As a Jacksonville Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer, when I read the recent article of DUI manslaughter, I was shocked. I was personally in the area when this incident occurred. Although I did not witness the incident, I was delayed in traffic as a result of the Police Investigation. According to the report, Francisco Mendez has been arrested for DUI Manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.
This incident occurred on Saturday night on 3rd street in the Jacksonville Beach area. At or about 3 AM, 29 year old Justin Reif was crossing third street when he was struck by on-coming traffic, Francisco. A witness stated the vehicle did not stop immediately, but returned a short time later. However, after the driver saw the victim, he left the scene again. A short time later, the Jacksonville Police pulled over a vehicle matching the description and arrested the driver, Francisco.
As a Jacksonville Beach Criminal Attorney, this incident bring several questions to mind. First, eye-witness statements are notoriously incorrect and inaccurate. This fact is increased by the traumatic event they witnessed. This could be a simple case of misidentification. Second, police stated he had “an ordor of alcohol on his breath and his eyes were red.” Well, did the police conduct a proper field sobriety or a breathalyzer? What evidence do they have regarding his intoxication?
All there questions and more will have to be answered before Francisco can convicted. The State is required to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can be upheld. If you are facing a Jacksonville Beach Hit-and-Run Charge, contact a Jacksonville Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer today. Time is of the essence.