Vehicular Assault is a very serious crime. If you have been charged with vehicular assault, you should consult with one of the qualified attorneys at CGH right away. As a general rule, vehicular assault occurs in two distinct situations. First, it can occur when you operate a vehicle in a reckless manner which results in someone suffering serious bodily injury. Second, it can occur if you are operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and you cause someone serious bodily injury. If the person who is injured ends up dying you likely will be charged with vehicular homicide. To learn about vehicular homicide click here.
(1)(a) If a person operates or drives a motor vehicle in a reckless manner, and this conduct is the proximate cause of serious bodily injury to another, such person commits vehicular assault.
(b)(I) If a person operates or drives a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of both alcohol and one or more drugs, and this conduct is the proximate cause of a serious bodily injury to another, such person commits vehicular assault. This is a strict liability crime.
(II) For the purposes of this subsection (1), one or more drugs means any drug, as defined in section 27-80-203(13), C.R.S., any controlled substance, as defined in section 18-18-102(5), and any inhaled glue, aerosol, or other toxic vapor or vapors, as defined in section 18-18-412.
(III) The fact that any person charged with a violation of this subsection (1) is or has been entitled to use one or more drugs under the laws of this state shall not constitute a defense against any charge of violating this subsection (1).
(IV) “Driving under the influence” means driving a vehicle when a person has consumed alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of alcohol and one or more drugs, which alcohol alone, or one or more drugs alone, or alcohol combined with one or more drugs affect such person to a degree that such person is substantially incapable, either mentally or physically, or both mentally and physically, of exercising clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle.
(c) Vehicular assault, in violation of paragraph (a) of this subsection (1), is a class 5 felony. Vehicular assault, in violation of paragraph (b) of this subsection (1), is a class 4 felony.
Regardless of which type of Vehicular Assault you are charged with, you are facing serious consequences if convicted. If you are charged with committing a Class 5 Felony, then you are facing a recommended range of 1-3 years in prison with two years of parole and fines ranging from $1,000-$100,000.[ii] If you are facing the Class 4 because you are accused of being drunk or high at the time of the accident, you are facing a recommended range of 2-6 years in prison with three years of parole and possible fines ranging from $2,000-$500,000.[iii]
The Court can, however, decide that prison is not an appropriate sentence. In those situations you may be sentenced to probation, work release, community corrections, or some combination of the above. If it is your first offense, you may be eligible for a deferred sentence which would allow you to seal your record if you successfully completed the terms of your sentence.
If you have been charged with vehicular assault, do not delay. Call one of the experienced vehicular assault attorneys at CGH today for a free consultation!
[i] C.R.S. § 18-3-205
[ii] C.R.S. § 18-1.3-401
[iii] C.R.S. § 18-1.3-401