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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.

Juvenile held after robbery

Missouri authorities reported that they had detained a 17-year-old male juvenile for allegedly robbing a St. Clair gas station on Sycamore Lane using a knife on Feb. 3. The specific criminal charge in the case was not reported. A store employee gave the alleged perpetrator's description to authorities as they continued to speak with witnesses on site and collected additional information.

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