In Massachusetts, a court recently convicted a teen of homicide because he was in a fatal car accident that resulted from texting while the teen was behind the wheel. He was then given the maximum sentence for the murder.
Thirty-eight other states and the District of Columbia have made it a crime to text while you are behind the wheel of a car. In Missouri, if you are in a fatal car accident where someone loses their life due to the at-fault driver texting and driving, it is possible for the driver to be charged and convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
Because distracted driving has become such a problem across the United States, texting or using your cell phone while you are driving is illegal. If someone is in a car accident while using a mobile device, they might be charged with a crime.
What is Involuntary Manslaughter?
Involuntary manslaughter, which is also sometimes referred to as criminally negligent manslaughter, is a crime where one person kills another person without the specific intent to do so. If a person is texting while driving and end up in a fatal car accident, even though they didn’t mean to kill anyone, the result is that their actions were to blame for another persons wrongful death. The fact that you drove with recklessness opens you up to the potential of being convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
If they are charged with involuntary manslaughter, it is considered a Class B or a Class C felony according to how the victim died along with other factors related to their death. The penalty for involuntary manslaughter can range from up to seven years and a five thousand dollar fine if it is a Class C felony, and five to fifteen years in prison if it is a Class B felony.
When can the charges be more severe?
If the driver who is responsible for the death of someone else in a car accident has a history of DWI, killed more than two people in the accident, had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.18% or higher or if the person who was killed was not a passenger, the charges may be escalated as a Class A felony. Being convicted of a Class A felony, can result as many as ten to thirty years in prison.
If the at-fault driver is not charged with involuntary manslaughter in criminal court but, due to texting and driving, are responsible for someone else’s death, it is possible for the deceased family to file a wrongful death suit against them in civil court.
It is illegal to text and drive in the state of Missouri and doing so can lead to serious consequences and even jail time if a driver ends up killing someone.
Call the St. Louis Wrongful Death Attorney Today
Nothing affects a family more than the unexpected death of a father, mother, child or other relative. The void left by this sudden death can seem impossible to fill. If one of your family members was killed in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you deserve compensation for your emotional and financial losses.
While compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit cannot replace what you have lost, it can provide you with a much-needed sense of justice. Furthermore, this compensation can alleviate some of your family’s financial worries.