How serious is a DUI involuntary manslaughter charge?

You wouldn’t leave your home intending for someone to be killed. Unfortunately for some in Missouri and elsewhere, a night out can end tragically, with someone dead and someone else behind bars for it. If you are facing DUI charges after a fatal accident, it is important to understand what may come next.

As FindLaw explains, involuntary manslaughter often pertains to an unintentional killing, as opposed to murder, when it is alleged that someone meant to cause fatal harm to another. If you were found with alcohol in your system after you were driving and in a car accident in which someone else was killed, you might be charged with first degree manslaughter. The “first degree” designation means law enforcement believe recklessness or criminal negligence – in other words, driving while intoxicated – contributed to the fatality.

Depending on the circumstances, you could receive felony Class B or Class C first degree involuntary manslaughter charges after a fatal drunk driving accident. The penalties are severe: between five and 15 years in prison for a Class B felony and up to seven years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine for a Class C manslaughter charge. The charges could be elevated to a Class A felony if you were previously convicted of DUI involuntary manslaughter or you had a significantly high blood alcohol content level. The penalties can include 10 to 30 years or life in prison.

Every charge related to drunk driving should be considered serious. Therefore, this information should not replace the advice of a lawyer.

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