Minnesota has six different offense levels of Criminal Vehicular Operation (CVO). The severity level depends on the type of injury involved:
- Criminal vehicular homicide (causing death but not constituting murder or manslaughter)
- Great bodily harm (serious permanent injury)
- Substantial bodily harm (temporary substantial injury)
- Bodily harm (pain or injury—a gross misdemeanor)
- Death to an unborn child
- Injury to an unborn child
A person may be charged with criminal vehicular operation if they cause a specified harm to another person by operating a motor vehicle in one of the following ways:
- In a grossly negligent manner
- By violating any of the elements of regular DWI law
- Where the driver who causes the accident leaves the scene in violation of Minnesota’s felony fleeing law
- Where a citation was issued that the vehicle was defectively maintained, the driver knew remedial action was not taken, the defect created a risk to others, and injury or death resulted from the defective maintenance
Under the sentencing guidelines, conviction for criminal vehicular homicide or death to an unborn child carries a presumptive commit to prison for 48 months, when an offender with no other criminal history points.
- The penalties for criminal vehicular operation depend on the level of harm:
- A person charged with criminMinneapolis Criminal Vehicular Operation Lawyer | Keyser Lawal vehicular operation and causes the death of a human or of an unborn child may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 10 years or to payment of a fine of not more than $20,000, or both.
- A person charged with criminal vehicular operation that causes great bodily harm to another person or to an unborn child may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
- A person charged with criminal vehicular operation that causes substantial bodily harm to another person may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than three years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
- A person who violates subdivision 1 and causes bodily harm to another may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than one year or to payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both.
Not only can a criminal vehicular operation charge result in a felony record and prison time, but also a loss of driver’s license for up to 10 years. If a person dies as a result of the criminal vehicular operation incident, the driver may be charged with criminal vehicular homicide. Furthermore, a criminal vehicular operation charge may result from only a passenger in a vehicle being injured.
Minneapolis Criminal Vehicular Operation Lawyer
Minneapolis-based criminal defense lawyer Christopher Keyser represents defendants charged with criminal vehicular operation throughout Minnesota. Mr. Keyser focuses his practice exclusively on criminal defense and DWI cases including Minnesota criminal vehicular operation charges. Call our office at 612-338-5007 for a free criminal vehicular operation case evaluation.