The definition of vehicular assault is when another person is injured while you are driving a motor vehicle in a reckless or dangerous manner. The person who has sustained bodily harm can be a pedestrian or a passenger who is in another vehicle. Also, when another person is injured when you are driving a motor vehicle, you can be liable in civil court for any damage or injuries that occurred. You can too be charged with vehicular assault which is a criminal charge.
The grounds for vehicular assault may be different from state to state, but the grounds all center around causing injury when you are:
- Driving recklessly or when you are driving carelessly
- If you’re driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- If you’re driving when you have a suspended license or if your license was revoked
In some states if you injure someone while driving under the influence you can be charged with vehicular assault and causing serious bodily injury to another person. These could be considered by the state you’re in as two separate crimes, and you would be charged accordingly (find details at https://legalaed.com/dui-defense/). If you are driving while under the above circumstances and a death occurs, then the charges may change to Vehicular Manslaughter under criminal law.
If you drive recklessly or in a dangerous manner and you recognize it as such and have an accident or cause injury, you can be charged (here is more information on the subject). Your behavior was risky, and you acted in spite of and regardless of the risk. Also if you drive negligently, then that is defined as driving without exercising reasonable care or “careless driving”.
Also in some states you can be charges with vehicular assault if you are driving with a suspended license or if it’s revoked and then have a collision which can cause injury to another person. Even if you had the accident and weren’t driving carelessly or didn’t have drugs or alcohol in your system, because you were driving on a suspended or revoked license, you would be charged.
The punishment for vehicular assault can range from five or more years in prison if convicted of a felony. If it’s a misdemeanor the sentence can range from one to two years. The sentence at conviction is based on how many people were injured and how seriously, how old the person was and if you already have a criminal record.
You and a friend were playing your favorite song and singing along to the lyrics; not paying attention to how fast you were going. When you glanced down at the speedometer though, you realize you were about 10 miles over the speed limit and slowed down. After a few minutes, you see flashing lights in your rearview mirror though. Oh no, you’re busted! The officer was polite; but firm, and he wrote you a ticket for speeding. You’re embarrassed because this was the first time you ever had a ticket for speeding, and you don’t know a thing about criminal law or court (find out more at DUI in Maui). So now what do you do, especially if you need a good driving record for a job.
The first thing you do is document all the facts. Write down how fast you were going when you noticed, what the weather was like and what the speed was where you were stopped. Write it down as soon as you can while it’s still fresh in your mind. Ask your friend if she noticed if there were any cars going the same speed as you were too or if you were passing them. If there were any witnesses, contact them and ask the same questions.
Next ask for a copy of what evidence the prosecutor has. The file which has the evidence may have in it the notes from the arresting officer, a drawing of what happened at the scene or even a video. Then send the officer who gave you the ticket a letter explaining why not having the violation on your record is important. You may hit a soft spot with the officer, and it will help you to petition the ticket.
On the speeding ticket is the date of the arraignment; make sure you show up. Plead “not guilty” to appeal the ticket and then a trial date will be issued. Try to delay your trial as long as possible in hopes the officer won’t remember the case. If the officer can’t remember the details very well, then prosecution may not be successful. When the court date arrives, dress conservatively and arrive on time also and bring along any notes that you took.
When the trial begins, be respectful but confident when pointing out any discrepancies and take notes on any points you disagree on what the prosecutor says. Bring your witnesses to testify in your defense which may help. Ask that your case be dismissed. If the officer who wrote the ticket doesn’t appear, the case can be dismissed then. You can also ask the prosecutor if you could go a traffic school before the trial and get no points. If things get really dicey you can also contact and attorney to help you, any traffic attorney could help you even Eberstein Witherite LLP truck accident attorneys for example. Be careful though, never admit guilt before the deal is done and remember what you say can be used against you.
Wait for the verdict, if you’re guilty, pay the fine; if you are found not guilty then you won’t have to pay the fine.