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Vehicular assault is a serious offense in Colorado, and the consequences can be severe. A recent news story that illustrates this is the case of a Colorado Springs man charged with vehicular assault after a crash that injured two people. According to reports, the man was driving under the influence when he crashed into a vehicle, causing severe injuries to the driver and passenger. The man was arrested at the scene and charged with vehicular assault, DUI, and other related offenses. But when does Colorado file vehicular assault charges, and what factors are considered in determining whether to bring charges?
Vehicular assault is defined in Colorado law as the act of driving a motor vehicle in a reckless manner that causes serious bodily injury to another person. This can include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving at excessive speeds, or driving in a manner that demonstrates a disregard for the safety of others.
If a driver is suspected of vehicular assault, law enforcement officers will typically investigate to gather evidence and determine whether criminal charges are warranted. This may involve gathering witness statements, analyzing physical evidence, and conducting toxicology tests.
In many cases, the decision to file vehicular assault charges will depend on the severity of the injuries sustained by the victim. If the injuries are minor, the driver may face lesser charges, such as reckless or careless driving. However, if the injuries are serious, such as a broken bone or head trauma, vehicular assault charges may be filed.
Other factors influencing the decision to file vehicular assault charges include the driver’s culpability level, prior criminal record, and whether the driver fled the accident scene. Additionally, if the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, they may face additional charges for DUI or DWAI (driving while ability impaired).
The penalties for vehicular assault in Colorado can be severe, including potential prison time and significant fines. If the assault resulted in serious bodily injury, the driver might face a Class 4 felony charge, which carries a potential prison sentence of two to six years and fines of up to $500,000. If the assault resulted in death, the driver might face charges of vehicular homicide, which can carry even harsher penalties.
It’s important to note that vehicular assault charges can have long-lasting consequences beyond criminal penalties. The driver may also face civil lawsuits from the victims, and their driving privileges may be suspended or revoked.
In conclusion, vehicular assault is a serious offense in Colorado, and law enforcement and prosecutors take these charges seriously. If you are facing vehicular assault charges, it’s essential to seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and work to mitigate the potential consequences.
As always, it’s crucial to prioritize safety and responsibility when operating a motor vehicle. Reckless driving, driving under the influence, and other dangerous behaviors can have serious consequences for the driver and others on the road. By following traffic laws and driving responsibly, we can help prevent vehicular assault incidents and keep our roads safe.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney, Jacob E. Martinez, is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been recognized by countless legal organizations for his exemplary defense work, including Avvo, Best DWI Attorneys, Expertise, Lawyers of Distinction, The National Trial Lawyers, and others. He was also named one of the 10 Best in Client Satisfaction in Colorado by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys for 2020, and is Lead Counsel rated.