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Ohio Vehicular Assault Lawyer

Vehicular assault and aggravated vehicular assault are serious criminal charges in Ohio. A conviction may affect your life for the foreseeable future, with potential consequences that include:

  • A jail or prison sentence
  • Expensive fines
  • Loss of your driver’s license
  • Points on your driver’s license
  • Disqualification of your CDL
  • A permanent criminal record
  • Loss of your job
  • Liability in a civil lawsuit
  • Increased vehicle insurance rates

A mere car accident — even a serious one — won’t typically lead to criminal charges. But when police suspect that you caused another person physical harm while operating a vehicle recklessly or under the influence in Ohio, you may find yourself facing felony charges of vehicular assault or aggravated vehicular assault.

If you or a family member has been charged with vehicular assault or aggravated vehicular assault in Ohio, these are charges you should take seriously. But you should also remain hopeful. You may have options for defending yourself against a vehicular assault or aggravated vehicular assault charge with the help of an experienced Ohio vehicular assault lawyer. A skilled attorney can put together the evidence and testimony that will tell your side of the story, and make the arguments that may get your case dismissed or get your penalties reduced.

Vehicular Assault vs. Aggravated Vehicular Assault

Ohio has two tiers of vehicular assault charges on its books. Under Ohio Rev. Code 2903.08, you may be charged with vehicular assault when you cause serious physical harm to another person or an unborn baby when you operate a motor vehicle recklessly. You also may be charged with vehicular assault if you are suspected of speeding or reckless operation in a construction zone.

The more serious crime of aggravated vehicular assault is charged when you are suspected of causing serious physical harm to another person or an unborn baby when you operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

A “vehicle” isn’t limited to a car or to driving. You may be charged with vehicular assault or aggravated vehicular assault while operating a boat or a plane in addition to a motor vehicle such as a car, motorcycle, or truck.

Penalties For a Vehicular Assault Conviction

Most forms of vehicular assault are felonies. However, it’s possible that vehicular assault can be charged as a serious misdemeanor offense. The ways vehicular assault is charged and penalized in Ohio breaks down as follows:

1st Degree Misdemeanor

The offense is a 1st degree misdemeanor when you’re convicted of injuring another person or an unborn baby while speeding in a posted construction zone. The possible sentence includes a mandatory minimum jail term of 7 days, and a maximum sentence of 180 days. You also face a fine of up to $1,000.

4th Degree Felony

The offense is a 4th degree felony, punishable by 6 to 18 months of incarceration and a fine of up to $5,000 under a few different circumstances:

  • Speeding in a construction zone when you have a suspended license, prior vehicular assault conviction, or any prior conviction for a traffic-related assault or death.
  • Recklessly operating a vehicle and causing serious injury to another person or an unborn baby
  • Recklessly operating a vehicle in a posted construction zone

3rd Degree Felony

Vehicular assault can be charged as a 3rd degree felony punishable by 12 to 60 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 when you cause serious injury while recklessly operating a vehicle and:

  • You have no license or a suspended license
  • You have a prior conviction for vehicular assault
  • You have a prior conviction for any traffic-related death or assault
  • You also failed to stop at the scene of an accident

Driver’s License Suspension

In addition to a jail or prison sentence and fines, a conviction for vehicular assault is punishable by a driver’s license suspension. The length of your suspension depends on the circumstances of your vehicular assault charge and whether you have prior convictions for a traffic-related assault or death.

  • 1 to 5 Years — Your license will be suspended for 1 to 5 years when you are convicted of vehicular assault for causing injury while speeding in a construction zone, recklessly operating a vehicle in a construction zone, or recklessly operating a vehicle in general.
  • 2 to 10 Years — Your license will be suspended for 2 to 10 years when you are convicted of vehicular assault and have a prior conviction for vehicular assault or any traffic-related assault or death.

Penalties For an Aggravated Vehicular Assault Conviction

Aggravated vehicular assault is always a felony charge in Ohio. The possible penalties for a conviction include:

3rd Degree Felony

Aggravated vehicular assault can be charged as a 3rd degree felony punishable by 12 to 60 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 when you cause serious injury while recklessly operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

2nd Degree Felony

Aggravated vehicular assault can be charged as a 2nd degree felony punishable by 2 to 8 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000 when you cause serious injury while recklessly operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs and:

  • Have a previous conviction for vehicular assault or aggravated vehicular assault
  • Have a previous conviction for any traffic-related assault or death
  • Have three or more prior OVI / DUI convictions within the last 6 years
  • Have three or more prior convictions for operating a watercraft under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Have three or more prior convictions for unsafe operation of an aircraft
  • Have three or more prior convictions for any combination of OVI / DUI, operating a watercraft under the influence, or unsafe operation of an aircraft
  • Have two or more felony convictions for OVI /DUI

Driver’s License Suspension

When you’re convicted of aggravated vehicular assault, you face a mandatory driver’s license suspension. The length of your suspension depends on the circumstances of your aggravated vehicular assault conviction or whether you have any prior conviction for any traffic-related assault or death.

  • 2 to 10 Years — Your license will be suspended for 2 to 10 years on a first conviction for aggravated vehicular assault
  • 3 Years to Life — If you have any prior conviction for a traffic-related assault or death, your license can be suspended for any period from 3 years to life.

Defending Your Cincinnati Vehicular Assault Charge

In order to convict you of vehicular assault, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you:

  • Operated a vehicle
  • Acted recklessly
  • Caused serious injury to another person or an unborn baby

For an aggravated vehicular assault charge, a prosecutor must further prove that you operated the vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

If you can refute any one of those allegations, you may have a defense to the vehicular assault charge. For example, if you weren’t the person operating the vehicle or you can demonstrate that the other person’s injuries were caused by something other than your driving, you may be able to fight the charge. In an aggravated vehicular assault case, you may be able to challenge the results of breath, blood, or urine tests the prosecutor is using as evidence that you were under the influence.

An experienced Ohio vehicular assault lawyer can review the facts and evidence in your case and explain your options for a defense. Your lawyer can discuss the likelihood of getting your charge dismissed or reduced, and help you make an informed decision about how to proceed with your case.

Need a Ohio Vehicular Assault Lawyer? Call LHA Today.

Criminal charges can be an overwhelming and frightening experience. You are probably worried about your freedoms and privileges being at stake and have a lot of questions. You can rest assured, because Cincinnati traffic lawyer Brad Groene is here for you. Get the justice that you deserve. Don’t hesitate to contact us today at or email us at advice@cincinnaticriminalattorney.com.
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