If someone is accidentally killed in Missouri, it could be labeled as involuntary manslaughter. It could also be referred to as criminally negligent homicide. A person could also face such a charge if he or she was in the act of committing another crime and an individual was killed as a result. For example, a person who drives a car while under the influence of alcohol may be charged with involuntary manslaughter if an accident results in someone else's death.
The same could be true if a person is texting and driving prior to causing an accident that results in a person's death. Those who kill another person while operating a boat or car while drunk will be charged with first degree involuntary manslaughter. All other cases will result in a second degree charge. Both can be considered felonies, and it is possible to spend up to 15 years in prison on a first degree involuntary manslaughter charge.
However, those who have had previous DWI convictions could face up to 30 years in prison. A person convicted of a second degree involuntary manslaughter charge would face up to four years in prison and a fine of $5,000. Civil action could also be taken against a person to pursue compensation for wrongful death.
A felony charge is generally more serious than a misdemeanor and may come with increased penalties. Therefore, it is generally a good idea to have a criminal defense attorney help with the case. An attorney may have evidence suppressed in an effort to help a person obtain a favorable outcome in the matter. It may also be possible to cast doubt on witness testimony or any other evidence that is seen by jurors. This may result in a charge being dropped or reduced.