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Vehicular Assault & Vehicular Homicide

In general, a DUI charge is considered to be a misdemeanor. However, when certain factors that significantly increase the weight of the situation are present, a DUI charge may be increased to the felony level. For example, offenders who receive their fourth (or subsequent) DUI in a 10 year period clearly pose a recurring drunk driving danger on the roads. These individuals will receive a felony charge.

When someone else is injured or killed by a drunk driver, then the offender will also face a felony charge of vehicular assault or vehicular homicide. These two offenses are defined by the Washington state legislature as follows:

  • Vehicular assault: The act of causing “substantial bodily harm to another” by driving recklessly, under the influence, or with complete disregard for the safety of others
  • Vehicular homicide: The act of causing death to another (within three years after the accident) by driving recklessly, under the influence, or with complete disregard for the safety of others

Those charged with vehicular assault will face a Class B felony charge, which is punishable by a fine of up to $20,000 and a 10 year prison sentence. Vehicular homicide offenders, on the other hand, will be charged with a Class A felony. They will face a fine of up to $50,000 and/or a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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If you have been charged with vehicular assault or vehicular manslaughter, then you will need a skilled and experienced DUI defense attorney to protect you. The Seattle DUI lawyers of Cowan Kirk can provide you with strong and reliable representation. To speak with us about your legal options, contact our offices today by calling 1-866-822-1230.

Cowan Kirk Kattenhorn

Cowan Kirk is known throughout Washington and the nation for representing all of its clients with commitment, creativity and compassion. We recognize how devastating a DUI charge can be, particularly when our clients learn how incredibly tough Washington's DUI laws have become, even for a first-time offender.

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If you need a DUI defense attorney in Seattle, Bellevue, or King County, contact us today to find out why respect for our clients, a passion for justice, and our commitment to winning have earned each of us the highest honor a member of the bar can receive from our colleagues – their referrals.