What is Criminal Vehicular Operation in MN?
3 weeks ago by Brian
Criminal vehicular operation carries severe penalties in Minnesota. Therefore, you can’t waste any time if you are facing prosecution for criminal vehicular operation. The defense team at JS Defense, PA can explain your rights and options for this type of offense.
What the Law Says
Minnesota Statute 609.2113 defines the criminal vehicular operation as the commission of one of the following crimes:
- Recklessly operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI/DWI).
- Receiving a citation about an auto defect but failing to correct the problem. The defect, in turn, leads to a crash that involves injury or death.
- Fleeing the scene of an auto crash, which also falls under the definition of vehicular manslaughter.
- Grossly negligent operation of a vehicle
Gross Negligence vs. Negligence
In Minnesota, gross negligence happens when a driver operates a vehicle in a way that doesn’t account for the safety of others. While gross negligence references a criminal charge, negligence applies to personal injury and wrongful death cases.
For instance, gross negligence may involve a driver who races down a road at 80 miles per hour with a posted speed limit of 40 miles per hour. In turn, they hit and kill a pedestrian.
This type of behavior is not representative of a typical crash. The defendant was engaged in an activity that poses an obvious danger to other people.
A typical accident, on the other hand, may lead to a fatality but is not defined as gross negligence. In this case, the driver would face a civil lawsuit for personal injury or wrongful death.
This might occur if a motorist makes a turn, for example, at a busy intersection but believes the oncoming lanes are clear.
However, they do not see a car in a far lane, which leads to an injury or death. While negligence, in the above example, is an error, it is not a crime.
In other words, the driver did not intentionally place another person’s life in peril. Therefore, they are unlikely to get charged with vehicular homicide.
While the driver did not have the right of way, they did not knowingly believe this. If the other driver was speeding, then both parties may be found negligent to a certain degree.
Non-Fatal Injuries and Criminal Vehicular Operation
The statute that defines criminal vehicular operation also references non-fatal injuries, which fall under three major classifications.
With reference to criminal vehicular operation, bodily harm is defined as an illness, distress, physical injury, or similar physical impairment. If the crime results in bodily harm, the defendant may have to spend up to one year in jail and pay a fine of $3,000.
Substantial Bodily Harm
Substantial bodily harm defines a bodily injury that causes a temporary but major impairment to the body or a brief but noted disfigurement. Penalties may involve three years in federal prison or a $10,000 fine.
Great Bodily Harm
This category of bodily harm covers injuries where the victim is likely to suffer a severe bodily impairment or permanent disfigurement. In some cases, the prognosis is death.
If you’re charged with this offense, you can spend up to five years in prison and pay a $10,000 fine.
If you’re involved in a crash that involves a fatality, and you’re at fault, you can face a maximum prison time of 10 years and pay a fine of $20,000. You may also lose your rights to own a firearm and lose your driving privileges.
A conviction of vehicular homicide may also lead to problems with finding employment or obtaining loans.
Contact an Experienced Woodbury, MN Criminal Defense Lawyer Now
If you live and work near Woodbury Minnesota and have been charged with criminal vehicular operation, you need to speak to a lawyer immediately. Contact JS Defense, PA to schedule a free consultation today.
Doing so is the best way to safeguard your current and future rights and privileges. By taking this step, you can experience a much more successful outcome in your criminal defense case. Call: 651-362-9426.