By Grace Casagrande

Earlier this week there was a road rage incident on East Colonial Drive, that unfortunately resulted in the death of man who was just 30 years old. Nicholas Carrasquillo was arrested for first-degree murder. With charges as serious as Mr. Carrasquillo’s, it becomes even more important to look at every possible defense. My first question would be whether he acted in self-defense. While unclear from the facts at hand, if the Mr. Carrasquillo was seriously threatened by the alleged victim, he could have grounds for a Stand Your Ground Motion. Before making a self-defense argument at trial, in Florida a defendant can make an argument at a pre-trial motion in front of the Judge. If found to have acted justifiably under self-defense, the accused is completely immune from any prosecution. However, different standards apply for non-deadly and deadly force. In this case, we would look to whether the use of deadly force was justified.

nicholas carrasquillo arrested for murder in road rage shooting east colonial drive orlando

Under Florida Statute 776.012, a person is justified in using deadly force if they reasonably believe that such force is necessary to defend themself or another against imminent serious bodily injury, death, or a forcible felony. From the facts in this case, it is unclear if Mr. Carrasquillo was faced with such a fear. Was the alleged victim armed? Did he threaten to seriously harm or kill Mr. Carrasquillo? In any charge involving force these are important questions to ask.

Any eyewitness testimony would be crucial in the strength of Mr. Carrasquillo’s defense. With multiple eyewitnesses, deposing them in order to determine exactly what they saw and when would be necessary in determining what steps to take next. It should be asked how close they were to the alleged altercation, what the conditions were like outside, when they heard the gunshots and how many gunshots were heard. If the information gathered is not sufficient to seek complete exoneration, Mr. Carrasquillo may have an argument for a reduced charge of Second-Degree Murder, a first-degree felony, or Manslaughter, a second-degree felony. The Defense could argue the actions were not premeditated and therefore aid in avoiding a minimum of life imprisonment or the death penalty.  A strong defense team, like the team at Smith and Eulo, will know which questions to ask and what the first steps would be towards the best result possible.

If you or your loved one are being accused of committing a crime, you should consult with one of our Criminal Defense Attorneys, don’t hesitate to call us at 352-WIN-4YOU We are available 24/7 and we offer payment plans.