Miami DUI defense lawyers should always represent motorists charged in the wake of a serious or fatal accident

A 56-year-old man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison on charges of DUI manslaughter in Miami for a fatal drunk driving accident that left two Maryland tourists dead, the Miami Herald reported.

Authorities say the defendant was driving on a suspended license as the result of a previous DUI conviction in Broward County. A Miami defense lawyer should always be called to defend a motorist facing a drunk driving charge, particularly in cases where a serious or fatal accident is involved. Keeping a drunk driving conviction off your record can have a drastic impact on the potential penalties for being charged with a subsequent offense. Additionally, in cases where an accident is involved, a defense attorney will work to defend you against the DUI allegation while investigating the cause of the accident. If it can be proven that you were not responsible for the accident, or that you were not driving while impaired, a reduction or dismissal of the charges may result.

In this case, the crash happened in February 2009 and killed a pair of retired school teachers from Maryland. The defendant, Thomas Cypress, who is the brother of former Miccosukee Indian Chairman Billy Cypress, was behind the wheel of his truck on Tamiami Trail when he swerved into oncoming traffic, the New Times reported.

Police reported finding a case of beer in the cab of the truck. The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office agreed to a plea agreement in which Cypress will serve 12 years in prison and 10 years of probation upon his release. His license was permanently revoked and he was ordered to pay $142,000 in restitution to the couple’s surviving two children.

The New Times reports that Cypress has two previous arrests for DUI. He received probation in 1997 while a DUI charge in 2004 was dismissed.