A Class D felony in Tennessee, vehicular assault occurs when a driver’s intoxication recklessly causes serious bodily injury to another person. Motorists in Hamilton County and elsewhere across the state who find themselves facing vehicular assault charges may want to know more about the possible penalties that are associated with this charge and the impact that such a charge in connection with an incident of drunk driving could ultimately have upon their future prospects.
Even a first vehicular assault charge could have harsh consequences, including a minimum of 48 hours of jail time. A mandatory sentence, the 48 hours must be served consecutively and in its entirety before the convicted individual will become eligible for release on probation. Each subsequent offense carries a more severe minimum mandatory sentence.
Upon conviction of a second alcohol-related offense, mandatory minimum incarceration increases to 45 consecutive days. A third such conviction results in a minimum of 120 days of consecutive jail time, and any subsequent convictions carry a mandatory sentence of at least 150 consecutive days in jail. In all cases concerning the existence of a prior conviction, sentences must be served in their entirety before release on probation will be granted.
In addition to jail time, a vehicular assault conviction could result in loss of driving privileges. Drivers may lose their right to operate a motor vehicle for one, two, three or five years dependent upon the defendant’s history of prior vehicular assault convictions. Individuals who are facing these types of related drunk driving charges may find it beneficial to seek counsel from an attorney who may be able to advise them of their defense options.