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What To Know About Vehicular Assault Charges

Vehicular assault refers to the act of intentionally using a motor vehicle to cause harm or injury to another person. It is a serious criminal offense that involves the use of a vehicle as a weapon to commit an assault.

What is Vehicular Assault?

The specific definition and potential defenses to vehicular assault can vary depending on the jurisdiction, as laws differ from one place to another. Therefore, it is important to consult the relevant laws in your jurisdiction for accurate information. Below is a general understanding of the concept and potential defenses that are commonly associated with vehicular assault charges.

Elements that Must be Proven

  • Intent: Vehicular assault typically requires the prosecution to prove that the accused acted intentionally or recklessly in using the vehicle as a weapon.
  • Injury or Harm: The prosecution must demonstrate that the accused caused injury or harm to another person because of their actions involving the vehicle.
  • Causal Connection: The prosecution must establish a direct causal connection between the accused's use of the vehicle and the resulting injury or harm.

Potential Defenses

  • Lack of Intent: If the accused can demonstrate that they did not intend to cause harm or injury, it may be a viable defense. For example, if the incident was a result of a genuine accident, such as a mechanical failure or sudden medical condition affecting the driver's ability to control the vehicle.
  • Lack of Recklessness: If the accused can show that their actions did not meet the legal standard of recklessness required for a vehicular assault charge, it may be a valid defense. This defense might involve presenting evidence that the accused was driving responsibly and not engaging in any dangerous behavior.
  • Involuntary Intoxication: If the accused was involuntarily intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol without their knowledge or consent, it may serve as a defense. This defense relies on demonstrating that the accused did not voluntarily impair their ability to drive safely.
  • Duress or Necessity: In some cases, the defense of duress or necessity might be applicable. This defense asserts that the accused committed the act under significant coercion or extreme circumstances where there was no reasonable alternative.

It is important to note that the availability and success of these defenses may vary based on the specific circumstances of the case and the jurisdiction's laws. Legal advice from a qualified attorney is essential if you or someone you know is facing vehicular assault charges to understand the applicable defenses and how they might apply to the specific situation.

To get started, contact a criminal defense law practice in your area such as Baber & Baber, P.C. Attorneys at Law.