An ap report out of Charleston, West Virginia on July 21, 2022, indicates that a man has been charged with a felony in connection with a drunk driving wreck that resulted in the death of an unborn child. Often, we hear of people getting charged with and convicted of a double homicide when the victim is a pregnant woman because the offender is being punished for ending the life of the mother as well as the unborn child. It seems much less often that an expecting mother is injured by someone committing a criminal act resulting in the death of the unborn child. In West Virginia the penalty for a DUI resulting in an injury to someone other than the intoxicated driver is no less than a day in jail and no more than a year, making it a misdemeanor offense. For an offense to be considered a felony it must carry a possible sentence of more than a year in prison. The penalty for a DUI resulting in the death of another in west Virginia is a minimum of two years in prison and a maximum of ten, making it a felony. DUI resulting in a death is the charge being pursued against this West Virginia man for the death of the unborn child, not the DUI resulting in injury to the mother.
What Are Mississippi’s DUI Penalties for Injury or Death Laws?
Mississippi’s DUI laws are much more aggressive than the West Virginia laws. We should first look to the Mississippi code to determine what “driving under the influence” really means. The statute makes clear that in Mississippi it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, under the influence of any other substance that has impaired the person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle, under the influence of any controlled substance, or has a blood alcohol or breath alcohol concentration of 0.08 and above. Note that there are no exceptions for legal prescriptions in the driver’s name and that driver may still be found to be under the influence of their legal prescription even if they have a bac of below 0.08. According to the Mississippi code, any person driving under the influence that negligently causes a serious injury or death to another may be sentenced to prison for a minimum of five years and a maximum of twenty-five years for each person injured or killed. Since this drunk driving accident resulted in the death of the unborn child and serious injury to the mother, under Mississippi law, he could be facing fifty years in prison.
What Should You Do If You Are Charged with A Crime Like This?
First and foremost, you should invoke your fourth, fifth, and sixth amendment rights. This means that you should not allow searches of your vehicle if the police do not have a warrant, do not speak with law enforcement, and do not answer law enforcement questions without your lawyer. When facing a charge as serious as DUI resulting in death or serious bodily injury you are facing a lengthy prison sentence. With stakes as high as 25 years per injury in a prison and a legal system as complicated as ours, you will want a competent and experienced attorney in your corner to help you fight those battles. A good attorney can help you wade through the muddy waters of preliminary hearings, pretrial motions, negotiations for possible settlements, and the trial itself. There are always different approaches to criminal cases and an experienced attorney could be able to help you achieve a favorable outcome.
If you have been searching the Mississippi area for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney, look no further than Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. over the years, we have helped numerous defendants pursue favorable outcomes. Although being accused of a DUI resulting in injury or death is not a pleasant experience, there are many potential defense strategies that can be used to defend and lessen the effects of this type of case. Call us today for your free consultation to learn more and get started. Please also see us on mississippi-lawyers.com and view our reviews on avvo.com, superlawyers.com, and martindale.com. Our office phone number is (601) 948-4444 option 1.