Vehicular assaults are crimes in which a vehicle is used to injure or threaten others. This crime often goes hand in hand with other serious traffic violations such as driving under the influence or without a license. Many state laws specifically refer to vehicular assault in connection with DUI or DWI.
Not all states have specific laws for car attacks. In the case of punishment, whether any person is injured or not is a determining factor. In some situations, vehicular assault may be considered aggravated assault. The victim can sue the driver in a personal injury claim for damages and injuries resulting from the driver’s actions, such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of wages, and more.
Components of a Vehicular Assault Crime
Some state penal codes refer to vehicular assault as “assault by vehicle” or “aggravated vehicle injury.” Whichever name the crime is given, it is usually a crime that occurs when the driver causes physical harm to another person such as:
Accused of driving negligently
Driving under the influence of drugs and driving with a disability
Driving with a suspended license
Punishment of Vehicular Assault in Texas
A person convicted and sentenced for a vehicular assault could face a prison sentence of two to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000. If an on-duty fireman, police officer, or rescuer is injured, the driver could be charged with a second-degree felony. The driver may then be sentenced to two to 20 years in prison. If convicted, the maximum fine penalty is $10,000.
Persons convicted of a first DWI vehicular attack may have their driver’s license revoked for 90 days up to one year. If a person is found guilty of a second or subsequent DWI vehicular attack within five years of the last offense, his or her license may be revoked for 90 days up to two years.
In addition, persons found guilty of intoxication while committing a vehicular attack may have to perform up to 1,000 hours of community service and complete an alcohol or drug education program.
Compensation for the Victim
Sometimes the victim’s death is the most serious consequence of a vehicular assault. When a person dies, the crime is considered a second-degree crime. However, if a police officer, a doctor or another person assisting with an emergency is injured or dies due to vehicular assault, the crime is considered a first-degree crime and is severely punished.
Generally, in the case of third-degree crime, drivers often disappear at the scene. There are additional penalties for this mistake. Drivers who fail to take the following actions after the victim has been injured or killed are also usually charged with a third-degree crime. The law requires that drivers do the following:
Stop directly next to or near the scene of the accident
Stop the car immediately without obstructing traffic
If you have not stopped immediately after the accident, return to the accident
Stay on the scene until certain conditions are met
Consult with an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are facing charges of vehicular assault you should act immediately and seek the help of an experienced Texas criminal defense lawyer. Contact the attorneys at Abel Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.