It is probable that when most St. Louis residents think of the word “manslaughter” they think of the killing of someone with a weapon such as a gun, knife or some other lethal instrument. One lethal instrument they may not consider when it comes to violent crimes such as this one is a motor vehicle. Even so, drivers accused of impairment and causing an accident involving a death could face charges for involuntary manslaughter.

For instance, when police arrived at the scene of a one-vehicle accident on Sept. 23, they suspected the 42-year-old man driving it of being under the influence of alcohol. Reports accuse the man of speeding, passing several vehicles and then losing control of the vehicle. It then slammed into a tree.

The man’s 36-year-old passenger was partially ejected during the impact and died. Now, the driver faces charges of first-degree involuntary manslaughter in connection with the crash and her death. Apparently, the man has a history of driving infractions and a prior DWI. Obviously, this latest charge comes with serious penalties that would affect the rest of his life, if convicted, since it is a felony. Fortunately, he still retains certain rights that he would be wise to exercise. 

Just because someone faces charges for violent crimes such as involuntary manslaughter does not mean he or she is automatically convicted. This applies whether he or she lives here in St. Louis or elsewhere in the country. The U.S. Constitution guarantees individuals in these types of situations certain rights. Protecting and/or exercising those rights could help achieve the best possible outcome under the circumstances.