The state of Missouri takes vehicular homicide very seriously. If you are arrested for such a crime, you can be charged with first or second degree involuntary manslaughter. If convicted, you can face a prison sentence as well as fines. You can also be named in a civil suit brought by surviving relatives.
Penalties for first degree involuntary manslaughter
The definition of first degree involuntary manslaughter is recklessly causing the death of another person. It can also be defined as negligence that leads to the death of another person while you are operating a vehicle or boat. The designation of involuntary manslaughter is due to you being intoxicated.
The penalties following a conviction for vehicular homicide can be severe. The official penalty for first degree involuntary manslaughter can be 5 to 15 years in prison if you are convicted on a Class B felony. For a Class C felony, the punishment can be up to 7 years in prison. There may also be a fine of up to $5,000 to pay.
If you were previously convicted of a DWI involuntary manslaughter that killed two or more people or someone who was not a passenger in your vehicle, the charge may become a Class A felony. If your blood alcohol was higher than 0.18, this will be the case. The sentence for a Class A felony is 10 to 30 years.
Penalties for second degree involuntary manslaughter
Second degree involuntary manslaughter is another common type of vehicular manslaughter charge. This is defined as criminal negligence that leads to the death of another person. To be second degree, the action must not involve you being intoxicated while operating a boat or other type of vehicle.
Second degree involuntary manslaughter is listed as a Class D felony. If convicted, you can be liable to be punished by up to 4 years in prison. You may also receive a $5,000 fine.
While a second degree conviction is definitely better than the first, it doesn’t leave you with many options. It is advisable to observe the law to avoid any of these penalties.