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Understanding Criminal Vehicular Injury Charges

Many states revise their laws to adjust for instances in which gross negligence behind the wheel of a vehicle leads to injury. In Minnesota, the result is a criminal vehicular injury charge.

If you have been charged with criminal vehicular injury, you want to know what this means for your future. What are criminal vehicular injury charges? Should you hire an attorney to fight them? What are the consequences of conviction? This guide will help you determine your next steps following criminal vehicular injury charges.

What Is Criminal Vehicular Injury?

You may be charged with criminal vehicular injury if you commit specific offenses while operating a vehicle. These include negligent operation under the influence of alcohol (especially with a concentration of .08 percent or higher) or drugs that results in an injury to another person. If you are involved in an accident or cause an accident and then flee the scene, resulting injuries may lead to these charges as well.

Additionally, the state of Minnesota calls for different divisions of injuries. Bodily harm includes illness, pain, injury, or impairment. Substantial bodily harm results in temporary but substantial impairment or loss of function of any body part or temporary disfigurement. Great bodily harm may include permanent disfigurement, impairment, or possible fatal injuries.

There are also several other instances in which charges of criminal vehicular injury may apply. For example, the death or injury of an unborn child due to grossly negligent operation of a vehicle may result in this type of charge.

What Is Criminal Operation of a Vehicle?

Gross negligent driving is considered criminal operation of a vehicle. There are several ways in which you may be considered negligent behind the wheel of a car. Gross negligence is considered voluntary and conscious to use care that the law has deemed reasonable. it is considered more extreme than ordinary negligence according to the law in Minnesota.

In Minnesota, driving while intoxicated or under the influence of certain controlled substances is considered criminal. Violating Minnesota DWI laws and becoming involved in an accident may lead to criminal vehicular injuries in addition to DWI-related charges.

Criminal vehicular injury charges may also stem from incidents that cause harm to others in which the driver of the vehicle had been issued a citation for a vehicle defect. If the driver failed to take remedial action to correct the issue, they may be deemed legally and criminally responsible.

What Are Punishments for Criminal Vehicular Injury?

Criminal vehicular injury punishments differ based on what type of bodily harm resulted from the incident. In the case of standard bodily harm, the punishment may include one year in jail and a fine of $3,000. The punishment for substantial bodily harm may include three years in prison and a fine of $10,000. In cases of great bodily harm, punishment may include up to five years in prison and a fine of $10,000.

Some cases become more specific. In a case in which the death of an unborn child is involved, the punishment may include up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000. In the event of injury to an unborn child, potential punishments include five years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Other punishments may also result from a conviction, including loss or suspension of license. In some cases, drivers have had to forfeit their cars. It is also important to remember that being charged with a felony in the state of Minnesota could mean that you forfeit your right to vote and possess a firearm.

Do You Need an Attorney for Criminal Vehicular Injury Cases?

If you or somebody you love is facing criminal charges related to criminal vehicular injury, it is important to speak with a criminal defense attorney soon. Criminal attorneys understand the depths of the law as well as how to best defend you if you are facing charges in court. Please contact us today to learn more about cases like yours.

The information presented in this article is not considered legal advice. Please contact our law office to speak to an attorney about your case.