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Grand Junction Vehicular Assault Defense Attorneys

Defending Clients Against Serious Felony Charges

When DUI or reckless driving causes serious bodily injury, it may be charged as vehicular assault. This crime is a Class 4 felony when it involves driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is a Class 5 felony when law enforcement determines that reckless driving caused the accident. In either case, vehicular assault carries serious penalties upon conviction.

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What Is Vehicular Assault Under Colorado Law?

Both driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and reckless driving are charged as vehicular assault when this conduct is “. . . the proximate cause of serious bodily injury to another . . .” Vehicular assault is a strict liability crime. This means the prosecution is only required to prove that you committed the unlawful act – not that you acted with a wrongful state of mind. It is not a defense against vehicular assault if you were entitled to use a drug under Colorado law.

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How Does Blood or Breath Testing Affect Vehicular Assault Charges?

As stated in the statute, the amount of alcohol in a defendant’s blood or breath at the time of the crash or shortly thereafter is a deciding factor in vehicular assault charges:

  • If analysis of the defendant’s blood or breath shows 0.05 grams or less of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, he or she is presumed to have not been under the influence of alcohol.
  • If the driver’s blood contained more than 0.05 but less than 0.08 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, that will be considered along with other evidence in determining whether he or she was under the influence at the time of the accident.
  • If the defendant’s blood contained 0.08 grams or more of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, that gives rise to a permissible inference that the defendant was under the influence of alcohol.
  • If analysis shows that the driver’s blood contained five or more nanograms of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of whole blood, it gives rise to the permissible inference that the driver was under the influence of one or more drugs.

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What Are the Penalties for Vehicular Assault?

Possible penalties for vehicular assault depend on whether it is charged as a Class 5 felony for reckless driving, or as a Class 4 felony for driving under the influence:

  • Reckless driving vehicular assault: A person convicted of Class 5 felony vehicular assault may face a prison term of one to three years, mandatory two-year parole, and a fine of $1,000 to $100,000.
  • DUI vehicular assault: When the crime is charged as a Class 4 felony, it carries two to six years in state prison, mandatory three-year parole, and a fine of $2,000 to $500,000.

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What Are the Defenses Against Vehicular Assault?

Defenses against vehicular assault charges will depend on the specific circumstances of the case, including whether the alleged crime involved reckless driving or DUI. Common defenses include the following:

  • Results of chemical tests for DUI were not reliable.
  • Law enforcement did not follow proper procedures in conducting a breath test.
  • Defendant did not drive recklessly.
  • Defendant was not driving.
  • Defendant was not at fault for the accident that caused the injuries.
  • Alleged victim was not seriously injured.
  • Eyewitness accounts were inconsistent.
  • Law enforcement committed misconduct.
  • Police officer did not advise the defendant of his or her rights.

Our Grand Junction criminal defense attorneys at Peters & Nolan, LLC have saved years of incarceration for our clients. We are tenacious trial lawyers who provide compassionate and aggressive representation in criminal defense matters. If you are facing vehicular assault charges, call us at (970) 243-4357 to schedule a free consultation. We can explain your options under the law.

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Contact us today for a Free Consultation

Call Peters & Nolan, LLC at 970-243-4357 or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation.

About Us

Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.

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