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Any time there is a death as a result of a car or boat accident, law enforcement will conduct an extensive crash investigation. The findings may not be made public for weeks and even months, and when they make their conclusion they can often be biased toward the victim. Law enforcement and prosecutors rely on the crash investigators, but they too can be biased in charging the at fault party with a crime. If you have been charged or are under investigation for vehicular homicide contact South Florida criminal defense lawyer Benjamin Herbst anytime for a free consultation. Benjamin specializes in representing defendants charged with felony offenses such as vehicular homicide in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, and is available 7 days a week to offer a free consultation. Do not speak to law enforcement under any circumstances without consulting with a lawyer first, as any statements after the initial accident investigation could be used against you at trial. Call Benjamin at (954) 543-0305 to make sure your rights are protected.
Vehicular homicide is defined under statute 782.071 as the killing of a human being caused by the operation of a motor vehicle in a reckless manner likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another. Driving at high speed is perhaps the most common reason may be charged with vehicular homicide, but because speed alone is not enough to prove reckless driving a criminal defense lawyer may be able to argue to have the charges dismissed before trial. Other common behaviors that may be defined as reckless can include failing to stop at red lights or stop signs, traveling through a crosswalk at high speed, weaving in and out of traffic and racing. Vehicular homicide is classified as a second-degree felony, but if the driver fails to stop and give information and render aid the charge can become a first-degree felony. Unlike DUI, manslaughter there is no minimum mandatory prison sentence associated with vehicular homicide. On the other hand, the guidelines will be high, and in most cases the state will be asking for a prison sentence. A lawyer can not only fight to have the charges dropped or reduced, but also for a fair sentence. Benjamin will not back down from an unreasonable prosecutor, and is never afraid to take a felony case to jury trial if that is the best option. There are numerous defenses that a lawyer may argue in a vehicular homicide case, and hiring a skilled attorney could be prevent a permanent felony conviction and jail sentence from happening. An attorney can consult with an accident recreation expert to argue that the actions of the defendant were not reckless, and put the state’s witnesses under intense cross examination to reveal biases in their investigation. Contact Benjamin to find out what defenses may be best suited to your case.
Vessel homicide has the same general definition as vehicular homicide under Florida law, but these cases can require a specialized knowledge of boating and the ability to thoroughly cross examine witnesses. Vessel homicide cases are typically investigated by Fish and Wildlife Officers, but many county and municipal police departments have marine units that may be responsible for the case. Benjamin has extensive experience with marine cases, and understands the complex nature of boat accidents. Due to the social nature of boating there are often numerous witnesses in vessel homicide cases, and each witness may have a different account of what happened. Benjamin will make sure any evidence that tends to exonerate the defendant will come out at trial, and he will never let potential evidence go undiscovered. Vessel homicide cases are extremely intense and emotional, and justice can often be overlooked. Benjamin will not let this happen, as he does whatever it takes to assure his clients are treated fairly. Fatal accidents occur far too often on Florida’s roads and waterways, but unjustly charging a driver or boat operator is not going to make these accidents completely disappear. Regardless of where the accident occurred in South Florida or along the Treasure Coast, Benjamin is available to help protect anyone facing vehicular and vessel homicide charges.