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 Florida Times-Union, Francisco Jose Mendez of St. Augustine has been charged with DUI-manslaughter in the death of Justin David Reif in Jacksonville Beach. The crime allegedly occurred as a hit-and-run incident, when Mendez was driving down the road, striking the victim with his car. Mendez was stopped by police 14 miles away from the scene and was subsequently arrested.
Jacksonville DUI crimes involve someone who has had too much to drink, and yet, feels like they are good enough to drive. However, the consequences of that action can be horrible, especially for the people involved in a situation such as a DUI coupled with manslaughter. For the person accused of the crime, this can also mean a significant amount of time in prison.
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, who shudders at the thought that they might have done something like this.
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 will face much opposition in the legal system, from angry prosecutors to cops who have a score to settle and the accused happens to be the victim. 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.