In Colorado, the law holds drivers responsible for any harm they cause in an accident, which means you could be charged with assault for crashing into a pedestrian or injuring a passenger. The law can apply to any form of vehicular injury, whether it befalls on a pedestrian, cyclist, motorcyclist, another driver, a passenger in your own vehicle, or a passenger in another vehicle. This particular type of crime is categorized as vehicular assault, and it is a felony in Colorado.
Depending on the severity of the injuries and the circumstances of the crash, a driver can be charged with either a class 4 or class 5 felony for vehicular assault if they harm another person. Suffice it to say, this crime is very serious and can have life-altering repercussions, including costly fines and jail time. If you were recently involved in a reckless driving accident or accused of DUI that resulted in an injury, you need to learn more about vehicular assault charges, and whether or not they could apply to you.
Understanding Vehicular Assault
Vehicular assault charges are defined under § 18-3-205 of the Colorado Revised Statutes as follows:
- If a person operates a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both, and this conduct is the proximate cause of serious bodily injury to another, the person is guilty of vehicular assault.
That said, a person can also be charged with vehicular assault for driving recklessly or in a way that endangers another person’s wellbeing. Although these charges are often associated with DUI, they can apply to sober drivers as well.
Colorado law also states that vehicular assault is a strict liability crime, and a class 4 or 5 felony.
Penalties for Vehicular Assault
If the driver is charged with reckless driving, they may be charged with vehicular assault as a fifth-degree felony, which may result in a fine between $1,000 to $100,000, up to 3 years in prison, and 2 years of mandatory parole.
Drivers accused of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol may be charged with vehicular assault as a fourth-degree felony, which is punishable by fines between $2,000 to $500,000, between 2 and 6 years in prison, and 3 years of mandatory parole.
If you were charged with vehicular assault, you need to act fast to protect your rights and your future. Our attorneys at Orr Law Firm have extensive experience fighting for the rights of the wrongly accused, and we can help you. We can either debunk the claims laid against you or, if the arresting officer was negligent, we can gather evidence to support your claims and refute the officer’s statement. Whatever the case, we encourage you to reach out to our firm to get started.
Call (303) 747-4247 today to discuss your vehicular assault charges with our attorneys at Orr Law Firm.