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Criminal Vehicular Operation / Homicide

Minor fender benders in Minnesota generally result in little more than simple citations and phone calls to insurance companies, but accidents that cause serious injuries to individuals can lead to a motorist facing criminal charges. Criminal vehicular operation is an offense that has six different levels, depending on the nature of the injuries involved.

Convictions for criminal vehicular operation not only carry the possibility of prison time and enormous fines, but major long-term consequences such as possible loss of driving privileges or even vehicle forfeiture. When a person dies as the result of a criminal vehicular operation offense, a negligent driver may be charged with criminal vehicular homicide.

Attorney for Criminal Vehicular Operation Arrests in Apple Valley, MN

If you believe that you could be under investigation or you were already arrested in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area for an alleged criminal vehicular operation offense, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. James Blumberg Law aggressively defends clients accused of serious traffic crimes in numerous communities throughout the Dakota County area, such as Mendota Heights, West St. Paul, Apple Valley, Eagan, Inver Grove Heights, and many others.

Apple Valley criminal defense lawyer James Blumberg understands the types of issues that can make it difficult for the State to obtain a conviction because of his prior experienced as a prosecutor in the Criminal Division of the Dakota County Attorney’s Office. You can have our attorney review your case and answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call (952) 431-7758 to schedule a free initial consultation.


Overview of Criminal Vehicular Homicide in Minnesota


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Dakota County Criminal Vehicular Operation Penalties

Criminal vehicular operation is divided into two statutes in Minnesota. Minnesota Statute § 609.2113 applies to criminal vehicular operation offenses causing bodily harm and is broken into three subdivisions, while Minnesota Statute § 609.2114 applies to criminal vehicular operation offenses causing death or injury to an unborn child.

The subdivision that an offender will be prosecuted under depends on the type of injury involved in the offense. Each one of the following crimes identified by the following subdivisions is based on injuries caused as a result of operating a motor vehicle:

  • in a grossly negligent manner;
  • in a negligent manner while under the influence of alcohol; a controlled substance; or any combination of those elements;
  • while having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more;
  • while having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, as measured within two hours of the time of driving;
  • in a negligent manner while knowingly under the influence of a hazardous substance;
  • in a negligent manner while any amount of a controlled substance listed in Schedule I or II, or its metabolite, other than marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols, is present in the person's body;
  • where the driver who causes the accident leaves the scene of the accident; or
  • where the driver had actual knowledge that a peace officer had previously issued a citation or warning that the motor vehicle was defectively maintained, the driver had actual knowledge that remedial action was not taken, the driver had reason to know that the defect created a present danger to others, and the injury was caused by the defective maintenance.

Great Bodily Harm

Under Subdivision 1 of Minnesota Statute § 609.2113, a person commits criminal vehicular operation resulting in great bodily harm (defined under Subdivision 8 of Minnesota Statute § 609.02 as "bodily injury which creates a high probability of death, or which causes serious permanent disfigurement, or which causes a permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ or other serious bodily harm") punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if he or she causes great bodily harm to another not constituting attempted murder or assault as a result of operating a motor vehicle under any one of the eight circumstances identified above.

Substantial Bodily Harm

Subdivision 2 of Minnesota Statute § 609.2113 establishes that a person commits criminal vehicular operation resulting in substantial bodily harm (defined under Subdivision 7a of Minnesota Statute § 609.02 as " bodily injury which involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, or which causes a temporary but substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or which causes a fracture of any bodily member") punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if he or she causes substantial bodily harm to another as a result of operating a motor vehicle under any one of the eight circumstances identified above.

Bodily Harm

Under Subdivision 3 of Minnesota Statute § 609.2113, a person commits criminal vehicular operation resulting in bodily harm (defined under Subdivision 7 of Minnesota Statute § 609.02 as " physical pain or injury, illness, or any impairment of physical condition") punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $3,000 if he or she causes bodily harm to another as a result of operating a motor vehicle under any one of the eight circumstances identified above.

Death to an Unborn Child

Subdivision 1 of Minnesota Statute § 609.2114 establishes that a person commits criminal vehicular operation resulting in death to an unborn child punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 if he or she causes the death of an unborn child as a result of operating a motor vehicle under any one of the eight circumstances identified above.

Injury to an Unborn Child

Under Subdivision 2 of Minnesota Statute § 609.2114, a person commits criminal vehicular operation resulting in injury to an unborn child punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if he or she causes great bodily harm to an unborn child subsequently born alive as a result of operating a motor vehicle under any one of the eight circumstances identified above.


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Criminal Vehicular Homicide Penalties in Apple Valley

When a person is killed as the result of a person operating a motor vehicle under any one of the eight circumstances identified above, the allegedly negligent driver may be charged with criminal vehicular homicide when the death does not constitute murder or manslaughter. Convictions for criminal vehicular homicide are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $20,000, although the maximum sentence is 15 years for people sentenced for violations under clauses (2) through (6) in the eight circumstances identified above.

Criminal vehicular homicide is a crime that is typically based on the negligent operation of a motor vehicle. Deaths resulting from an alleged offender's reckless actions can result in involuntary manslaughter charges.


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Minnesota Criminal Vehicular Operation Resources

Incidents | Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) — Visit this section of the MnDOT website to find real time traffic data, traffic cameras, and incident information. Camera images are updated every 10 seconds, the traffic map is updated automatically every minute, and incident information is updated Monday to Friday from 5 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Real Time Traffic Data includes detector data and station data (both available in XML format and is updated every 30 seconds) as well as incident data.

Reports / Statistics | Crash Facts | Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) — Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) researchers annually produce Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts, the detailed report that summarizes a variety of information related to crashes. On this section of the DPS website, you can view Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts reports for each year dating back to 2004. Each year includes information about all crashes in Minnesota, including alcohol-related crashes, motorcycle crashes, and truck crashes.


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James Blumberg Law | Apple Valley Criminal Vehicular Homicide Defense Lawyer

Were you arrested or do you think that you might be under investigation for an alleged criminal vehicular operation offense anywhere in the Twin Cities? Do not say anything to authorities without first contacting James Blumberg Law.

James Blumberg is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Apple Valley who represents individuals all over the greater Dakota County area, including such communities as West St. Paul, Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Farmington, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Mendota Heights, Rosemount, and many others. Call (952) 431-7758 or complete an online contact form to have our lawyer provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.



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James L. Blumberg

Attorney James L. Blumberg

As a former prosecutor in the Dakota County Attorney’s Office, James Blumberg has experience on both sides of the criminal courtroom. He knows how to fight to get charges reduced or dismissed for clients in the Twin Cities area.

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