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. 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 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?

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

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.

Collateral Consequences

One of the 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.

Minnesota Criminal Vehicular Operation 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.