Minnesota criminalizes driving conduct that causes bodily harm, called criminal vehicular operation (CVO). Minnesota does not criminalize bodily injury caused by ordinary negligent driving and accidents. However, some form of heightened negligence or other factors such as being under the influence must exist to be charged with a crime.
WHAT IS CRIMINAL VEHICULAR OPERATION (CVO)?
For the State to maintain Criminal Vehicular Operation (CVO) charges against a driver, the person causing injury of another must have drove their vehicle:
- In a grossly negligent manner;
- In a negligent manner while under the influence of:
- a controlled substance; or
- any combination of alcohol or controlled substance;
- With a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more – Driving While Impaired (DWI);
- While having a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or more, within two hours of driving (DWI Standard);
- In a negligent manner while knowingly under the influence of a hazardous substance;
- In a negligent manner while any controlled substance, other than marijuana or THC, is present in the driver’s body;
- Where the driver who causes the accident leaves the scene of the accident when bodily injury to another is obvious;
- Where the driver who causes the accident fails to give notice to police after learning they were involved in an accident causing injury; or
- Where the driver had prior knowledge of a citation for a defectively maintained vehicle that created a danger to others, but failed to remedy the defective maintenance which caused the injury.
POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES OF A CRIMINAL VEHICULAR OPERATION CHARGE
Depending upon the severity of the injury caused by any one of the above referenced driving conduct, a person charged with criminal vehicular operation of a motor vehicle may be charged with a felony or gross misdemeanor charge.
Felony: Criminal Vehicular Operation can be charged as a felony if the driving conduct causes substantial bodily harm or great bodily harm to another or an unborn child who is later born alive.
Great bodily harm is more serious than substantial bodily harm and is harm that creates a high probability of death, serious permanent disfigurement, or permanent loss or impairment of any part of the body. Persons charged with criminal vehicular operation causing great bodily harm face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Substantial bodily harm is a a fracture, or a temporary and substantial disfigurement, loss, or impairment. Persons charged with criminal vehicular operation causing substantial bodily harm face a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Gross Misdemeanor: Criminal Vehicular Operation is charged as a gross misdemeanor when the driving conduct causes bodily harm, some injury less than great or substantial bodily harm as described above. Persons charged with criminal vehicular operation causing bodily harm face a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $10,000 fine.
In addition to prison and fines, other penalties resulting from a criminal vehicular operation conviction may include vehicle forfeiture, license cancellation, and the loss of many important constitutional rights such as your 2nd Amendment firearm rights or your right to vote.
CONTACT CRIMINAL VEHICULAR OPERATION DEFENSE LAWYER COLEY GROSTYAN TODAY AT 612-747-2254
Due to the significant consequences of a criminal vehicular operation conviction, your best defense is to contact Coley Grostyan as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected. Minneapolis criminal vehicular operation defense attorney Coley Grostyan is always accessible and responds to the needs of his clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For confidential and personal service, aggressive representation, and a free initial consultation, contact Coley Grostyan today at 612-747-2254.
Coley Grostyan represents individuals charged with criminal vehicular operation charges, and all other DWI and traffic offenses in the Twin Cities Minneapolis/St. Paul Area, and across the State of Minnesota.