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AGGRAVATED ASSAULT BY A VEHICLE

AGGRAVATED ASSAULT BY A VEHICLE

Aggravated assault by vehicle is not the type of crime that would normally come to mind when one hears the word “assault.” When you think about assault, you think about threatening or hitting someone –this is not the case with aggravated assault by vehicle.

An example of aggravated assault by a vehicle would be getting into an accident while speeding in a construction zone. Unlike most assault charges, the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code (MCV) defines aggravated assault by a vehicle.

Additionally, the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code enhances the penalties when a person is convicted of aggravated assault due to texting while driving (§ 3316), failing to yield on the approach of an emergency vehicle (§ 3325 or § 3327), or for traffic violations committed in a construction work zone (§ 3732.1(b)(4)).

Attorney for Aggravated Assault by Vehicle in West Chester, Pennsylvania

If you or someone you know has been charged with aggravated assault by vehicle, talk with an experienced defense attorney who will be an aggressive advocate for your rights.

Call Skinner Law Firm to learn more about how to aggravated assault by vehicle charges under Pennsylvania motor vehicle code under section § 3732.1. Also, find out more information about assault and aggravated assault charges under the Pennsylvania criminal code.

Attorney Michael J. Skinner represents clients accused of misdemeanor and felony offenses throughout the Boroughs of West Chester in Chester County, Norristown in Montgomery County, Media in Delaware County, and Lancaster in Lancaster County.


Elements for the Criminal Charge of Aggravated Assault by a Vehicle

In order to find a defendant guilty of aggravated assault by vehicle under Section 3732.1, the Commonwealth must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following elements:

  • the defendant violated a section of the vehicle code;
  • the defendant acted recklessly or with gross negligence by driving in a manner that violates the motor vehicle code; and
  • the defendant’s violation caused serious bodily injury to another.

A conviction for aggravated assault by vehicle under Section § 3732.1 is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to seven (7) years in jail and up to $15,000 in fines.


Aggravated Assault by Vehicle while Driving under the Influence

Consequences become harsher when a person is convicted of aggravated assault by vehicle while also driving under the influence.

Pennsylvania Statute § 3735.1 defines aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI as negligently causes injury to another as a result of a DUI violation. Driving under the influence (DUI) is codified in §3802 of the Motor Vehicle Code.

A Section 3735.1 violation is charged as a second-degree felony. Second-degree felonies are punishable by up to ten (10) years in prison and up to $25,000 fines.


Legal Definitions in Pennsylvania

In order to fully understand aggravated assault by vehicle charges, there are a few useful definitions that change the everyday meaning of words to make them applicable to the statute.

Active Work Zone – is defined as a portion or area of the highway where construction, utility work, or maintenance is conducted and is properly signed as a work zone.

Serious Bodily Injury – means any bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious, permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of any bodily member or organ.

Recklessly – for purposes of this offense, recklessness occurs when a defendant drives in a manner or engages in conduct, that violates the Motor Vehicle Code, and he or she consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that his or her conduct will cause death, the nature and the degree of the risk being such that it is grossly unreasonable for him or her to disregard.

Gross negligence –  is defined as driving in a manner or engaging in conduct that violates the Motor Vehicle Code, even though he or she should be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that his or her driving will cause death and it is grossly unreasonable for him or her to fail to recognize the risk.

Additional Resources

PA §3732.1 – Visit the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the official website of the Pennsylvania Legislature for the full statutory language of aggravated assault by vehicle. Also find more information about aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI under Section § 3735.1.

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/LI/consCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&ttl=75&div=0&chpt=37&sctn=32&subsctn=1


Finding a Lawyer for Aggravated Assault by Vehicle in West Chester, Pennsylvania

If you were accused of driving recklessly or with gross negligence then talking to an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand how to fight your criminal charges.

Call Skinner Law Firm to learn more about how to handle criminal vehicular assault charges. Our offices are located in southeast Pennsylvania.

Attorney Michael J. Skinner represents clients accused of misdemeanor and felony offenses throughout the Boroughs of Norristown in Montgomery County, West Chester in Chester County, Media in Delaware County, and Lancaster in Lancaster County.

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