Criminal Vehicular Homicide Can Bring Felony Charges

If you have been charged with criminal vehicular homicide Minnesota, call the Law Offices of William J. Mauzy in Minneapolis — 612-444-9466 — to speak with a lawyer about your case. Attorney Bill Mauzy offers aggressive defense for clients facing charges in Minnesota.

What is criminal vehicular homicide?

There is no other activity that we engage in on a daily basis as perilous as driving a car. Particularly given the treacherous nature of Minnesota winters and the dangerous driving conditions that weather entails, driving a car at all can seem like an act of faith.

The good news is that for most accidents in which neither party has been consuming illegal or irresponsible amounts of substances, it is unlikely that either party will face criminal charges. But if you are embroiled in an accident after engaging in irresponsible substance use and injure or kill another person, the penalties for vehicular homicide can be onerous.

A charge of criminal vehicular manslaughter is issued when the defendant is alleged to have:

  • Been operating the vehicle in a manner grossly disregarding safety precautions
  • Operated the vehicle using impaired judgment caused by any illegal substance, or intoxicated such that blood alcohol content exceeds .08
  • Left the scene of the accident that resulted in death
  • Operated a car that was previously issued a citation for a maintenance defect and if the owner's willful negligence of the maintenance issue caused the death

What are the penalties for criminal vehicular homicide in Minnesota?

Depending on the circumstances involved in the accident, the person at fault may be charged with either a gross misdemeanor or a felony. The charge is usually a felony when the accident harms an unborn child that is later born harmed, or causes gross bodily harm to a living person. Gross bodily harm imperils the person's life, and if this level of injury is sustained, the penalty will typically be a fine of up to $10,000 and a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Less severe bodily harm, such as a fracture or disfigurement will incur a maximum three-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $10,000. The least severe charge is one of a gross misdemeanor, which will incur a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.