A St. Louis man recently pleaded guilty to first-degree involuntary manslaughter and second-degree assault in connection with drunk driving charges stemming from a fatal accident in 2011. The man was reportedly legally drunk when he drove head-on into another car last summer. The accident killed a school teacher and critically injured her son.

The man's blood alcohol content tested at 0.14 percent shortly after the accident, yet prosecutors claim that it was probably closer to 0.16 at the time of the crash.

The County Circuit Court judge questioned the man thoroughly to ensure that he understood the nature of his plea. The suspect admitted that he is currently unemployed, and he told the judge that he has been taking medicine to treat clinical depression since the accident.

The prosecutor in the case has reportedly been seeking a seven-year prison sentence, though the judge has not yet determined what the man's sentence will be. The judge will probably sentence the man for five to six years for the manslaughter charge, according to the prosecutor's office. This means that the assault charge will probably be suspended.

Though it appears as though some of the sentencing may be suspended, which means that the man would spend less time in prison, felony charges stick with a person for their entire lives. This case highlights the importance of considering every made in criminal court. The hope is that the accused man consulted with an attorney before entering his guilty plea. Failing to make the right moves in court -- and during pre-trial procedures -- could mean the difference between facing unnecessarily steep consequences and finding a favorable outcome to your trial.

Source: Creve Coeur Patch, "Patrick McCormick pleads guilty to manslaughter, assault in Whitfield teacher's death," Joe Scott, June 22, 2012