West Palm Beach DUI Manslaughter Case
Karmela Roy was already in Palm Beach County jail on charges related to a car crash when she had to appear in court today to face charges including DUI manslaughter and vehicle homicide in a November 7th crash that killed Thomas Conroy.
Judge James Martz denied bond for Karmela Roy today as per Palm Beach County Assistant State Attorney Judy Arco’s request, due to her scheduled appearance in court this Thursday, December 5, 2013.
If an individual consumes alcohol or drugs, and then operates a motor vehicle, he or she can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). In situations when that same individual is involved in a car crash that results in the death of another, the impaired driver may be charged with DUI manslaughter.
Vehicular manslaughter is a charge used to prosecute someone who kills someone with a motor vehicle as a result of negligent or illegal driving. Prosecutors may pursue vehicular manslaughter as a felony or misdemeanor offense once they have evaluated the circumstances of the case and the applicable laws. Vehicular manslaughter laws are designed to hold people accountable for actions, which cause the death of someone else, and to distinguish between genuine accidents and cases in which someone died because a driver was being reckless. Drivers are expected to exercise due caution behind the wheel and to behave responsibly while driving, and if it can be demonstrated that a driver was reckless, negligent, or violating the law at the time of a death, it can be charged as vehicular manslaughter. On the other hand, someone may be eligible for murder charges if it is clear that she or he used the car as a weapon and intended to kill.
DUI Manslaughter Charge
DUI manslaughter charges are applied when a driver is arrested for DUI and has caused an accident that resulted in the death of another person.
Although DUI manslaughter laws vary from state to state, there are two versions of vehicular manslaughter that typically apply in these DUI manslaughter cases:
1. Vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence: charged when a driver was DUI and drove extremely recklessly;
2. Vehicular manslaughter with ordinary negligence: charged when a driver was DUI and violated a traffic law, but was not extremely negligent. It can also mean that a driver failed to use reasonable care to prevent injury and or death.
The difference between DUI manslaughter and DUI murder is the intent of the driver while committing the criminal act. If he or she has not previously been charged with a DUI or other felony, and the crime is an isolated event, DUI manslaughter is the most likely charge when a fatality occurs. In cases when the driver is a repeat offender, however, a DUI murder conviction is possible.
Manslaughter laws depend a great deal on a clear understanding of intention. Homicide is usually defined by the presence of an intent to kill, known as malice or malice aforethought. In certain cases, however, manslaughter charges can be brought about if the defendant is believed to have malice aforethought due to extreme circumstances.
If convicted of DUI manslaughter with gross negligence, a driver faces severe penalties, which typically includes at least 10 years in prison for each person killed. A DUI-manslaughter-with-ordinary-negligence conviction typically brings a sentence of up to 4 years imprisonment for each person killed.
In addition to facing long-term imprisonment, other penalties for DUI manslaughter can include heavy fines, loss of driving privileges and a felony record that can’t be expunged in most states.
It is important to contact a local DUI lawyer to get a advise on the current laws in your state and explore options to help you fight your DUI manslaughter charge.
West Palm Beach DUI Defense Attorney
Florida DUI convictions come with serious penalties, and defending against the DUI charges takes someone with in-depth knowledge of the many facets in a DUI case. If you have been arrested for DUI in Palm Beach County, take the important first step in your DUI defense strategy and call Andrew D. Stine, P.A. immediately.
Skilled and knowledgeable West Palm Beach drunk driving defense lawyer Andrew Stine has over 10 years of experience defending clients like you, and is a former public defender and army medic. His life and legal experiences give him an in-depth understanding of DUI charges and militant attention to detail that he can apply to building a strong, comprehensive defense for your West Palm Beach area DUI case.
To find out more about what Andrew D. Stine, P.A. can do for your drunk driving case in Palm Beach County, call 561.880.4300today and schedule your free initial case consultation.