Former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent was convicted earlier this week of intoxication manslaughter with the victim being one of his teammates, 25 year old Jerry Brown. Now, under Texas law, he faces up to twenty years in prison. The facts presented at trial stated that Brent left a club, flipped his Mercedes at 110 mph, killing Brown, and had a blood alcohol level of .189 which is more than twice the legal limit under Texas Law. According to Reuters, Brent had a previous DUI arrest in 2009 during his college football years at the University of Illinois. Brent also tested positive for drugs while out of jail on bond previous to his trial
DUI Manslaughter under Florida Law
DUI manslaughter in Florida is a second degree felony with a maximum punishment of 15 years. A defendant, with no prior criminal history whatsoever, still scores, under the Florida Criminal Punishment Code, just over 12 years in the state prison system. Florida Law also mandates that the first four years served are served as a “minimum mandatory” which means the convicted driver would earn no gain time on the initial four years as those years would be done “day for day.” Typically, without the minimum mandatory, Florida inmates will do 85% of their sentence. A person in this position is immediately facing 12 years out of a maximum of 15 years. If the driver seriously injures another that is a 3rd degree Felony where the score is 51 months out of a possible 60 months.
To convict the State Attorney has to prove:
the driver was in actual physical control of the vehicle
the driver’s blood alcohol level was over .08 or, the driver was on drugs to the extent that her normal faculties were impaired and, by operating the vehicle while impaired, caused or contributed to the death of another
Additionally, if a death has resulted or is probable, these cases usually involve “blood draw” of the accused instead of the customary breath test performed at the jail. The investigating officer produces a blood draw kit and blood is drawn. This is usually done at the hospital but can be done at the crime scene by paramedics. Blood draw results take months. If the the results come back over a .08 the driver will be arrested at that time, 3-4 months later, on a warrant.