Offices in Knoxville and Jacksboro, TN
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Call for a Free Consultation | We are Available 24/7

Call Us423-449-7980

We are Available 24/7

What Happens if You Injure or Kill Someone While Driving Under the Influence?

Posted on in DUI/DWI

Anderson County DUI Defense LawyerThe risk of causing injuries or death is the primary reason why drunk driving is treated as such a serious criminal offense in Tennessee and throughout the U.S. When a drunk driver does actually cause an injury or fatality, the consequences they face can be especially severe. However, those who have been charged with a DUI offense involving injury or death do still have rights. An experienced DUI defense attorney can help to protect these rights and ensure that a defendant is treated fairly under the law.

Tennessee DUI Offenses Involving Injury or Death

According to Tennessee law, there are three different criminal offenses that may apply when a drunk driver injures or kills another person. The first of these, known as vehicular assault, occurs when a drunk driver causes serious—but not fatal—bodily injury. Typically, this means that the injuries result in disfigurement or loss of bodily function, or that they pose a substantial risk of death. Vehicular assault is a Class D felony, and an offender can be sentenced to a mandatory minimum incarceration period of 48 hours, along with a longer prison sentence and substantial fines. An offender's license can also be revoked for at least a year, with no possibility of a restricted driver’s license.

If a drunk driver causes a fatality, they can instead be charged with vehicular homicide. This is a Class B felony offense, which may result in a prison sentence of up to 30 years and fines of up to $25,000. A driver who is convicted of vehicular homicide will also have their license revoked for between 3 and 10 years.

The above penalties for vehicular assault and vehicular homicide may apply regardless of whether the driver has no prior DUI convictions. However, the penalties can become more substantial based on the number of prior convictions the driver has. In some cases, depending on the driver’s BAC and prior criminal record, they may be charged with aggravated vehicular assault, which is a Class A felony carrying up to 60 years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines.

Contact a Knoxville DUI Defense Lawyer

DUI charges involving vehicular assault or vehicular homicide can be incredibly difficult to contest, but at The Law Office of William F. Evans, we will do everything in our power to provide the strongest possible defense. With our help, you can trust that your rights will be protected, and we may be able to help you reduce your charges or your sentence. For a free initial consultation, contact our Knox County DUI defense attorney today at 423-449-7980.



Lead Councel TACDL Elite Lawyer Top 40 Under 40 Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association National College of DUI Defense Member DWI Detection Certificate
Back to Top