A questionable drug test could have landed a 20-year old woman in prison for 15 years.
Several weeks ago, the 20-year old woman who had pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter was not taken into custody right away. She was given a surrender date and permitted to return home until the day when she would come into court and turn herself in.
As a condition of her plea, the woman will serve 3 years in state prison followed by a 15-year period of probation
As a condition of her release pending surrender, the accused woman was required to submit to a drug test in court prior to be taken into custody. Had she not passed the drug test by testing positive for any illicit or controlled substances, her plea offer would have been revoked and she would have been sentenced to 15 years in state prison.
The other day in court, there appeared to be some confusion as to the results of the accused woman’s drug test. Evidently, the test appeared to show some prescription medication. However, it was determined that the woman had a valid prescription for the medication, thus could not be found in violation.
The accused will serve her 3-year prison sentence at a facility for youthful offenders. After her released, she will serve 15 years probation where she will be required to speak to young people about the dangers of drinking and driving.
The young woman received a very generous plea. Most DUI manslaughter cases result in many years behind bars. If she had gone to trial and had been convicted, she could have faced up to 35 years in prison.
With gain time, she should be out in about 30 months.
DUI manslaughter is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The woman also face a charge of possessing a fake I.D. which carries another 5 years.
She also faced another count of vehicular homicide, which carries 15 years.
Eric Matheny is a Miami DUI manslaughter lawyer and Broward DUI manslaughter lawyer.