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When texting while driving leads to involuntary manslaughter

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2019 | Firm News |

Texting while driving is an ongoing problem in every state, including South Carolina.

If you are texting and cause an accident that results in the death of another person, law enforcement can charge you with involuntary manslaughter. What exactly does this mean?

Murder versus manslaughter

If you killed someone with malicious aforethought, you meant to do it. You meant for this person to die. Therefore, you are guilty of committing the capital crime of murder in the state of South Carolina and could face the death penalty.

On the other hand, malice has no part in manslaughter. For example, a man may have provoked you and made you extremely angry. As a consequence, you struck him with a heavy blow in the heat of passion. You did not mean to kill him, but his head connected with the edge of the desk as he went down, and he died from the head injury. The charge is not as serious as the charge for murder, but the penalties can still be severe.

Involuntary manslaughter

You did not realize how deadly the consequences can be when you text and drive, and you certainly did not plan to cause a crash in which someone died. This is an example of involuntary manslaughter. In the state of South Carolina, you could go to prison for this offense with a maximum term of five years. Since there is no mandatory minimum, the court could order probation instead of prison time, which, of course, would be the easier sentence.

Next steps

A criminal conviction would have a far-reaching impact on your life. To begin with, employers, banks and landlords routinely perform background checks. Therefore, you may find it difficult to find a job, obtain a loan or rent an apartment. Learning about your legal options is the next step. You will need a strong defense, which would begin with a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the car crash. When you face charges of involuntary manslaughter, you want the best outcome possible for your case.