Home > AGGRAVATED VEHICULAR ASSAULT AND AGGRAVATED VEHICULAR HOMICIDE

AGGRAVATED VEHICULAR ASSAULT AND AGGRAVATED VEHICULAR HOMICIDE

Success for our Clients

Only a few weeks away from trial, a young man who was charged with Aggravated Vehicular Assault, Vehicular Assault, and OVI, was uncomfortable with advice of another criminal defense attorney, who advised the young man to plead guilty to Aggravated Vehicular Assault, which carried with it a mandatory term of imprisonment of up to five years. The young man sought legal representation from ZLM. ZLM aggressively defended Client by filing and litigating a Motion to Suppress, by strategically advising Client to enter a plea of Guilty to the OVI charge that was pending in the local municipal court, and filing a Motion to Dismiss the vehicular assault charges on double jeopardy grounds. Ultimately, the Aggravated Vehicular Assault charge was dismissed and ZLM convinced the prosecuting attorney to amend the Vehicular Assault charge to a misdemeanor charge. Client avoided prison sentence and a felony conviction. Client was sentenced to a short term of PROBATION.

Vehicular Homicide and Vehicular Assault

In Ohio, there are several ways in which a person can be charged with offenses that are commonly referred to as “vehicular homicide” and “vehicular assault.” Generally speaking, “vehicular homicide” is causing the death of another person while operating a motor vehicle, motorcycle, snowmobile, locomotive, watercraft, or aircraft (hereafter collectively referred to as “motor vehicle”). “Vehicular assault” is, generally, causing serious physical harm to another person or another person’s unborn child while operating a motor vehicle, motorcycle, snowmobile, locomotive, watercraft, or aircraft (hereafter, collectively referred to as “motor vehicle”).

R.C. 2903.06Aggravated vehicular homicidevehicular homicidevehicular manslaughter:

Under Ohio law, there are three separate offenses related to vehicular homicide: (1) Aggravated Vehicular Homicide; (2) Vehicular Homicide; and (3) Vehicular Manslaughter.

Aggravated Vehicular Homicide:

Generally, Aggravated Vehicular Homicide can be committed by (1) causing the death of another person as a result of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, (2) causing the death of another person as a result of operating a vehicle recklessly, or (3) causing the death of another person as a result of committing a Reckless Operation offense in a construction zone.

The potential penalties for Aggravated Vehicular Homicide in Ohio depends on how the offense is committed. If a driver is impaired, under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, the offense is, generally, a felony of the second degree, carrying a mandatory prison sentence of up to eight years and a mandatory lifetime driver’s license suspension. If a person is reckless or commits a Reckless Operation offense in a construction zone, the offense is, generally, a felony of the third degree, carrying up to five years in prison and a driver’s license suspension from three years to life. If certain factors exist, the offense level and potential sentence can be increased.

Vehicular Homicide & Vehicular Manslaughter:

The offense of Vehicular Homicide can be committed by either (1) causing the death of another person by negligently operating a motor vehicle, or (2) causing the death of another person as a result of committing a Speeding offense in a construction zone. Finally, Vehicular Manslaughter is committed by causing the death of another person as a result of committing a minor misdemeanor traffic offense.

The potential penalties for Vehicular Homicide and Vehicular Manslaughter depend on how the offense is committed. If a person is negligent or speeds in a construction zone, Vehicular Homicide is a misdemeanor of the first degree, carrying up to six months in jail and a driver’s license suspension of one to five years. If a person commits a minor misdemeanor traffic offense, the offense of Vehicular Manslaughter is a misdemeanor of the second degree carrying up to 90 days in jail and a driver’s license suspension of six months to three years. Again, if certain factors exist, the offense level and potential sentence can be increased.

R.C. 2903.08Aggravated vehicular assault; vehicular assault:

  • Vehicular Assault

Generally, Vehicular assault is causing serious physical harm to another or another’s unborn child while operating a motor vehicle. Vehicular assault can range between a first-degree misdemeanor and varying felony levels, depending on the circumstances.

Generally, Vehicular Assault can be committed by causing serious physical harm to another person or another person’s unborn while operating a motor vehicle:

  • As the proximate result of committing within a construction zone a reckless operation or speeding offense and the other person is within the construction zone;
  • or Recklessly.

Generally, Vehicular Assault is a felony of the fourth degree, however, as noted above, Vehicular Assault can be a misdemeanor offense, depending on the circumstances.

Aggravated Vehicular Assault

Aggravated Vehicular Assault is committed by causing serious physical harm to another or another person’s unborn while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs of abuse. Generally, Aggravated Vehicular Assault is a felony of the third-degree, and carries mandatory prison time.

Other circumstances can result in Aggravated Vehicular Assault being charged as a felony of the second degree. For instance, if at the time of the incident the person’s driver’s license was suspended, Aggravated Vehicular Assault can be charged as a felony of the second degree. Further, if the person had certain specific prior convictions, including but not limited to, any traffic related homicide, manslaughter, or assault offense; three or more OVI offenses within the previous ten years; or two or more felony OVI offenses, Aggravated Vehicular Assault can be charged as a felony of the second degree.

It is imperative that those individuals who may be under investigation or under arrest for Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Manslaughter, Aggravated Vehicular Assault, or Vehicular Assault immediately retain the services of an attorney. Due to the nature of these types of offenses, evidence can be lost forever within hours. For example, tire marks and other traffic crash scene evidence can be washed away by rain or the elements within hours after a motor vehicle crash. You cannot rely on law enforcement to properly preserve and document such evidence. In past circumstances, the attorneys at ZLM have successfully discovered crucial traffic crash evidence at the crash scene that went completely ignored and undocumented by law enforcement which lead to the acquittal of their client.

At ZLM we have significant experience representing those charged with Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Manslaughter, as well as Aggravated Vehicular Assault and Vehicular Assault offenses and have successfully defended individuals charged with these serious crimes. If you are under investigation for and/or have been charged with, any of these offenses we invite you to contact us today for a confidential consultation.

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