Although she was released from jail on her own recognizance, a 67-year-old Mansfield woman faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter after a fatal accident on U.S. Highway 60 in Fordland. According to an accident scene investigation by the state highway patrol, she was driving a car east on the highway when she struck the rear of another vehicle. The impact forced the second vehicle off the road and overturned it.
Troopers tested the sobriety of the woman at the scene and then arrested her. The driver of the second vehicle, a 68-year-old man from Sparta, died at the crash site. The police report stated that neither person involved wore a seat belt at the time of the accident. The woman is expected to return to court for a scheduled hearing in April. A conviction could result in a sentence as long as seven years.
A person in a similar position might benefit from seeking a criminal defense attorney. With legal support, the person could gain information about the nature of the criminal charges, potential penalties and how to create a defense. An attorney might advise the person about constitutional rights before statements are made to authorities.
In a case that involves serious issues like vehicular homicide, the stakes are higher, and an attorney might challenge the validity of the sobriety tests that were given in the field. If police administered it improperly, then the results might be removed from evidence. In other cases, an attorney might be capable of reaching an agreement with the prosecutor that would provide for a more lenient penalty in exchange for a plea of guilty.