When Might You Face DUI Manslaughter Charges in Mississippi?

Facing manslaughter charges in Mississippi is a serious matter. People often face these charges in connection with DUIs. But when exactly might you face manslaughter charges for a DUI in Mississippi? If you kill someone while intoxicated and behind the wheel, does this automatically lead to manslaughter charges? These are just a few examples of questions that you might consider if you face a manslaughter DUI charge. Let’s explore this topic in more depth:

An Example of DUI Manslaughter

On February 1, it was reported that a man from Lauderdale County had been indicted for DUI manslaughter for a crash that occurred in 2021. Not only did he crash into an innocent motorist and kill them while intoxicated, but he was also found with a firearm despite the fact that he is a convicted felon. Finally, he was also charged with possession of a controlled substance. All of these charges mean that this individual will likely spend many years behind bars if convicted.

What are the Penalties for DUI Manslaughter?

In Mississippi, causing someone’s death while driving intoxicated is considered an aggravated DUI. If you commit this offense, you will face between five and 25 years in prison – plus fines and fees. In addition, your license will be suspended – and you could face probation, ignition interlock installation, community service, and other penalties.

Vehicular Manslaughter vs. DUI Manslaughter

If you caused someone else’s death while driving sober, you cannot be charged with an aggravated DUI. Instead, you may face manslaughter charges. The penalties for this offense are slightly more lenient, as you will face a maximum of 20 years in prison instead of 25. You will also face a minimum sentence of just two years instead of five.

Do Traffic Deaths Automatically Result in Manslaughter Charges?

Just because someone died in your crash, it does not necessarily mean that you will face manslaughter charges. The accident could have been just that – an accident. You might have made a mistake that is not necessarily considered “unlawful,” such as failing to accurately judge another car’s speed or forgetting to check your mirrors before turning.

In order to face manslaughter charges, your driving must have also been a violation of the law.  These violations include drunk driving, reckless driving, distracted driving, or other major traffic offenses. Driving in a normal manner should not mean that you will face manslaughter charges.

Does Drunk Driving Automatically Constitute Recklessness?

Drunk driving is one of the most common examples of driver recklessness and negligence. However, it may not necessarily lead to manslaughter charges. Even if you were intoxicated, you might have been involved in a crash that was not your fault. For example, you might have been parked at a red light when another car slammed into you. If the driver of this vehicle was not wearing their seatbelt, they might have flown out of the windshield before suffering life-ending head injuries. This example does not involve any real negligence or recklessness – even if you were intoxicated at the time of the crash.

Defenses to DUI Manslaughter

There are a number of potential defense strategies that may apply to DUI manslaughter:

  • You were not intoxicated: The most obvious option is to show that you were not actually intoxicated. A criminal defense lawyer might be able to show that the Breathalyzer device was not properly calibrated before it was used, for example.
  • You’re not guilty of culpable negligence: Another common strategy is to show that while you might have been negligent, your conduct did not rise to the level of culpable This can make all the difference in your fight against manslaughter charges.

Of course, the best possible strategy depends entirely on your unique situation, and this is why it is important to get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified DUI Attorney 

When you are searching the state of Mississippi for a qualified, experienced DUI defense attorney, look no further than Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. No matter the circumstances of your case, the sooner you get in touch with a qualified DUI defense attorney, the better chance you have for a favorable outcome.  Over the years, we have helped countless defendants who have been charged with DUI’s. Please call us for a free consultation today, and we can help you defend yourself when you are arrested and charged with a DUI in Mississippi.

Please also see us on mississippi-lawyers.com and view our reviews on avvo.com, superlawyers.com, and martindale.com. Our email address is vic@mississippi-lawyers.com, and our office phone number is (601) 948 – 4444 option 1.

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