Involuntary Manslaughter and Operating While Intoxicated Charges DISMISSED

Johnston, Polk County, Iowa.  What started as an arrest for Operating While Intoxicated progressed to felony offense of Involuntary Manslaughter, but was ultimately resolved with a traffic citation for Failure to Yield Upon a Left-Hand Turn.  GRL’s client experienced a roller-coaster ride of emotion following a tragic car accident.  Client was initially suspected of being intoxicated but subsequent blood tests established an alcohol concentration well within the legal range.  Because the operator of the other vehicle involved in the accident died, while unable to prove operating while intoxicated, the prosecution amended to charge to Involuntary Manslaughter.  This charge requires the prosecution to be able to prove not just that a traffic offense resulted in the death of another but that the traffic offense was recklessly committed.  Ultimately, based upon law enforcement’s own investigation, the evidence simply could not establish that GRL’s client’s conduct qualified as reckless.  To the prosecution’s credit, they objectively evaluated their case and made the difficult but correct decision to dismiss the felony Involuntary Manslaughter offense.  It was a difficult process for all involved but ultimately, justice was done.