New York Penal Law § 120.03 – Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree
Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree is a New York crime that prosecutors bring when someone causes serious physical injury to another person while driving a vehicle, large truck, boat or snowmobile under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of the two. Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree is a Class E felony.The Elements of Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree
Before a judge or jury can convict anyone of Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree, the government must prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. The elements of Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree are:
- The defendant operated a vehicle, truck carrying hazardous materials, snowmobile or boat;
- The defendant was under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs;
- As a result of the defendant’s intoxicated condition, they caused another person to suffer serious physical injury.
In this context, “serious physical injury” involves any injury that creates a substantial risk of death or long-term impairment. Additionally, prosecutors do not need to have chemical test evidence to bring vehicular assault charges, as they are permitted to rely on circumstantial evidence of intoxication.Examples of Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree
Some of the most common examples of vehicular assault in the second degree include the following:
- Causing an accident resulting in serious physical injury to another while driving home from a bar or restaurant with a blood-alcohol content of .08 or more;
- Seriously injuring a passenger while operating a snowmobile or boat under the influence of marijuana;
- Causing an accident resulting in serious physical injury to another and then refusing chemical testing.
Often, prosecutors bring Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree charges along with one or more of the following:
- Vehicular Assault in the First Degree – N.Y. Penal Law § 120.04
- Aggravated Vehicular Assault – N.Y. Penal Law § 120.04-a
- Driving While Ability Impaired By Alcohol – N.Y. Vehicle & Traffic Law § 1192(1)
- Driving While Intoxicated Per Se – N.Y. Vehicle & Traffic Law § 1192(2)
- Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated Per Se – N.Y. Vehicle & Traffic Law § 1192(2-a)
- Driving While Intoxicated – N.Y. Vehicle & Traffic Law § 1192(3)
- Driving While Ability Impaired By Drugs – N.Y. Vehicle & Traffic Law § 1192(4)
There are many defenses to Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree that can either reduce your sentencing exposure or result in the prosecution withdrawing the case against you or the jury returning a “not guilty” verdict. However, the applicability of a defense depends largely on the type of DUI offense that prosecutors are alleging. The most common defenses include the following:
- Your ability to drive was not affected by drugs or alcohol (without chemical test evidence);
- You were not “operating” the vehicle under the terms of the N.Y. DUI statute;
- Officers violated your rights when investigating the accident; and
- There was a problem with how the blood or breath sample was obtained or stored.
Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree is a Class E felony. In New York, Class E felony offenses carry a maximum sentence of up to four years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. This is in addition to any penalties you will face as a result of an underlying DUI conviction.Speak with an Experienced New York Vehicular Assault Lawyer About Your Case Today
If you were recently arrested for Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree, the dedicated criminal defense attorneys at Tilem & Associates can help. At Tilem & Associates, P.C., we have decades of experience defending clients charged with DUI offenses, including DUI Accidents and Vehicular Assault. We are immediately available to meet with you to get started working on a compelling defense to the charges you face. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call 877-377-8666. You can also reach us through our online contact form.