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Vehicle Crimes

There are a large variety of different automobile crimes that occur. Common vehicle crimes include driving under the influence (DUI) or drunk driving. Another is vehicular manslaughter. This is when the operator of a car causes the death of someone else. The difference between this and vehicular homicide is that vehicular homicide consist of causing the death of the victim with gross negligence, defined as a lack of care that demonstrates a reckless disregard for the well-being of others, or murderous intent. Depending on the nature of the driving during the crime, vehicular manslaughter can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony. For example, a minor speeding offense may be considered to be a misdemeanor, while driving while intoxicated or under the influence (DUI) may be considered a felony. Another vehicle crime is carjacking. Carjacking is a robbery where the item stolen is an automobile, done in a violent manner. The elements of carjacking include the offender taking a motor vehicle against the will of the original owner/ driver, intending to permanently deprive that owner/driver of their vehicle. This is very similar to grand theft auto, defined as stealing a vehicle with the intent of keeping it permanently. However, there is a distinction between the two in the sense that grand theft auto does not require that the offender commit a violent act in order to commit the crime. Defenses for grand theft auto is that the defendant did not intend to permanently deprive the owner of the vehicle taken or that they were given consent by the original owner to take it. Punishment for this crime varies from state to state depending on the value of the stolen property or prior convictions. In addition, another vehicle crime is a hit and run. A hit and run occurs when the driver of a vehicle involved in a collision knowingly fails to give their necessary information required by statute to the injured party, witness, or law enforcement officers. An additional automobile crime is vehicular assault. Vehicular assault is defined as a crime in which the operator of a vehicle causes bodily injury to another person, commonly while driving negligently or recklessly, under the influence, or with a suspended or revoked license. The number of people injured and the severity of their injuries will determine whether or not the crime is considered a misdemeanor or felony, as well as what state it occurred in. Defenses for this crime include involuntary intoxication, which occurs when someone is forced or tricked into taking drugs or alcohol by a third party. Finally, another common vehicle crime is evading a police officer, or not stopping when ordered to by a police officer. Refusing to stop for a police officer includes the offender consciously attempting to evade the police officer, despite having the officer’s sirens go off, having them be in uniform, while driving a distinctively marked car. There are no circumstances in which refusing to stop for a police officer are allowed. Upon the officer’s request, the operator of the car has to pull over.

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