Aggravated vehicular assault is one of the serious felonious charges a driver may be charged with for causing harm to others while operating a vehicle under the influence of Alcohol or drugs.
A lot of factors will culminate in a prosecutor preferring such a charge which comes with quite serious punishment if found guilty.
Aggravated Vehicular Assault meaning
It is a charge when a driver causes serious physical harm to a person while operating a vehicle, boat or any water craft or an aircraft under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving with a suspended license or without a license.
Is aggravated vehicular assault a felony?
Aggravated vehicular assault is a felony and further classified into degrees. The degree of the offence is dependent on factors that include:
- Driving with a suspended license
- Previous conviction
- Prior conviction of traffic-related homicide, manslaughter or assault offense
- Three or more DUI, Boating under influence, aircraft operation under influence conviction in the last 6 years or three or more combination of any of the above
- Previous conviction for felony DUI or Operation of a vehicle under Influence.
Aggravated Vehicular Assault degrees
There are two degrees of charges one may face depending on the circumstances as occasioned by the absence or presence of the factors listed above.
This is a felony charge of the third degree and is preferred when a driver causes serious bodily harm while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and drinking while driving.
This is an elevated charge preferred when a driver is causes serious bodily harm to another person while having previous convictions of the factors listed above.
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Aggravated vehicular assault Ohio sentencing
In Ohio, aggravated vehicular assault of the third degree carries a mandatory prison sentence of up to 5 years in prison, fines and suspension of license for up to 10years. The suspension may be extended to life if driver has a previous traffic related vehicular assault conviction.
A sentence of mandatory prison sentence of up to 8 years, fines and lifetime suspension of driver’s license is imposed if a driver is convicted of second degree Aggravated Vehicular assault.
Aggravated vehicular assault vs Vehicular assault
A vehicular assault is an offence involving a driver who causes, or threatens to cause harm to another person while operating a vehicle through reckless driving. The offense is sometimes referred to as assault by auto.
Aggravated Vehicular assault can be defined as a vehicular assault where a driver causes serious bodily harm to another person while driving under the influence, driving without a license, driving with a suspended license or has previous traffic related offences including homicide, DUI, manslaughter etc.
Other differences are listed in the table below:
|Vehicular Assault||Aggravated Vehicular assault|
|Occasioned by reckless driving||Occasioned by reckless driving under the influence, with prior conviction or suspended license|
|Usually a misdemeanor||A felony|
|Up to 12 months in jail||Up to 8 years in prison|
|Fines of up to $1000||Fines exceeding $1000|
|Up to 3 years of license suspension||Up to a life suspension of license|
Aggravated Vehicular Homicide
In the Ohio revised code, aggravated vehicular homicide is the charge preferred when a driver causes the death of another person while operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
A person also commits the offense of aggravated vehicular homicide when his/her reckless operation of a vehicle in a construction zone causes another person to lose his/her life.
Aggravated vehicular homicide sentence
The offense is classified as a second degree felony or third degree felony depending on the facts of the case.
- If the offense was caused by vehicle operation under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is a second degree felony which attracts a mandatory sentence of up to 8 years in prison and a lifetime revocation of driver’s license.
- If the offence occurred as a result of reckless operation in a construction zone, it is classified as a third degree felony and punishable by up to 5 years in prison and license suspension for a period between three years to lifetime.