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Missouri woman to get new trial in fatal DWI accident case

A Missouri woman who was handed a five-year prison sentence for causing a fatal drunk driving accident in 2012 will get another chance to make her case in court after an appeals court ruled on Dec. 22 that the judge in her original trial gave incomplete instructions to the jury. According to media reports, the jury in the case was not provided with sufficient information regarding the legal definitions of intoxication and driving under the influence. The Columbia resident was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in December 2014.

DoJ and DoL intend to prosecute more worker safety violations

Missouri employers who have been found to maintain an unsafe or insufficiently safe workplace may soon face a greater threat of criminal prosecution. The United States Department of Justice and the Department of Labor have signed an agreement stating their intention to prosecute more often for violations of safety standards by workplace operators.

Reasons for plea bargains in criminal trials

Many people who are charged with crimes will eventually have their cases resolved through plea bargains. In fact, most criminal cases are resolved in this way. There are several reasons why plea offers are made and why judges in Missouri and around the country often accept them.

What is an "Alford plea?"

It is not uncommon for Missouri prosecutors and defense attorneys to enter into plea negotiations before a criminal trial takes place. Making a plea deal can often save the state considerable time and resources that it would otherwise take to bring charges to trial, and also eliminates any sense of uncertainty about whether a jury would acquit the defendant altogether. For the defendant, a plea deal can lead to benefits such as avoiding the need to face more serious charges, and in some situations, such as "wet reckless" negotiated deals, the possibility of not having a DUI conviction appear on their records.

Do I have to live with a DWI charge for the rest of my life?

Having a “driving while intoxicated” charge on your record could seriously hinder future endeavors. It may be hard to get a good job, an apartment or even a loan. Thankfully, drivers in Missouri often have the opportunity to have this charge expunged from their record. This means it will not show up on background checks. There are certain requirements that must be met, however.

Pre-trial motions could get evidence dismissed in DWI cases

When someone faces criminal charges, he or she may appear in court multiple times as part of the legal process. However, many people only go to court once for an arraignment when charged with driving while under the influence, as those accused of a DWI related charge tend to plead guilty. However, some Missouri residents may want to know what could happen before trial when one chooses to fight an alcohol related charge.

Appealing a drunk driving conviction

Missouri follows certain federal laws when it comes to regulating alcohol consumption, and some state residents who are convicted of underage drinking and driving or being above the legal limit for blood alcohol content while operating a vehicle may face serious penalties. Some people have grounds for an appeal, which gives one the chance to have a sentence or conviction overturned.

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