Miami-Dade Woman Arrested for DUI Manslaughter and Related Charges

If you or someone close to you is charged with any alcohol-related driving violation it’s crucial to retain a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who specializes in these types of occurrences at the earliest possible moment.

Accepting her fate at the Turner Gilford Knight Correctional Center late last month where she was being held on $80,000 bail, Jessica Araujo of Miami was formally arrested and charged with numerous alcohol related charges including DUI manslaughter.

Other charges that Araujo will now face are vehicular homicide, reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol; causing serious bodily injury, and possession of cocaine.

A warrant was issued for her arrest late last month for her association in a crash that occurred in April that took the life of one of the drivers involved in the multi-car collision.

According to police, Araujo was driving at a high rate of speed in the vicinity of Kendall Lakes in South Miami when her 2011 Hyundai Sonata crashed into a Toyota Prius operated by Naji El-Kadi after she soared through a red light. The impact of the high-speed collision pushed the two vehicles into a then stationary Toyota Corolla which was being driven by Manuel Suquet-Martinez.

Both Araujo and Suquet-Martinez basically avoided serious injury but El-Kadi was mortally inured in the crash. He was airlifted to Kendall Regional Trauma Center where he later passed, after emergency treatment proved unsuccessful.

Michael B. Cohen, Esq. is an experienced Fort Lauderdale DUI Criminal Defense Attorney.
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Araujo’s blood was drawn one hour after the accident and demonstrated a reading of 0.225 which is almost three times more than the legal limit allows. A subsequent draw taken three hours later allegedly reported an analysis of 0.135, more than double the legal limit of 0.08.

Investigators believed that Araujo was under the influence when the accident took place but waited for definitive results before issuing the warrant that named all the pending charges. There was an almost two month gap from the time of her initial confinement after the accident until the warrant was served.

Florida law requires a four-year mandatory minimum sentence for a DUI manslaughter conviction but the prosecution and/or judge can waive that requirement at their discretion.

Penalties for DUI Manslaughter also may vary depending on the County where the arrest takes place.

In Florida, as a whole, the average incarceration sentence averaged 9.49 years [1]. But breaking down the enacted consequences by County varies.

Historically, Palm Beach County has had the longest sentences imposed at an average of 11.54 years [2] followed by Broward County at 9.95 years [3] and Miami-Dade with the shortest decreed period of incarceration; averaging 6.09 years.

By means of using statistics from cases that have reached their final disposition since 2012, although Miami-Dade has the shortest sentencing outcomes, it leads the tri-county area for convictions with sixty-six [4]. Broward County tried 27 cases that resulted with convictions [5] and Palm Beach County tried 24 cases where penalties were considered [6].

Statistically speaking, although the evidence against Ms. Araujo may be overwhelming her chances of receiving a shorter sentence is greatly improved based on the above data.

If you are requested to take a blood alcohol test when pulled over by law enforcement and refuse, it will be held against you if the case goes to trial.

Refusing a breathalyzer test when it is requested by police can cause you to lose your driving privileges for one year, no matter what outcome of a prosecution is decided.

If you read the small print that is clearly written on your Florida driver’s license you will see that it states: “Operator of a motor vehicle constitutes consent to any sobriety test required by law.”

To read more about this topic, click here to view it in detail on Mr. Cohen’s Website.

Another point to take into consideration is the influence a victim’s family may play during the sentencing phase of a case.

If the family pushes for a harsh sentence the judge may be inclined to follow their wishes. However, if the family believes that the defendant is truly remorseful and even chooses to forgive them for the death of their family member, a judge can be influenced to dispense a shorter period of reprimand.

The law office of Michael B. Cohen, Esq. is committed to fighting for all clients’ rights who face allegations of DUI Manslaughter in the State of Florida. As a former Assistant State Attorney for Broward County, Mr. Cohen has a clear advantage for obtaining the best sought after outcome refuting any charges alleged. Working for the prosecution prior to founding his criminal defense practice in the private sector has given him a superior advantage that will result beneficially for those who seek his help.

Mr. Cohen also previously worked as an Assistant United States Attorney for the government handling federal cases for the prosecution.

Call him directly at any of the phone numbers listed above for a prompt response and free case evaluation. He will aggressively fight for your rights guaranteed under the Constitution and devote his abilities to assure the best result, challenging all charges alleged.

Nearly twenty years of outstanding private practice criminal defense in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and the Palm Beaches as well as all neighboring counties in the surrounding areas of South Florida inclusive of his forty year career.

To view all of his qualifications, listed on his Website click here. His five star reviews posted publicly on his Google+ page can be found by clicking here. Follow him on Twitter @FlaCriminalLaw. His AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell as well as many more acknowledgments can be found in his section of the Justia Lawyer Directory.