Jacksonville’s citizens like to have fun, but like most, when alcohol is involved, the risks of harm are increased considerably. Unfortunately, when intoxicated people get behind the wheel of a car, someone else may suffer a life-changing injury. However, all is not lost for the person responsible for the crime. One in a situation like should obtain an experienced attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights and defenses are known and protected.
According to the Lake County News-Sun, Vicente Torres-Vasquez of Round Lake Beach told a Lake County Circuit Judge that he would continue his plea of guilty in his charge of an aggravated DUI resulting in death. Torres-Vasquez allegedly turned into oncoming traffic, hitting Gregory Homola of Lake Geneva, Wis. Torres-Vasquez’s breathalyzer results were three times the legal limit of 0.08.
Under Florida Statute 782.071, vehicular homicide is a first degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison. However, the agony one faces at the hands of the court system can begin much sooner than the time that one enters jail. The very nature of court proceedings can be very trying on someone accused of such a crime, especially when dealing with the thought that they might have done something like this.
A DUI-manslaughter charge is a 2nd degree felony with a 4 year minimum mandatory sentence. Because a DUI-manslaughter charge is a 2nd degree felony, the accused will “score” right at 10.5 years out of a possible 15 year maximum. These cases are very emotional for both the victim’s family and the defendant’s family. The typical defendant of a DUI-manslaughter charge has a very minimal record, if any, and instantly faces a long prison sentence. No one plans on getting a DUI. Certainly no one plans on killing a friend or stranger while driving drunk. The difference in the two DUI’s is merely luck.
Nobody plans to get a DUI. Most people are just trying to get home. The best advice any lawyer can give is to not drive after you have consumed any alcohol. Find another way to get home or stay off the roads. One’s best advice is to never drive when one has consumed alcohol.
The police and the State will attempt to sway one into submission and cooperate. Many times, even if guilt is obvious, the authorities will still try to coax the accused into saying more incriminating statements that will yield more unfavorable results. However, one should not say anything to the police, friends, family or anyone else other than an experienced Jacksonville DUI manslaughter defense attorney who will fight for your case and ensure that your rights are protected.
One in a situation like this may face much opposition in the legal system, as well as inner turmoil caused by the crime. However, one’s experienced attorney will be one’s advocate and protector in one’s fight for a better future. In a hard-pressed battle to prove that the act done was not intentional and that one is truly remorseful, the only person who can be sure to provide one the best defense possible is one’s lawyer.