Vehicular Assault

The Crime

Vehicular Assault is a felony offense that can seriously damage your record and your reputation. In Tennessee, a person may be convicted of the crime of Vehicular Assault if the state prosecutor proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the person:

  1. Was intoxicated; and
  2. As the proximate result of the person’s intoxication;
  3. Recklessly caused serious bodily injury to another person;
  4. By the operation of a motor vehicle.

The term reckless, as it is used here, means that a person was aware of, but consciously disregarded, a substantial and unjustifiable risk that his conduct would cause serious bodily injury to another person. If you have been charged with the crime of Vehicular Assault, you should seek help from the Knoxville criminal defense attorneys at the Oberman & Rice Law Firm.

[Source: Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-13-106]

The Penalties

Under Tennessee law, the crime of Vehicular Assault is a Class D Felony and may result in some or all of the following consequences:

  1. A sentence of 2 to 12 years in prison;
  2. A probationary period;
  3. A fine of up to $5,000;
  4. Court costs.

Additionally, a person who is convicted of Vehicular Assault is prohibited from driving for one year for a first offense, for two years for a second offense, for three years for a third offense, and for five years for a fourth or subsequent offense.

[Source: Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-13-106]

Other Consequences of Vehicular Assault Conviction

In addition to the court-mandated penalties described above, a person convicted of Vehicular Assault may also experience serious collateral (other) consequences. A Tennessee Vehicular Assault conviction may result in the loss of college scholarships or the ability to seek admission to a higher learning institution. A conviction may also impact one’s ability to maintain or seek employment, and result in negative action to a professional license (e.g. nursing).

Furthermore, a conviction for Vehicular Assault will ALWAYS stay on a person’s criminal history, and current and future employers may access records of prior convictions. This means that under current Tennessee criminal law and expungement law you may not erase or expunge a Vehicular Assault conviction from public record. Accordingly, current and future employers may access records of Tennessee criminal convictions. For more information about Tennessee expungement law, you may wish to review the information contained on our sister website,

Why Hire An Attorney Immediately?

It is important to act quickly in order to gather and preserve favorable evidence. Key evidence (faces, dates, events, and conversations) fades from memory over time. Certain witnesses need to be interviewed as soon as possible. Also, video recordings and other evidence may be destroyed. Therefore, it is critical to begin an investigation as soon as possible to ensure valuable evidence is not lost. Success or failure in any criminal case may be determined in the decisions of the defendant and his or her Tennessee Criminal Attorney in only a few hours or days after an arrest is made.

Contact Us Today

If you or someone you know has recently been arrested, contact the Oberman & Rice Law Firm today so that we can begin preparing a defense for your case. Submit your information for a free case evaluation from our Knoxville criminal defense attorneys or call our office at 865-249-7200.

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