The United States Department of Justice says that a Northern Minnesota man has been indicted in federal court on involuntary manslaughter charges after he was allegedly involved in a fatal accident. The crash was reported on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Northern Minnesota last October. Investigators believe that the Blackduck, Minnesota man was driving drunk on Minnesota highway 15 when he lost control of his car. A female passenger in the vehicle was killed in the wreck.
Criminal allegations that arise on federal lands may fall under the jurisdiction of federal officials and the U.S. attorney’s office. The Red Lake Reservation is under federal jurisdiction. As a result, the Red Lake Tribal Police Department joined with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in looking into the incident.
The Blackduck man was indicted on two counts of involuntary manslaughter last week. While alleged drunk driving car accidents in Minnesota involving serious injury or death are typically prosecuted under Minnesota Criminal Vehicular Operation or Homicide statute, the highway 15 wreck occurred on land under the jurisdiction of federal officials. The man faces up to eight years in federal prison on each of the two involuntary manslaughter counts.
Generally, the procedures and rules of court that apply in federal court may differ in various ways from the rules in Minnesota state courts. Not all criminal defense lawyers practice in both Minnesota state courts and federal courts. A person accused of a federal crime has the right to a criminal defense and should consider speaking with legal counsel admitted in federal court for assistance in developing a criminal defense.
Source: St Paul Pioneer Press, “Northern Minnesota: Blackduck man charged with DWI-related crash death,” Bemidji Pioneer, March 25, 2013