Florida Woman Arrested in DUI-Manslaughter

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 Brevard Times, Yetta Maritza Ospina of Orlando has been charged with DUI-manslaughter in the death of Peter Vergari, also of Orlando. The crime allegedly occurred as Ospina, driving a car, approached Vergari, driving a motorcycle. When Ospina did not slow down on approach, Ospina hit Vergari from behind, turning the motorcycle on its side, throwing Vergari into the road. Ospina has since been booked in the Orange County Jail.

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. However, some are charged with a lesser offense.

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.

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.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and is here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one requires a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source: Woman Charged With DUI Manslaughter in Fatal Motorcycle Accident,The Brevard Times