Not Guilty Verdict Following a Port St. Lucie Vehicular Homicide Arrest
In some cases, someone who is involved in a fatal car accident in Florida might be charged with vehicular homicide. This is a serious felony offense that can result in a lengthy prison sentence and a substantial fine. Port St. Lucie vehicular homicide attorney Jeffrey H. Garland, Esq. understands the severe penalties people can face if they are convicted of this offense and works as hard as possible to help secure the best possible outcomes for their cases. Recently, attorney Garland successfully defended a young man against vehicular homicide charges, winning his criminal case at a trial before a jury.
Man Charged With Vehicular Homicide
A 20-year-old Port St. Lucie man was arrested by the police following a crash on South U.S. 1 in the 9000 block. According to the police, the 20-year-old man was traveling north on U.S. 1 when a 76-year-old man tried to turn east in front of the young man’s vehicle into Eastport Plaza. The young man’s Camaro crashed into the right front portion of the 76-year-old man’s Cadillac. The elderly man was transported to the hospital and was pronounced dead. The 20-year-old man was also transported to the hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
According to the arrest affidavit, information from the airbag control module of the Camaro showed that the rear wheels of the vehicle had no tire tread and that there were significant amounts of rubber inside the rear tire wheel wells. The affidavit also said that the front brakes were warped, which indicated that the vehicle had completed several burnouts before.
The young man was arrested in Sept. 2017 around two months after the collision occurred. While he was initially released on a $100,000 bond, he was rearrested in 2019 after the prosecutor claimed he had violated his bond conditions by getting a traffic citation. He then spent almost three years in jail waiting for trial on his charges.
The 20-year-old man was represented by Port St. Lucie criminal attorney Jeffrey H. Garland, Esq. Attorney Garland recognized the seriousness of the charges his client faced and immediately began investigating the case to search for evidence in mitigation.
Not Guilty Verdict Obtained at Trial
The young man’s case finally went to trial in April 2022. At trial, a primary issue was the speed at which the young man was traveling. The prosecutor claimed the young man was driving at speeds of 100 mph at the time of the crash. However, data attorney Garland retrieved from the airbag control module revealed that he was instead traveling between 75 mph to 80 mph. The speed limit in the area where the crash occurred was 45 mph. While the young man was speeding, attorney Garland pointed out there was a significant difference between going 75 mph versus traveling at 100 mph or higher. Garland also argued that the prosecutor presented no evidence showing that the young man was impaired or that he engaged in bad driving. The jury returned a not guilty verdict at the end of the trial.
The young man was released from custody to his family. If he had been convicted of vehicular manslaughter, he would have had a second-degree felony on his record under § 782.071, Fla. Stat. (2021). If he had been convicted, he would have faced up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $10,000. Instead, he was able to return home to his family and begin his life with a fresh start because of attorney Garland’s efforts. The young man, who is now 24 years old, said that he intends to return to his previous job and said that he couldn’t believe it when the jury read its verdict.
The young man had the following to say about his experience with being represented by Attorney Garland:
“Mr.Garland has been like a second dad to me for the last five years, constantly supporting me throughout my case. He would patiently speak to me for hours over the same two questions I would always ask. His secretary, Ms. Louis, would speak to me whenever I would call, sometimes for what felt like hours, constantly reassuring me. I thought my future was ruined, but Mr. Garland kept me positive, and after five years, walked me out of the courtroom a free man! I was acquitted on all charges and given another chance. This is hands down the best attorney on the Treasure Coast. With all my heart, I and my family love you dearly, Mr.Garland and Ms. Louis!”
Get Help from a Port St. Lucie Criminal Lawyer
If you are facing vehicular homicide charges, you should retain an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Contact the law firm of Jeffrey H. Garland, P.A. to schedule an appointment by calling (772) 489-2200.