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DOES YOUR DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED CASE INVOLVE SERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURY – VEHICULAR ASSAULT IN THE SECOND DEGREE [PL 120.03] – PART 1

If you cause serious physical injury to another person in New York while Driving While Intoxicated (VTL 1192(2), (3)) or Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs (VTL 1192(4)), in addition to DWI charges, you may also face the more serious charge of Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree (Penal Law 120.03(1)). Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree is a Class E Felony for which you could be sentenced for up to four years in state prison.

For a driver to be guilty on Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree, the prosecution must prove not only that the driver was intoxicated by alcohol or impaired by the use of a drug or the combination of alcohol and any drug or drugs, but also that the intoxication and/or impairment was the cause of the serious physical injury to another. Of course, the prosecution must also prove a serious physical injury as well. (Penal Law 120.03(1)).

However, if a driver causes a serious physical injury to another while operating a vehicle while intoxicated or impaired by the use of drugs or the combination of drugs and alcohol, the law creates a rebuttable presumption that that the driver operated the vehicle in a manner that caused the serious physical injury to another. In other words, if you are Driving While Intoxicated or impaired by drugs and someone suffers a serious physical injury it is presumed that the serious physical injury was caused by how you drove the vehicle.

This presumption can be defeated however. For example, if you were sitting at red light intoxicated and your vehicle was rear-ended by another car resulting in serious physical injury to the other driver, it could hardly be argued that your operation of the vehicle while intoxicated (sitting at a red-light) caused the serious physical injury to the driver that drove into the rear of your stopped car.

A Driving While Intoxicated cases are serious. They are complex cases that require attorneys experienced in the law, science and procedures associated with DWI cases. It is in the complexity that skilled DWI attorneys can win. Driving While Intoxicated cases are even more serious where others are seriously injured. You could very well be facing serious felony charges such as Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree. If you are facing serious charges resulting from a DWI in New York you need to invest in a serious criminal defense law firm. For more information contact Tilem & Campbell toll free at 1-888-DWI-COUNSEL or visit us on the web at www.888DwiCounsel.com.