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What is vehicular assault?

If you face vehicular assault charges in New York, this is a serious matter indeed. The New York State Senate explains that vehicular assault is a felony wherein you allegedly caused someone serious physical injury by driving your vehicle while allegedly under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Be aware that the word “vehicle” includes not only a motor vehicle such as a car, truck, SUV, etc., but also a boat, snowmobile or all terrain vehicle.

New York divides vehicular assault into three categories: second degree, first degree and aggravated.

Vehicular assault in the second degree

The charge of second-degree vehicular assault means that you allegedly drove one of the designated vehicles, or a large truck weighing over 18,000 pounds that contained flammable gas, radioactive materials or explosives, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, thereby causing someone to suffer serious physical injury. If convicted of this class E felony, you could spend two to five years in jail depending on the circumstances of your case.

Vehicular assault in the first degree

The charge of first-degree vehicular assault means that you allegedly committed second-degree vehicular assault under one of the following additional circumstances:

  • Your blood alcohol content was 0.18 percent or higher.
  • Your driver’s license was suspended or revoked in New York or any other state based either on conviction of a serious traffic violation or your refusal to submit to a chemical test.
  • You had a previous DUI conviction anywhere in the United States within the past 10 years.
  • You had a passenger under the age of 15 who received serious physical injuries.

If convicted of this class D felony, you could spend up to five years in jail depending on the circumstances of your case.

Aggravated vehicular assault

The charge of aggravated vehicular assault means that you allegedly committed first-degree vehicular assault, plus drove recklessly. If convicted of this class C felony, you could spend up to 10 years in jail depending on the circumstances of your case.

This is general information only and not intended to provide legal advice.

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