As a criminal defense attorney, one of the most serious cases I handle is the felony of vehicular manslaughter. These cases are not the typical case. They are filled with emotion, pain and distress on both sides.
I recognize that a vehicular manslaughter case raises a number of very important legal issues. The statutes pertaining to vehicular manslaughter can be interpreted in different ways.
I handled my first case many years ago. I learned in that case that the police officer who does the investigation can unconsciously alter the way the report is written to make matters look a lot worse than they really were. Sometimes the emotions of the situation even affect seasoned investigators.
A conscientious criminal lawyer is going to carefully examine the report for measurements, skid marks, gouge marks and other indicators of speed. In one case we rented a plane and took aerial photos of the accident scene to show that the skid marks that the officer concluded were made by my client’s car could not have been his. My client was driving a car along a lonely country road late at night. Some kids were having a bond fire in a field that was next to the road.
One of the kids, who had been drinking, tried to run across the road to retrieve something from a nearby car. It was dark, the kid was dressed in jeans and a dark T-Shirt. My client reacted as soon as he saw the boy, but it was too late. The police decided to go for a charge of vehicular manslaughter, claiming he was driving too fast. We showed that it wasn’t my client’s fault.
There are so many other factors involved in a case of vehicular manslaughter that it is important to retain the services of an experienced criminal attorney. I was successful recently in getting my client a probation, with no record of conviction because we were able to get to the scene of the crash early and take our own pictures of the scene. We were able to show that alcohol was probably not the contributing factor in the crash. That took away a very serious component of the State’s case.
Just because alcohol is involved does not make an accident a criminal offense. There must be other factors. The driver must be intoxicated and his or her actions must rise to the level of criminal negligence.
Speed is frequently cited as the cause of an accident. But the speed must rise to the level of criminal negligence. The sad fact is that many people speed as they drive along the highway. There are many accidents that lead to fatalities. But not all of them are cases of manslaughter.
I have worked as anattorney for many years. I know how emotional these cases become. The families of the victims are generally inconsolable. They put a lot of pressure on then police and prosecutors to try and get the most severe sentence. That is why a person charged with vehicular manslaughter needs an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney.
Remember that what you read here is not intended to be legal advice. There is no substitute for meeting with a competent, experienced attorney when you are facing any criminal charge.
Vehicular Manslaughter is a very serious charge. I know I can help. I offer a free, initial consultation at my office where we can go over all the facts. I explain the law to my clients so they know what they are facing. That is the start to a great result.
Call my cell phone: 314-708-1000.
5500 Mexico Road, St. Peters, MO.