Driving under the influence or DUI by itself already carries stiff penalties and serious punishments. When the drunk driver causes serious harm or injury to another driver, his charges could escalate to vehicular assault. The website of the Nashville criminal lawyers at Horst Law reveals that such offenses may carry a mandatory minimum sentence of two years or up to a maximum of 12 years. This will depend on the number of DUI charges the driver has on their record.
Depending on the state where the offense happened, vehicular assault may either be a felony or misdemeanor. If the accident caused bodily harm to the other driver, they would be charged with felony and may face several years prison sentence aside from paying stiff fines. For more severe consequences, the charge may be reduced to misdemeanor. Regardless of whether the charge is a misdemeanor or felony, the defendant may be sentenced to jail time.
In some states, a DUI driver may be charged with first, second, or third degree vehicular assault. The first degree charge is considered as felony and second and third degree as misdemeanors. Everything will depend on the circumstances and seriousness of the injury incurred by the other driver. A driver who commits reckless driving or who has a BAC of more than 0.18 is guilty of first degree vehicular assault if someone was seriously injured.
If the charge is felony, the driver can be sentenced with probation or imprisonment of more than five years. For misdemeanor, the sentence ranges from probation or imprisonment or one to two years. The punishment will depend on current state laws and other circumstances such as seriousness of injuries, the number of people who got injured, the ages of the injured, and the criminal record of the defendant.
Lastly, a driver charged with vehicular assault is considered as a threat to the safety of other drivers, vehicular assault may also include temporary suspension of the driver’s license. In order to have their license reinstated, the driver may be required to take remedial classes or pay certain fines.