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 this should obtain an experienced attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are known and protected.
According to the Bradenton Herald, Albino Martinez of Tampa has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for the death of Gina Villegas in Hillsborough County. The crime allegedly occurred when Martinez drove his car head on into the victim’s car. Martinez, who is in the country illegally, will likely be deported once he has served his time.
Jacksonville DUI crimes involve someone who has had too much to drink, and yet thinks 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. One shudders at the thought that they might have done something like this.
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 will face much opposition in the legal system. 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 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 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: Florida briefs: Man gets 15 years for fatal DUI crash, The Bradenton Herald