Effective Defenses In DUI Homicide Cases
Photo from Unsplash
Originally Posted On: https://bippermedia.com/effective-defenses-in-dui-homicide-cases/
In the United States, it is estimated that 32 people die in drunk driving accidents every day. DUI homicide cases are on the rise, and prosecutors are working hard to secure convictions.
Though the penalties for DUI are severe, many drivers continue to operate their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol. In some cases, these drivers cause accidents that result in the death of another person. When this happens, the driver can be charged with DUI homicide.
However, there are a number of defenses that can be used to fight these charges. With an experienced attorney, defendants can often get the charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
If you have been charged with DUI homicide, it is important to understand the possible defenses that may be available to you. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of those defenses, as well as what you need to do if you’ve been charged with DUI homicide.
Defense Strategies for DUI Homicide
There are a number of defense strategies that a person accused of driving under the influence (DUI) homicide will use to defend themselves in court. These include:
1. The victim was at fault for the accident.
If the victim of the accident was doing something that contributed to the accident, such as crossing the street outside of a crosswalk, then the driver may not be held responsible for the victim’s death. For example, if the victim was walking in the middle of the road or he was crossing the road when the signal was red and was struck by a drunk driver, the driver may not be guilty of DUI homicide.
2. The driver was not actually impaired.
In order to be convicted of DUI homicide, the prosecution must prove that the driver was actually impaired at the time of the accident. This can be difficult to do, especially if the driver submitted to a blood or breathalyzer test after the accident. If the results of these tests showed that the driver was not actually impaired, then the charges may be dropped or reduced. For example, if a driver had a blood alcohol level of .08% but submitted to a test two hours after the accident, the prosecution may not be able to prove that the driver was actually impaired at the time of the accident.
3. The accident was not caused by the driver’s intoxication.
In some cases, it may be possible to prove that the accident was not actually caused by the driver’s intoxication. For example, if the accident was caused by a mechanical failure, such as a blown tire, then the driver would not be guilty of DUI homicide.
4. There was no reasonable way for the driver to know that he or she was intoxicated.
In some cases, it may be possible to prove that the driver did not know that he or she was intoxicated. For example, if the driver only had a few drinks over the course of several hours and did not feel drunk, he or she may not be guilty of DUI homicide. In this case, it’s possible that prosecutors will agree not to press charges if they believe that there was no intent on your part.
5. The arresting officer did not follow the proper procedure.
If the arresting officer did not follow proper procedure, then the evidence against the driver may not be admissible in court. For example, if the officer did not read the driver their Miranda rights, then anything the driver said to the officer after being arrested may not be used as evidence against them.
7. The blood alcohol test results were inaccurate.
In some cases, the results of a blood alcohol test may be inaccurate. This can happen if the test was not conducted properly or if the machine used to test the driver’s blood alcohol level was not calibrated correctly. If it can be proven that the results of the blood alcohol test are inaccurate, then the charges against the driver may be dropped or reduced.
Role of the Prosecution
Proof Beyond Reasonable Doubt
In order to convict a defendant of DUI homicide, the prosecution must prove its case against the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a high burden of proof, and if the prosecution cannot meet this burden, then the defendant should be found not guilty. There is the possibility that the prosecution will not be able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt if all the evidence against the defendant is the testimony of a single witness who is not credible.
DUI Homicide Reduced to Vehicular Homicide
In some states, including Florida, a DUI homicide charge can be reduced to vehicular homicide if the prosecution cannot prove that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash. The defendant must be found guilty of vehicular homicide to be convicted of a DUI homicide charge.
Immediate Steps to Be Taken in DUI Homicide Cases
Here’s what you need to do if you have been arrested:
- If you are being charged with DUI homicide, the first thing you should do is consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
- Your attorney will likely want to obtain all of the evidence against you, including the police report, witness statements, and any blood or breathalyzer test results.
- Your attorney will also want to investigate the accident to determine if there are any possible defenses that can be raised.
- DUI homicide charges come with many rights, including the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. You should exercise these rights and not say anything to the police until you have consulted with an attorney.
When you face charges of DUI homicide, you may feel overwhelmed and confused. However, it is important to remember that you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the criminal justice system and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
Consult a Criminal Defense Attorney Today
When a person is killed in a drunk driving accident, the driver responsible can be charged with DUI homicide. This is a very serious charge and can result in lengthy prison sentences. However, there are several defenses that may be available to the accused driver.
If you have been charged with DUI homicide, do not hesitate to contact Hanlon Law right away. Our legal team is skilled in handling DUI cases, and we’re here to help you with your specific case.
For a consultation to discuss what we can do for you and find out what options are available, contact our attorneys at Halon Law Clearwater.
600 Cleveland St #1100
Clearwater, FL 33755