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The Difference Between Vehicular Homicide and Vehicular Assault in Colorado

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Under Colorado law, separate penalties are given to those who are convicted of either vehicular assault or vehicular homicide. The main difference between the two charges is that vehicular assault results in an injury, whereas vehicular homicide results in death. However, both are treated by the courts as serious felony crimes.

The class of the felony will also vary, depending on the specifics of the case:

Vehicular assault - The charge that comes with the lesser penalties, vehicular assault is a class 4 felony when either drugs or alcohol are involved and a class 5 felony when it is the result of recklessness.

Vehicular homicide - Depending on the nature of the incident, the ramifications of this crime can differ. Vehicular homicide is a class 3 felony if it involves a DUI or DWAI, but becomes a class 4 felony when it is deemed to be the result of reckless driving.

If you are convicted of either crime, your driving abilities will be revoked for a minimum of 12 months, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue. Complicating matters is that no special driving privileges can be granted to the individual during this time.

In addition, as part of the reinstatement process "you will be required to have a departmental hearing with the Hearings Division to determine whether driving privileges should be granted to you." In express consent revocations, a review may be needed that assesses "your character, habits and driving ability to determine whether it is safe to grant you driving privileges."

At The Orr Law Firm, we have years of experience testing our skills in the courtroom, defending Colorado clients that have been accused of both crimes. To mount an effective defense, speak with a vehicular homicide lawyer or a vehicular assault attorney from our firm today.