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Experienced Minnesota

Criminal Vehicular Operation Attorneys

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Meet Our Minneapolis Criminal Vehicular Operation Attorneys

Three Attorneys, One Powerful Law Firm


Attorney Kyle Dreger

Kyle Dreger

Minneapolis Vehicular Operation Lawyer


Attorney Gerald Miller

Gerald Miller

Minneapolis Vehicular Operation Lawyer


Attorney Cody Wright

Cody Wright

Minneapolis Vehicular Operation Lawyer


Ronnie Santana

Ronnie Santana

Minneapolis Vehicular Operation Lawyer

Why Trust Gerald Miller Law Firm


  • We offer you a FREE no obligation initial consultation.
  • We only practice criminal defense law. We don’t split our time working on other areas of law so that we can provide intense focus to your criminal case.
  • Our team is available to you 24/7/365. Our resources are deep and strong. We collaborate and continually draw from each other’s experience to devise the best strategy and defense for you.
  • Our seasoned team of Minneapolis assault lawyers, Minneapolis sex crimes lawyers, Minneapolis drug crimes lawyers, Minneapolis fraud lawyers, Minneapolis DWI lawyers and much more will fight hard for you and be by your side every step of the way.
  • We have decades of criminal courtroom experience and an in-depth knowledge of the legal system and Minnesota criminal law. This experience has taught us sophisticated and highly skilled courtroom tactics, as well as adept trial and negotiating skills.
  • We understand that each case and client is uniquely different. People hire us because of our knowledge of the system, and realize that it is our job to help a client navigate a difficult process. As we are preparing a case, we know what to look for in the evidence, but also realize that it is critical to listen to our clients needs. Then, only after we know our client, we can tailor make a defense unique to your case depending on the goals we have set out.
  • We will always treat you with compassion and respect. As our former clients will tell you, we are very quick and prompt in answering any questions, and will keep you informed about every step in the process. We have an appreciation for how stressful criminal charges can be, and that is why we take it very seriously to provide a calming, and honest, reassurance throughout. We consider the “service” side of our job to be as serious as anything else we do because being trusted to be someone’s attorney is a privilege.

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    How Minneapolis Criminal Vehicular Operation Attorneys Can Serve You

    DWI Injury Collision

    Hit and Run

    Grossly Negligent Operation

    Reckless Driving with Injury

    Section 609.2113 of the Minnesota Statutes is one of the most complex and most serious felonies in the Gopher State. This statute covers most impaired driving offenses which cause serious injury or death. So, this part of the law applies to a number of situations and the potential penalties are quite severe.

    Serious charges like CVO demand a serious attorney, like Gerald Miller, P.A. We focus on making complex things simple and on reducing or eliminating the catastrophic consequences of a felony conviction. We break things down for clients so they understand exactly what they are facing, and we focus on simple defenses that are easy for jurors to embrace. Furthermore, we work hard to help our clients avoid felony convictions.

    Criminal Vehicular Operation Charges in Minneapolis

    DWI Injury Collision

    As proficient Minneapolis Criminal Vehicular Operation attorneys, we know that this law splits DWI-related injuries into Bodily Harm, Substantial Bodily Harm, and Great Bodily Harm, and Great Bodily Harm. The more severe the injury, the worse the penalty, as follows:

    • BH (any physical injury): one year in jail,
    • SBH (substantial but temporary disfigurement, loss of function, or fracture): three years in prison, and
    • GBH (permanent injury or an injury that carries a high probability of death): five years in prison.

    Generally, an injury requiring first aid is BH, a visit to the ER is SBH, and hospital admission is GBH. Prosecutors must establish the extent of injury, usually with medical records. These same injury categories also apply in other CVO subcategories, such as reckless driving with injury.

    The state also has the burden of proof regarding the DWI itself. Prosecutors must show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant was driving the vehicle while intoxicated. Both these points are often hard to prove. Frequently, there is no eyewitness testimony or other evidence which conclusively placed the defendant behind the wheel at the time of the crash. Additionally, unless someone administered a chemical test, prosecutors must rely on circumstantial evidence of intoxication.

    Hit and Run

    Fleeing the scene of an accident, whether or not you were at fault for the crash and whether or not you knew about the crash, can also be a felony. Once again, the penalty depends on the extent of the alleged victim’s injuries.

    Gerald Miller, an adept Minneapolis Criminal Vehicular Operation attorney, often resolves these cases before trial. If the defendant immediately surrenders, prosecutors are often willing to drop or at least greatly reduce the charges. Only an experienced lawyer can negotiate a favorable deal like this one.

    At trial, the state sometimes has proof issues. Frequently, the state lacks a witness who can place the defendant behind the wheel at or near the time of the crash. Proving something like vehicle ownership is not enough. The state must prove, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the defendant was driving the car. Furthermore, if the defendant admitted driving to investigators, that statement might be inadmissible.

    Grossly Negligent Operation

    Any good Minneapolis Criminal Vehicular Operation attorney knows that Minnesota law does not define “grossly negligent.” Typically, this phrase means “extremely careless.” Committing multiple traffic violations at once, like zipping between lanes at a high speed without signaling, is usually gross negligence. Extreme violations, like street racing in a school zone, are usually grossly negligent as well.
    Since there is no set definition, judges have a great deal of discretion in this area. And, they normally side with prosecutors in these disputes. In a real sense, “grossly negligent operation” is whatever the state says it is.

    The injury portion of this offense is different. As mentioned above, there are set standards for what constitutes bodily harm, substantial bodily harm, and great bodily harm.
    Assume Tom hits Frank, and Frank bangs his head on the steering wheel. Frank’s injury is technically bodily harm, but without any medical evidence, prosecutors will be hard-pressed to establish the extent of Frank’s injury beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Let’s change the facts a bit. Assume Frank cuts his chin badly and he goes to the emergency room. After a three-hour wait, Frank gets tired of waiting and he goes home. Prosecutors will likely jump on the cut notation in the police report and file SBH charges. But when the case goes to court, there might not be enough medical evidence to support such a charge.

    Reckless Driving with Injury

    Minnesota law clearly defines this offense, and the definition has a number of moving parts, as follows:

    • Prior citation
    • Of defective maintenance
    • No remedial action
    • Driver “had reason to know that the defect created a present danger to others,” and
    • The defect caused an injury.

    A lack of evidence on any point causes this CVO prosecution to collapse like a house of cards. And, there are lots of opportunities for a Minnesota criminal defense attorney to create doubt.

    Assume Sally’s brakes were bad. She hit Jennifer, causing serious injury. If Sally had the brakes checked but did not authorize the repairs, she arguably took some remedial action, even though she did not fix the brakes.

    Or, assume Sally’s car had a defective turn signal. That defect could cause a serious injury accident. But most people would not say that a busted turn signal “created a present danger to others.”

    Criminal Vehicular Operation FAQs

    Largely depending on the extent of injury, the prison term for CVO could be between one and five years. Prosecutors must typically use medical evidence to establish the extent of injury beyond a reasonable doubt.

    CVO is an umbrella term for various illegal driving behaviors which cause serious injury. Specific CVO infractions include a DWI injury collision, hit and run, grossly negligent operation (usually due to multiple traffic infractions), and reckless operation (usually due to an unsafe vehicle).

    Since CVO is a felony, a conviction could restrict gun ownership rights. Additionally, a CVO arrest or conviction could be sufficient for officials to take action under Minnesota’s red flag law. This law makes it illegal for people to own firearms if they are a danger to themselves or others./p>

    All three degrees of CVO are felonies.

    DUI, or driving under the influence, does not have an injury element. If the defendant was intoxicated and caused an injury or serious injury crash, prosecutors usually file CVO charges.

    How We Make A Difference For You

    See What Our Clients Say

    Nicholas Montalvo
    Nicholas Montalvo
    23:05 11 Sep 21
    They made a bad experience really not feel too bad. decent price and very helpful with everything
    17:25 09 Sep 21
    Daniel Vail
    Daniel Vail
    16:42 03 Sep 21
    I contacted this law firm to see if they’d be willing to take on my case. Kyle took a look at the facts and informed me about the challenges my case presents- an honest lawyer. Kyle is extremely detailed oriented and put together a solid case, in which we won. Kyle is extremely responsive and a knowledgeable attorney. I recommend this law office.
    Eder Perez
    Eder Perez
    18:56 24 Aug 21
    Felt well represented by Ronnie Santana enjoyed his work!
    youn1125 University of Minnesota
    youn1125 University of Minnesota
    20:56 20 Aug 21
    Kyle Dregger and the Gerald Miller team did an amazing job helping me with my DUI. Kyle was always available to answer my questions and he made the experience much less stressful to navigate. I am so grateful for all the help and effort that Kyle and the Gerald Miller team put into my case to get me the best outcome possible.
    Nick Morrison
    Nick Morrison
    00:14 13 Aug 21
    I found the firm to have excellent customer service and to be knowledgeable in about every phase. Ronnie Santana took on my case and led me thru every step of the process. He made the process very simple and stress free for me thru his consistent communication, and his network in the legal system. Would highly recommend

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