In a recent tragedy to befall the Tampa community, a prominent oncologist employed at Moffitt Cancer Center was killed in a traffic collision caused by a driver who ran a red light while traveling at an extremely high rate of speed. After a thorough investigation, local police in Temple Terrace have decided to pursue vehicular manslaughter charges against the driver.
According to a report from local news website Patch, the collision occurred on a weekday morning at the end of March when the physician was on his way to work and was stopped at a red light. The signal turned green and the oncologist proceeded into the intersection. His car was then immediately struck on its side by a driver who ran the red light at an extremely high rate of speed. The subsequent police investigation, which included a reconstruction of the accident by police, concluded the car which struck the oncologist was going approximately 95 mph at the time of the collision. This was roughly consistent with data obtained from that vehicle’s data recorder, which showed that the driver was traveling at somewhere between 87 and 93 mph when the crash occurred. This prompted police to arrest that driver and charge him with vehicular manslaughter in connection with the oncologist’s death.
What Is Vehicular Manslaughter? What Are Some of the Different Criminal Charges a Person Can Face in Connection with Someone Else’s Death in Florida?
Crimes involving the death of another human being are the most serious criminal offenses that a person can commit under Florida law. They typically carry the stiffest penalties, including the death penalty in certain scenarios, and the highest burden of proof for prosecutors given that the worst of all possible outcomes, someone’s death, has occurred.
There are many different types of criminal charges that can be filed in connection with someone’s death under Florida law, depending on the circumstances of the death, the intent of the person who caused the death of the other individual, and the instrumentality which caused the death, i.e. a car, a gun, etc. In addition to the instrumentality that caused the victim’s death, intent forms a second major difference in the way that murder offenses are classified. Whether the person who did the killing had the intent to cause another person’s death can make a major difference in the charges he or she is facing. If the defendant specifically intended to kill the victim, the charges can be much more serious and the penalties much more severe than if the death was accidental but still took place under circumstances that Florida law determines to be worthy of criminal prosecution.
For instance, because he or she had that element of specific intent to cause another person’s death, someone who is charged with first-degree murder in Florida can potentially face the death penalty. The same is not true of someone who is charged with vehicular manslaughter, which requires that a prosecutor prove that the defendant killed another person by operating his or her motor vehicle in a reckless manner likely to cause death or great bodily harm to someone else. The element of specific intent to cause another person’s death is absent in the case of vehicular manslaughter.
In the case of the oncologist killed in Tampa, the instrumentality (a car) and the intent of the driver who caused the oncologist’s death are the factors that drove police to charge the driver with vehicular manslaughter. The driver was clearly in a hurry and ran a red light at an excessive speed, which is no doubt reckless and done in a manner likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another individual given the speed at which he was operating his car. However, the driver most likely did not have the specific intent to end the oncologist’s life, which is why he is facing charges of vehicular manslaughter rather than a more serious offense like first- or second-degree murder.
Contact Experienced West Palm Beach
Criminal Defense Attorney Bryan Raymond
If you have been arrested for vehicular manslaughter or any other criminal charge involving another person’s death in Palm Beach County, contact West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney Bryan M. Raymond of the Law Office of Bryan Raymond. Bryan is an experienced defense attorney who has represented individuals charged with the most serious of criminal offenses in Palm Beach County. Therefore, if you have been arrested for or are charged with a criminal offense involving the death of another person in Palm Beach County, Florida, and need a skilled, experienced criminal defense attorney who will stop at nothing in defending you, immediately contact experienced criminal defense attorney Bryan Raymond today at (561) 682-1115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.