According to The Baker County Press, FHP completed a homicide investigation and submitted the results to the state attorney’s office in the case against Randall Hunter Morrow of Courtland, Mississippi. Morrow was driving a truck ran a stop sign while driving his truck, colliding with Virginia Kirk, who was driving in the opposite direction. Morrow’s charges include DUI manslaughter for Ms. Kirk’s death, vehicular homicide for the death of the Ms. Kirk’s unborn child, DUI impairment and DUI with injury or property damage.
When someone is charged with a DUI in Jacksonville, the officer involved in the arrest may test one’s physical and mental capacities via field sobriety exercises, breathalyzer tests, and other forms of exercises. However, when one is charged with a DUI-manslaughter, certain procedures must be followed in order to ensure that the accused’s rights have not been abused or violated.
Under Florida Statute § 316.193(3)(c)(3), DUI manslaughter is an accusation that the accused drove while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, and as a result of the DUI, the accused caused or contributed to the cause of the death of victim. Police in Florida may obtain a blood sample under this statute, even through the use of “reasonable force.”
If the State fails to prove that the blood test was conducted in substantial compliance with the Florida Administrative Code provisions, then the court may suppress the results for lack of evidentiary reliability. Many factors may be grounds for suppression, including alcohol contamination (during sterilization), improper collection, microorganism contamination, failure to properly preserve the blood sample, break downs in the chain of custody, lack of training or certification by the person withdrawing the blood, and other factors can weaken the reliability of blood test results.
Furthermore, steps must be immediately taken to preserve all of the evidence or fight to protect your rights during the investigation, including:
– Obtaining witness statements of anyone who witnessed the accident;
– Taking pictures of the location where the accident occurred, including any marks left on the roadway;
– Obtaining hospital medical records of anyone injured or killed after the accident.
– Fighting any effort by the State to obtain the results of any blood drawn for medical purposes;
– Taking pictures of the damage sustained by the vehicles involved in the accident, and
– Having an attorney present for any interrogation by law enforcement.
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 only logical choice in this situation is to fight. One needs a knowledgeable and experienced Jacksonville DUI defense attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected. Do not allow a DUI charge to ruin a bright future, away from the troubles of the legal system.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years 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 Sources: FHP files charges in death of 25-year-old mom, Jim McGauley, The Baker County Press