Aggravated assault by vehicle is a serious crime. Any time someone is seriously injured as a result of your actions, you can be charged with Aggravated Assault.
While criminal law generally only calls for you to be found guilty if you intentionally commit a crime, if you seriously injure a person using a vehicle, you could very well be charged by the police with aggravated assault by vehicle.
Your intent to injure the other person will come down to a legal issue and police may choose to charge you and leave it up to the attorneys to sort out the legal issue later. This is important because even if you have a good driving history, it may not make a difference. You will need a strong defense to overcome the assumption that you intended to injure another person.
What is Aggravated Assault with a Vehicle?
For example, a person drag racing that injures another person can be found guilty of aggravated assault by vehicle because the act of drag racing is reckless under Pennsylvania law and it constitutes a traffic offense.
In another example, a person could be merely texting while driving and hit another person, causing serious bodily injury to that person. In this case, the person texting is acting grossly negligent because they are not paying attention to the road and can be found guilty of aggravated assault by vehicle.
Penalties for Aggravated Assault by Vehicle
If you are charged with this crime, you will face a Third Degree Felony, which carries a significant jail sentence of up to seven years and a maximum financial penalty of up to $15,000.00.
If it is alleged that you did this in a work zone, you're looking at an additional penalty of two years imprisonment. It's even worse if you were charged with driving under the influence while seriously injuring another person.
Penalties If You Are Also Charged with DUI
The government has a lower burden of proof if you were also charged with DUI. In this case, the government only has to prove that your conduct was negligent, the injury was related to the act of driving under the influence, and the person hit suffered life threatening or disfiguring injuries or impairment of any function of a body part.
Under the standard above, if a pedestrian crosses the street and doesn't see you, but is seriously hurt, you can be charged with the much higher penalty, when normally, you would not be at fault because the pedestrian darted in front of your car.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
These are very, very serious offenses and require the counsel and representation of expert criminal defense lawyers. Seven years in prison...fifteen thousand dollars in fines...ten years in prison...these aren't negligible fines or the legal equivalent of a slap on the wrist. These are serious penalties for a serious crime. Hire a serious Criminal Defense Lawyer to protect your rights.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.