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Vehicular Assault

Have you been accused of injuring someone while driving?

In Washington State RCW 46.61.522 governs vehicular assault:

(1) A person is guilty of vehicular assault if he or she operates or drives any vehicle:
(a) In a reckless manner and causes substantial bodily harm to another; or
(b) While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, as defined by RCW 46.61.502 and causes substantial bodily harm to another; or
(c) With disregard for the safety of others and causes substantial bodily harm to another.
(2) Vehicular assault is a class B felony punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.
(3) As used in this section, "substantial bodily harm" has the same meaning as in RCW 9A.04.110.
Felony vehicular assault is an accusation of DUI or Reckless Driving with "substantial bodily harm to another."  The accusation of injuring another person turns the misdemeanor crime of DUI or Reckless driving into a felony and increases the chances of serious consequences like prison. However, even if you are accused of injuring another person while driving a successful defense is possible.
Factors in a vehicular assault case include:
1. How many people were injured?
2. The severity of the injuries to the other party(s).
3. The relationship that the injured party may have to the driver (note that they may have been riding in the defendants car).
4. The criminal history of the defendant.
5. Any prior DUI's that the defendant has been charged with.
6. The driving history of the defendant.
7. The defendants willingness to enroll in alcohol treatment.
Remember, a successful defense to the charge of vehicular assault is possible. Don't make any statements and don't talk to police. Additionally, if you are asked to sign any forms at the hospital that would release your medical records to police you should refuse and speak to an attorney.


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