Former WWE Star Sentenced to 17.5 Years Following Fatal Volusia County Crash
A Florida DUI charge can quickly escalate due to a number of potential aggravating factors. While most first offenses for drunk driving are misdemeanors in Florida, it is still possible to face a felony charge if one of these factors is present. For example, if your blood alcohol content is 0.15 percent or higher, or you cause damage to a person or property, Florida prosecutors can charge you with a third-degree felony. And if someone dies in an accident caused by drunk driving, the state can prosecute that driver for DUI manslaughter, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Defendant Caused Fatal Crash With BAC Nearly 4 Times Florida’s Legal Limit
A recent high-profile DUI manslaughter case in Daytona Beach illustrates just how seriously Florida prosecutors take these cases. On November 28, a circuit court judge sentenced Tammy Sytch to 17.5 years in prison, to be followed by 8 years probation, after she pleaded “no contest” to a series of charges arising from a fatal March 2022 accident in Volusia County. Sytch, age 50, is a former professional wrestler who at one time was one of the biggest stars of the WWE promotion.
According to official reports at the time, Sytch was responsible for causing a three-car pile-up on US Highway 1. Witnesses told police that Sytch had been traveling at a “high rate” of speed just before her Mercedes hit the vehicle in front of her. That car then hit a third vehicle. The driver of the car that Sytch hit, a 75-year-old man, died as a result of his injuries.
Subsequent chemical testing determined that Sytch’s blood alcohol content at the time was 0.280, or about 3.5 times the legal limit in Florida. Police also learned that Sytch did not possess a Florida driver’s license, and she previously lost her Pennsylvania driver’s license due to a history of prior DUI convictions in that state.
Prosecutors charged Sytch with two felonies and four misdemeanors arising from the fatal Volusia County accident. Under a plea agreement with the State Attorney, Sytch pleaded no contest to all charges. The state agreed to “time served” on the six misdemeanor counts, which would run concurrently with the sentence for the two felonies determined by the judge.
Under Florida sentencing guidelines, the minimum sentence for the felonies was 10.5 years in prison. The State Attorney argued for a maximum sentence of 25 years. The judge ultimately settled on 17.5 years.
Contact the Joshi Law Firm
Anytime that you are involved in an accident where there has been personal or property damage, you must be prepared to deal with a criminal investigation and potential felony charges, especially if you were drinking or using drugs just before the crash. Your first call should be to an experienced Orlando DUI defense attorney. Contact the Joshi Law Firm, PA, today at 407-661-1109 to schedule a free consultation.