Caldwell, ID asked in Criminal Law, Personal Injury and Traffic Tickets for Idaho

Q: What is the law In Idaho regarding Vehicular assault?

1 Lawyer Answer
Kevin M Rogers
Kevin M Rogers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Boise, ID
  • Licensed in Idaho

A: Idaho doesn't have such a statute. An "assault" is the reasonable fear of a "battery." A "battery" is an "unlawful touching." If you touch another person against their will, you may be charged with "battery." If you use an automobile to "touch" another person, you may be charged with "aggravated battery," same as if you touched another person with a pipe in your hand rather than just your hand. Having "something else" when you "touch" the other person, makes it "aggravated" and that word "aggravated" means it is a felony. A standard felony carries a prison sentence of up to five (5) years and a fine or both. If someone "guns" his car, making another person "reasonably afraid" that the driver will use his car to "touch" them, the driver may be charged with "aggravated assault" because the bystander victim is reasonably afraid that the driver of the automobile will hit (touch against their will) them. I hope that answers your question? The reason the Idaho Legislature doesn't draw those kinds of differences is probably that they'd have to create 500 statutes thinking about all the many different "things" that one person might use to either scare (assault) or batter (actual touch) another person. Rather than that, Idaho Code 18-901defines an "Assault" like this:

ASSAULT DEFINED. An assault is:

(a) An unlawful attempt, coupled with apparent ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another; or

(b) An intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.

and defines a "Battery" like this:

18-903. BATTERY DEFINED. A battery is any:

(a) Willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another; or

(b) Actual, intentional and unlawful touching or striking of another person against the will of the other; or

(c) Unlawfully and intentionally causing bodily harm to an individual.

and "aggravated" assault like this:

18-905. AGGRAVATED ASSAULT DEFINED. An aggravated assault is an assault:

(a) With a deadly weapon or instrument without intent to kill; or

(b) By any means or force likely to produce great bodily harm.[; or]

(c) With any vitriol, corrosive acid, or a caustic chemical of any kind.

(d) "Deadly weapon or instrument" as used in this chapter is defined to include any firearm, though unloaded or so defective that it can not be fired.

Notice the Legislature gives few examples of what MIGHT be used to scare someone else, but lists "vitriol" which is sulfur dioxide and a gun, whether it is loaded or not. But an automobile would certainly qualify as a "deadly weapon or instrument." If the driver intended to kill the person but failed, he will be charge with attempted homicide.

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

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