Brandon, Florida Woman Arrested For Giving Car Keys To Drunk Friend Who Got Into DUI
In what is considered the first case of its kind in Polk County, Florida, a Brandon, Florida resident is now in police custody for providing car keys to an inebriated friend who then got into a DUI. English has been charged with culpable negligent manslaughter. She gave the car keys to her friend, the other defendant, who crashed the vehicle into another vehicle, causing a fatality.
The other defendant, Lucretia Bruno, entered a Wawa gas station clearly intoxicated. The clerk tried to remove the keys from her but was unable to retrieve them. When the clerk called police, they were unable to make an arrest because it could not be determined that Bruno had control of the vehicle, which was owned by English. What is culpable negligent manslaughter? What are the penalties in Florida?
What Is Culpable Negligent Manslaughter?
In Florida, culpable negligent manslaughter is defined as killing of a human being by act, procurement, culpable negligence without justification. Negligent manslaughter is charged as a second-degree felony. Culpable negligence is sometimes referred to as involuntary manslaughter. Fla. Stat.§ 784.05. The instant case is unique because the defendant was not operating the vehicle at the time of the accident. Although she is the owner of the vehicle, she is being charged with manslaughter because she supplied her drunk friend with the keys to the car which was an act of negligence in itself. a reasonable person would know not to provide car keys to a person who is intoxicated because of what could result.
Other manslaughter charges include voluntary manslaughter or manslaughter by procurement. Defendants can be charged with manslaughter by procurement if they encourage or intimidate another person into committing an act that results in a homicide.
What Are the Penalties?
Defendants convicted of culpable negligent manslaughter are charged with a second-degree felony. The penalties for conviction of a second degree felony include a prison term of up to 15 years, a 15 year probationary term and fines up to $10,000. Upon release, a defendant may also be required to complete community service or drug or alcohol counseling. If the event occurred with the use of a firearm, the penalties can be enhanced. For example, a defendant convicted of culpable negligent manslaughter with a firearm must be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison. Fla. Stat.§ 775.082.
Contact Tampa and Polk County Criminal Defense Attorney Bryant Scriven
Facing a DUI charge in Tampa is extremely serious. It is only compounded if a fatality resulted. If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI, DUI manslaughter or culpable negligent manslaughter, it is crucial you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Tampa criminal lawyer Bryant Scriven is a prior federal prosecutor with more than a decade of experience handling all types of criminal defense cases, including DUI. He can appreciate what is at stake for his clients and he is dedicated to ensuring that their procedural due process rights are upheld. Don’t let one mistake ruin your life. Call today to schedule a free consultation.