DWI Turns Into Involuntary Manslaughter

The Free Lance-Star reports that a Spotsylvania man is now charged with involuntary manslaughter due to an accident that occurred when he was alleged to have been driving under the influence.

The defendant was first just charged with DWI and driving on a suspended license, but the Commonwealth added the manslaughter charge later on. During the accident, a passenger in the defendant’s car was thrown from the vehicle and crushed by it. His death is the reason for the more serious charge.

Of course there’s a major difference between the two charges. A typical DWI is a misdemeanor that might not even end up with actual jail time. However, the manslaughter charge is a felony.

As a side note, the newspaper’s writing needs some help. The defendant is charged with a third offense of driving on a suspended license, which carries a mandatory minimum of ten days in jail. The way the article is written, it sounds like this is a third offense DWI. There’s a major difference between the two. A third offense DWI is a felony charge by itself, much more serious than driving on suspended.

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