Pennsylvania motorists who cause another person’s serious injury by driving recklessly can be charged with aggravated assault by vehicle. This includes incidents when, for example, a driver is extremely angry or rushed and they crash into another car while erratically driving at a very high speed.
Aggravated assault by vehicle is a frightening experience. If you are the driver involved, you probably feel remorseful over what occurred and worried about the legal consequences. Aggravated assault by vehicle is a felony offense and if you are convicted, you can be sent to prison for years.
Aggravated assault by a vehicle in Pennsylvania, happens when a driver recklessly or with gross negligence causes another person’s injury while breaking a traffic law, such as reckless driving or drag racing. The injury can occur to another motorist or to a pedestrian. If you cause another person’s injury while you are driving under the influence, that is covered as a different, separate offense under Pennsylvania law.
Penalties For Aggravated Assault By Vehicle
Aggravated assault by vehicle is a felony of the third degree punishable by up to seven (7) years in prison and fines up to $15,000. If the injury took place in an active work zone, you risk being sentenced up to two additional years in prison. If the injury took place in violation of a traffic law relating to emergency vehicles or emergency response areas, you risk being sentenced with up to two additional years in prison.
Steps to Take if You Are Charged
Aggravated assault by vehicle is a felony, as is homicide by vehicle, and they are punishable with the same number of years in prison and same amount in fines. These are serious criminal charges that could affect the rest of your life. An experienced Pittsburgh criminal traffic lawyer can help evaluate the evidence against you and build a defense to help minimize the impact of the charges. An experienced attorney will have worked with the prosecutors handling your case many times before. He or she can draw on relationships and understanding of the local court system to lessen or dismiss your charges. If you are found guilty, your attorney may also be able to negotiate on your sentence.
Your Defense For Criminal Traffic Charges
Your attorney will develop lines of defense depending on the circumstances of your case. The prosecutor must prove you were driving recklessly when the injury occurred and if you did not, your attorney will gather evidence to show you obeyed Pennsylvania’s traffic laws.