Minnesota Criminal Vehicular Operation Lawyers
Most traffic accidents don’t lead to anything more than a simple citation – if that. But, depending on the circumstances, a driver who caused an accident and injuries to another person may face felony or gross misdemeanor charges for criminal vehicular operation or homicide. These are very serious charges and come with stiff criminal and collateral consequences. If you find yourself facing these charges, you need to hire a Minnesota criminal vehicular operation or homicide attorney immediately to help you fight these charges and help you through the legal process – including how to handle the collateral consequences, such as a loss of your driver’s license.
What is Criminal Vehicular Operation / Homicide?
In order for driving conduct to rise to the level of criminal vehicular operation, the driver have been operating the vehicle in one of the following manners:
- In a grossly negligent manner, which is defined as very great negligence and an absence of even slight care – it requires the presence of egregious driving conduct coupled with other evidence of negligence;
- In a negligent manner while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or any combination of the two;
- In violation of the DWI law;
- In a negligent manner while knowingly under the influence of a hazardous substance;
- In a negligent manner with any amount of a controlled substance other than THC or marijuana in your system;
- Where the driver caused an accident and flees or fails to notify police; or
- Where the driver had actual knowledge of a previously issued citation or warning that the motor vehicle was defectively maintained, the driver had actual knowledge that remedial action was not taken, the driver had reason to know that the defect created a present danger to others, and the death was caused by the defective maintenance.
Criminal Penalties for Criminal Vehicular Operation / Homicide
The extent of the injuries caused determines the level of offense that will be charged.
- If death results, including to an unborn child, it is considering a criminal vehicular homicide and it is a felony, carrying a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $20,000. There is a presumptive commit to prison for at least 48 months, per the sentencing guidelines.
- If great bodily harm results, it is a felony with a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $10,000.
- If substantial bodily harm results, it is still a felony with a maximum penalty of 3 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $10,000.
- If bodily harm results, it is a gross misdemeanor charge, carrying a maximum penalty of one-day short of 1 year in jail and/or a fine of $3,000.
One of the most impactful collateral consequences stemming from a criminal vehicular operation or homicide conviction is the loss of driver’s license. Depending on the specific statute you are sentenced under and the presence of prior DWI’s, you can lose your driving privileges for as many as 10 years. At a minimum, you are facing a 2-year loss of license. An experienced Minnesota criminal vehicular operation / homicide attorney knows how to best limit this consequence and get your driving privileges back on a restricted or limited basis during your revocation period.
In addition to the significant loss of license, you could face a vehicle forfeiture, restitution, loss of rights, loss of job, and having a tough time getting future employment or housing.
To see just how successful our approach is, here are some representative case results:
Charges: 3rd Degree DWI, B-Card Restriction, Careless Driving, DAR
Resolution: Guilty plea to misdemeanor Careless Driving, rest of charges were dismissed. Initial offer was to a gross misdemeanor DWI and for 90 days to be served in custody and via house arrest. Mr. Gempeler successfully moved the Court to suppress the blood test result due to a faulty warrant, leading to the dismissal of the DWI charge. After the Court ruled in his favor, the Defendant obtained the result he wanted – 1-year probation (not 4), less jail time (he only faces house arrest), and no DWI record.
Charges: Five traffic offenses, including a gross misdemeanor charge.
Resolution: Stay of adjudication for $500. This is truly a remarkable outcome given the sheer quantity of charges and severity of them – one gross misdemeanor and four misdemeanors. Additionally, the criminal behavior involved a level of deceit relating to deliberate efforts to use tabs that were registered to other vehicles. With the threat of losing his license with certain convictions, the client is thrilled to maintain a clean criminal record and to not risk losing his license.
Charges: Hit and Run, Failure to Report Property Damage Accident
Resolution: Dismissal. In this matter, wherein a person of significant local fame faced a matter that would have proven quite embarrassing had it reached the papers or the local news, Mr. Adkins secured a dismissal before the first court date. Outright dismissal, no fees, no term of conditions.
Minnesota Criminal Vehicular Operation / Homicide Attorney
North Star Criminal Defense has nearly 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients against these serious charges. We offer an unmatched client care experience and will earn your trust as we provide you the aggressive defense that you need. Contact us now for a consultation.