What Constitutes Criminal Vehicular Operation in Minnesota?

As a follow-up on a recent case of a Minneapolis man charged with over 20 counts of criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation, it’s important to have a look at how these crimes are defined in the state of Minnesota.

Criminal vehicular operation involves a crash that takes place under any of the following scenarios:

  • A driver operates a vehicle with gross negligence.
  • A driver is in violation of Minnesota DWI laws, including having a blood alcohol content of at least .08.
  • A driver causes a collision, then violates Minnesota fleeing laws by leaving the scene.
  • With an understanding of the potential hazards, a driver knowingly operates a defective vehicle that has been cited for its poor maintenance or substandard safety. This defect results in the collision.

If someone dies during the course of the crash, the driver may face charges of criminal vehicular homicide. However, even if there aren’t fatalities, there are other levels of criminal vehicular operation in Minnesota law. These include situations where another person has suffered a serious and permanent bodily injury (e.g. paralysis), a serious and temporary bodily injury, and any other sort of pain and injury; there are also charges of criminal vehicular operation that deal specifically with the death or injury of an unborn child.

In the recent case of the man who was charged with over 20 counts of criminal vehicular operation and homicide, he allegedly operated a vehicle while intoxicated and was also reportedly speeding. He lost control of the vehicle, which then rolled over. There were eight people in total in the vehicle. One of them died (resulting in the vehicular homicide charges), while the others were injured to various degrees of severity, ranging from cuts and bruises to a head injury.

In these kinds of crashes, it’s common for drivers to face multiple charges, even when fewer people are involved; this is true especially if the use of alcohol or controlled substances has contributed to the accident. To ensure that you’re being treated fairly by the legal system, it’s important to contact a reputable Minneapolis DWI attorney, who will carefully review the details of your case and advise you on how to proceed.