23 Jun 20

What is Vehicular Assault?

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Last Updated on: 5th August 2023, 07:54 pm

The use of a vehicle to threaten or cause harm to another person is known as vehicular assault. Other types of traffic offenses are often accompanied with this crime. It could happen if a driver is operating a vehicle recklessly or at an excessive speed and causes injury to another driver or pedestrian. A driver could be held liable for vehicular assault as well as reckless driving in this situation. Other traffic offenses added to vehicular assault include driving without a license as well as driving under the influence and more.

Elements Of Vehicular Assault
Vehicular assault can also be referred to as assault by auto, aggravated assault by vehicle as well as serious injury by vehicle. It is a crime that happens when a defendant has caused bodily injury to another person under certain circumstances.

*Defendant’s license was revoked
*Defendant was driving recklessly or negligently
*Defendant was driving with a suspended license
*Defendant was driving while under the influence of drugs, driving while intoxicated, impaired or driving while distracted

Severity Of Bodily Injuries
A charge of vehicular assault requires significant bodily injury or significant bodily harm. This can be interpreted in different ways.

*Burns or bone fractures or breaks
*Bodily injury that requires hospitalization
*Bodily injury that involves significant impairment or loss of an organ
*Bodily injury involving a significant risk of death
*Bodily injury involving a significant risk of permanent disfigurement

Vehicular Assault Penalties
Vehicular assault could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the state where it occurred. In certain states, if a vehicular assault incident results in someone experiencing significant bodily harm, the driver will be charged with a felony. Being convicted of a felony charge can result in a person being sentenced to spend years in prison as well as paying heavy fines. Should it be determined the consequences of a driver’s behavior were not severe, they could be charged with a misdemeanor. It is common when someone is charged with vehicular assault for them to spend time in jail.

Civil Lawsuit
It is possible when someone is injured because of a vehicle assault, they will bring a claim against a driver for damages. This way they can get compensation for their lost wages, pain and suffering, injuries, and more.

Driver’s License Suspension
A person who commits vehicular assault is determined to be a significant threat to other drivers as well as pedestrians. A person found guilty of this may be given a temporary suspension of their driver’s license. They could also be required to participate in driver education classes and more.

Distracted Driving
Many states are now charging drivers who are distracted and injure another individual in an accident with vehicular assault. These incidents are increasing as more drivers are being distracted by their cell phones and more when driving.

Negligent And Reckless Driving
Driving recklessly and causing serious injury to another person is often the basis for being charged with vehicular assault in many states.

*Reckless Driving – This happens when a driver operates their motor vehicle in a way they know or recognize as very dangerous, or in a way that will likely cause an accident or dangerous situation. The main point is the driver is aware their behavior could be defined as taking excessive risk. They chose to continue to operate their motor vehicle in this way knowing the risk.

*Negligent Driving – If a driver fails to comprehend a hazardous risk or does not exercise the same amount of caution that a reasonable person would in the same situation, they are considered to be diving in a negligent manner. This is often referred to as careless driving. The law considers this type of driver as someone who is not driving careful enough but is not being reckless.

Involuntary Intoxication
This is a legal defense for vehicular assault. It involves someone being tricked into having a substance that is intoxicating or being forced to consume it. If it can be established someone was forced to have an intoxicating substance, they could have the legal defense of duress.

When someone is charged with vehicular assault, they should immediately contact an experienced attorney. They will know how to analyze a case and choose the appropriate defense. An attorney will know how to present a successful defense that could result in a reduction of charges. It is also possible for their clients to be found not guilty of vehicular assault.