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A St. Louis woman is facing charges for an Aug. 9 accident that left one person dead. The accident happened at approximately 2 am in an eastbound lane of Highway 40 at Jefferson Avenue. The 26-year-old woman allegedly entered the highway driving in the wrong direction and hit a 26-year-old man's car head-on as he was travelling eastbound. The man's car caught on fire and he died at the scene.

On Nov. 22, the woman was charged with involuntary manslaughter, drunk driving and driving the wrong way on the highway. Court documents said the woman's blood alcohol content level was higher than .20 percent at the time of the accident, and the legal limit in Missouri is .08 percent. Reports say that she was being held on a cash-only bail of $100,000.

Convictions for DWI in Missouri can lead to jail time, probation, fines and loss of driving privileges. However, if the alleged drunk driving leads to an accident that kills or injures other people, charges and penalties can be much more severe. An additional conviction for involuntary manslaughter could lead to significant time in prison and a lengthy probation upon release.

An attorney with criminal defense experience could help this young woman or any individual facing similar charges prepare and present a defense in court. The attorney could examine the details of the case and make a recommendation that suggest the focus of the defense should be on fighting against a conviction or negotiating for a plea deal that reduces the charges and the possible sentence. In a case where a conviction seems likely, the attorney may decide that working for a plea may be a more prudent strategy.

Source: STL Today, "St. Louis woman charged in one-way crash that killed Metro East man in August", Valerie Schremp, November 22, 2013

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