Defense of Minnesota Criminal Vehicular Operation / Homicide Charges
While not all driving conduct that results in injuries is criminalized, Minnesota law criminalizes "grossly negligent conduct" — or negligent conduct while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance — that results in someone else being injured. Criminal vehicular operation is a serious offense and carries harsh penalties. If you have been arrested, charged, or questioned by police in relation to an auto accident involving injury, you need to speak with a Minnesota criminal defense attorney. Contact the Balmer Law Office for a free, confidential case evaluation. The Balmer Law Office is available via its 24-hour hotline: 612-326-4175.
Based in Minnetonka, near Hopkins, the firm practices in Hennepin County and throughout Minnesota.
Minnesota Criminal Vehicular Operation / Homicide Law
A driver of a car or truck can be guilty of criminal vehicular operation / homicide in five types of situations:
Grossly negligent (roughly this means extremely careless) operation of a motor vehicle,
Negligent (roughly: careless) operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance / drugs,
Operation of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content over .08 while or within two hours of driving (no proof of negligence is required),
When the driver causes the accident and leaves the scene of the accident, or
When the driver knew of a warning or citation, issued by the police, regarding a vehicle defect, and the driver failed to correct the defect, and the defect caused the injury or death.
The severity of the crime you will be charged with and the possible penalties depend on the type of harm or injury to the victim:
“Bodily harm” means physical pain or injury, illness, or any impairment of physical condition. The maximum penalty for an injury resulting only in bodily harm is a $3,000 fine and one year in jail.
“Substantial bodily harm” means bodily injury which involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, or which causes a temporary but substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or which causes a fracture of any bodily member. The maximum penalty for an injury resulting in substantial bodily harm is three years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
“Great bodily harm” means bodily injury which creates a high probability of death, or which causes serious permanent disfigurement, or which causes a permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ or other serious bodily harm. The maximum penalty for an injury resulting great bodily harm is five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Death. When a death results the maximum penalty is 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
Consequences of a Criminal Vehicular Operation Conviction in Minnesota
Loss of Driver's License
Your driver's license is immediately suspended when the prosecutor files formal charges against you for criminal vehicular operation / homicide. If you are convicted, your driver's license will be revoked for at least one year all the way up to 15 years.
Forfeiture of Vehicle (Police Can Take Your Car)
If you have previous DWIs or alcohol related license revocations, a conviction for criminal vehicular operation / homicide can result in the seizure and ultimate forfeiture of the vehicle used to commit the offense (even if that vehicle was owned by another person). In other words, the vehicle can be taken by police permanently.
Loss of Right to Possess a Firearm
A felony conviction for criminal vehicular operation or criminal vehicular homicide results in immediate revocation of your right to possess a firearm.
A conviction for criminal vehicular operation / homicide, or other disposition resolving the case, may result in immigration consequences for both undocumented aliens and lawful permanent residents.
Loss of Right to Vote
In Minnesota, a felony conviction for criminal vehicular operation or criminal vehicular homicide results in the loss of certain civil rights. Convicted felons may not vote or serve on a jury.
Difficulty Getting a Job and Possible Loss of Professional License
A conviction for criminal vehicular operation / homicide may result in the loss of a professional license. Additionally, a criminal vehicular operation / homicide conviction will obviously make it more difficult to obtain employment.
Contact the Balmer Law Office — Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney
David Balmer established the Balmer Law Office with one overriding goal: provide aggressive, high-caliber criminal and DWI defense for good people facing serious charges throughout the state of Minnesota. Read More