Contrary to popular belief, criminal vehicular operation (CVO) is not just when you hurt someone while driving under the influence. It may be the most common reason for such a charge, but there are other cases for this charge to be levied. Here is a quick rundown of the basic behind CVO charges.
CVO charges are classified under 8 categories. Many involve the used of alcohol or drugs, but not all. There is operating a motor vehicle in a grossly negligent manner, to start with. Another category is leaving the scent of an accident when you are driving, and driving a defective car even though you have already been issued a citation for operating the vehicle unsafely. Those three categories do not involve being under the influence, but are CVO charges nonetheless. The other categories are operating a motor vehicle:
- In a negligent manner while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Having a blood/alcohol level higher than .08
- Having a blood/alcohol level higher than .08 within two hours of driving
- While being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- While under the influence of a schedule 1 or 2 controlled substance.
Gross negligence is often difficult to define, since the term can cover so many things. Another way that courts in Minnesota has described it is as “very great negligence or without even scant care.” For this charge to stick, there needs to be evidence that there is negligence, along with “egregious driving conduct.” Distracted driving, such as using a cell phone, can fall into this category.
Leaving the Scene
This concept is much easier to define. If a driver causes an accident and someone is injured as a result, then they must remain at the scene. If they leave, then they risk CVO charges.
This one applies if the driver is aware of a defect and continues to use the vehicle regardless. If the driver causes an injury because of this defect, then they may be at risk of CVO charges. Usually these are caused by faulty brakes, unsafe tires, or even insufficient lighting.
As with any criminal charge, you should consult an attorney to help defend your rights and give you quality legal advice.
If you’re in need of a Criminal Defense attorney who will get the results you need, contact the Law Offices of Mark Herman. Reach out online or call 612-382-4545 for a free consultation.