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St. Charles DUI Manslaughter Attorney
Wayne T. Schoeneberg has been achieving exceptional results for clients for over 40 years. He is a skilled trial attorney and negotiator, and he tailors personalized strategies for each of his clients’ unique cases. Especially if you are facing accusations of DUI manslaughter, you will need a tough and seasoned lawyer like Wayne T. Schoeneberg by your side. You may be understandably going through a flush of uneasy emotions, but Attorney Schoeneberg will calm your anxieties and soothe your fears; he will create a comfortable environment for you to discuss your situation and desired results.
Penalties and Sentencing
The penalties for vehicular manslaughter may vary, depending on the circumstances. Generally, second-degree manslaughter is charged as a Class E felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, and first-degree manslaughter is charged as a Class B felony punishable by 5-15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Similarly, a motorist who kills another person while driving in an intoxicated condition is also guilty of a class B felony.
Missouri’s Vehicular Manslaughter Laws
Missouri does not actually have a legal statute that applies exclusively to vehicular manslaughter or driving-related killings. However, the state’s general involuntary manslaughter laws cover the crime of vehicular manslaughter, and its DWI laws also provide for enhanced penalties for DWI manslaughter.
For some important context on Missouri’s manslaughter laws, note that the state prosecutes two levels of manslaughter – first-degree and second-degree. A motorist can face first-degree involuntary manslaughter charges for killing another person while driving in a reckless manner, where driving recklessly means knowingly doing or failing to do something that creates a substantial risk to others.
Second-degree manslaughter occurs when a motorist kills another person while driving in a criminally negligent manner. This means that the person unknowingly does or fails to do something that creates a substantial risk to others. So, what distinguishes second-degree manslaughter from first-degree manslaughter is the driver’s awareness of the risk. A driver may be charged with second-degree manslaughter if they should be (but aren’t) aware that their behavior poses a risk to others; a driver may be charged with first-degree manslaughter if the driver is aware of but disregards the dangerousness of the conduct.
Vehicular manslaughter at either degree while intoxicated occurs when a motorist drives in an intoxicated condition and acts in a criminally negligent manner, causing the death of another person. Note that being in an intoxicated condition means the motorist’s ability to operate a vehicle is impaired by drugs or alcohol.