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Criminal Vehicular Homicide and Injury

Minnesota law defines six different levels of criminal vehicular operation (CVO).  This includes criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular injury related to alcohol consumption.  All but one level is considered a very serious felony offense.  The severity of the offense and the punishment is impacted by the level of injury inflicted and who may have been injured.

The six levels are as follows:

  • criminal vehicular homicide (causing death but not constituting murder or manslaughter);

  • great bodily harm (serious permanent injury);

  • substantial bodily harm (temporary substantial injury)

  • bodily harm (pain or injury - a gross misdemeanor)

  • death to an unborn child

  • injury to an unborn child

It  is an offense if a person causes the harm to another as a result of operating a motor vehicle under the following circumstances:

  • in a grossly negligent manner

  • in violation of the DWI law in any respect

  • where the driver who causes the accident leaves the scene in violation of Minnesota's felony fleeing law.

Most criminal vehicular homicides or criminal vehicular operation charges are charged based on a DWI offense.   The prosecution also generally involves charges for the DWI offense as a DWI.

Under sentencing guidelines, a conviction for criminal vehicular homicide or death to an unborn child carries a presumptive prison sentence of 48 months if the offender has no prior criminal history points. It can be significantly greater for a person with a prior criminal record including multiple DWI offenses.


Our lawyers have been distinguished as aggressive trial lawyers in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Our criminal defense lawyers have successfully defended hundreds of individuals accused of DWI and other serious crimes including defense of "white collar" crime, sex offenses and drug charges. Call us at 612.240.8005.

Fighting a criminal case can be very complicated. Did you know that many cases are dismissed on technicalities? An attorney must have knowledge of the court system and know the different personalities of Judges and Prosecutors.

To review just a sampling of our success stories CLICK HERE

Call 612.240.8005

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