Vehicular Assault in Colorado—What’s at Stake
Vehicular assault is a serious felony in Colorado. If a person causes serious bodily injury while driving recklessly, it is a class 5 felony punishable by up to 6 years in prison. If a person causes serious bodily injury while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is a class 4 felony punishable by up to 12 years in prison. See 18-3-205 of Colorado Revised Statutes for exact language. If a person is convicted, his or her driver’s license will also be suspended, regardless of whether prison time is imposed.
Vehicular assaults in Colorado can be devastating for all involved. Obviously, when anyone is seriously hurt by a drunk or reckless driver it is a tragedy. But not every tragedy has a villain, and someone charged with vehicular assault may be facing a nightmare out of proportion to his culpability. A person with a .12 BAC who drives home a few blocks may make it home safely, may get stopped by police and pick up a DWAI, or he may collide with another vehicle and find himself facing felony charges and prison time. In all of those cases a mistake was made, but in none of those cases did the driver intend to hurt anyone. Yet bad luck intervened and in the third situation, the driver’s life will never be the same, even if the victim fully recovers.
Defense of Vehicular Assault Charges in Colorado
A criminal lawyer is critical to defend you, as the stakes are so high. Different prosecutors and judges see these cases very differently, but a criminal lawyer can tell them your story and get the best plea offer possible. If their plea offer is not acceptable or if you have a good defense, a lawyer will take your case to trial.
A criminal lawyer will start by evaluating the evidence and possible defenses, and then conduct additional investigation, looking for weaknesses in the DA’s case and preparing for trial. Weaknesses in the case can lead to dismissal or better plea bargains. If the district attorney has a very strong case, the lawyer may focus efforts on mitigation that will help plea bargaining and sentencing. Your family, career and freedom are on the line, and it is critical to have a lawyer fighting for you.
Matthew Hand has extensive trial experience, including cases that involved scientific accident reconstruction, as well as numerous DUI trials where scientific evidence of drug and alcohol consumption was scrutinized. Both as a prosecutor and as a defense lawyer, Matthew Hand has received specialized training on the scientific foundations of these types of evidence. He can find the weaknesses in a vehicular assault case and use them to get the best result for you, one that allows you to pick up the pieces from this tough time and move on with your life.