Traffic and Vehicular Homicide

Driving recklessly is never recommended in a public road setting. It can lead to tires slipping, distracted drivers, and the more the vehicle accelerates the less control you exert over it. In extreme cases, it can sometimes be the cause of another’s death. If you are the one behind the wheel, then it’s extremely important you secure legal representation as soon as possible. ‘

Traffic or vehicular homicide carries severe penalties. If convicted, the defendant almost always faces a high-level felony and face prison time. Vehicular homicide can stem from a multitude of crimes including leaving the scene of an accident and driving under the influence. In either instance the penalties are the same and can be life altering.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for vehicular homicide, it’s imperative you seek an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Defense Attorney for Vehicular Homicide in Fort Lauderdale, FL

The consequences surrounding traffic and vehicle homicide are incredibly harsh. Convicted offenders face years behind bars and may be required to pay astounding fines. For these reasons, it’s highly advised you seek legal representation if you’ve been arrested for traffic or vehicular homicide. For skilled and experienced criminal defense attorneys, contact Meltzer & Bell.

The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell are familiar with vehicular homicide cases and their investigations. Utilizing their resources and knowledge, our defense lawyers will work for you. Call us today at (754) 755-8554 to set up your first consultation completely free. Meltzer & Bell represents people throughout the greater Broward County area including Coral Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, and Hollywood.

Overview of Vehicular Homicide in FL


Florida Penalties for Vehicular Homicide

The state of Florida implemented severe penalties for vehicular homicide to deter people from driving recklessly or to abandoned injured citizens. In Florida, you can be charged with traffic and vehicle homicide if you do the following:

  • Were the cause of an accident and were aware that it happened;
  • That the accident is the reason why the victim was killed or fatally injured; and
  • Failed to give information and render aid if the victim was alive after the accident

Vehicular homicide is a second-degree felony in Florida, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If you didn’t provide information to the police or failed to render aid after the accident, then your penalties will be increased. You will instead face a first-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

It’s important to note that the court may also order you to serve 120 community service hours. The service must be at a trauma center or hospital that regularly receives victims of tragic vehicle accidents and the community service must be supervised under a certain professional such as a nurse or an emergency room physician.


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Right of Action for Civil Damages Regarding Vehicle Homicide

The statutory penalties surrounding vehicular homicide are enough to shock someone. Unfortunately, the family of the victim has a right of civil action according to Florida Statute Section 768.19. If the death of the victim was caused by a wrongful act or negligence, then their benefactors could be entitled to compensation for damages the death caused.

Civil cases are a whole different ballgame than criminal law. In a civil case, the plaintiff must prove their claim through preponderance of the evidence. This basically means the evidence you present must be more likely than not true. Obviously, this standard differs entirely from the very high burden of proof in criminal court which is to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

Therefore, a person can have a vehicular homicide case dismissed but then be deemed responsible for the damages of that vehicular homicide. These damages can be extremely high and can include the following:

  • Lost wages or income
  • Medical bills
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering and
  • Loss of consortium

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Additional Resources

Mothers Against Drunk Drivers | FL – Visit the official website of MADD, otherwise known as Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. Access the site to learn more about their statistics, victim services, victim impact panels and how to donate to the cause.

Florida’s Vehicular Homicide Statute – Visit the official website for Online Sunshine, a collection of Florida’s state laws and legislation. Access the site to learn more about vehicular homicide, the penalties and it’s admissible defenses.


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Vehicular Homicide Defense Attorneys in Broward County, FL

If you or someone you know has been charged with vehicular homicide, this is no time to be idle. You are highly recommended to call an experienced attorney to be your guide. Our defense lawyers at Meltzer & Bell have the right knowledge and resources you need to effectively create a strong defense.

Contact us now at (754) 755-8554 to learn more about our practice. You can reach us at any time 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. We practice throughout the Broward County area including Fort Lauderdale, Miramar, Coral Springs, and Pembroke Pines.


This article was last updated on September 4, 2019. 

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