone. The law can be complex, and the charges brought against you can weigh an emotional toll. Gates Law Firm can assist you in this process. Contact us today for more information.


Tyler V. Gates

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