What sentence is Henry Ruggs III facing? The (former) wide receiver for the Las Vegas Raiders was recently involved in a collision which killed one person and injured another. He was charged with multiple offenses, including the Nevada equivalents of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide and Aggravated Vehicular Assault. The Ruggs incident may leave inquisitive Ohio residents wondering what the potential sentences are for Vehicular Homicide and Vehicular Assault in Ohio. If you are one of those inquisitive Ohio residents, you need not wonder any longer.
The Charges Against Ruggs
According to ESPN.com, Ruggs was driving his Corvette at 156 mph before he rear-ended another vehicle on a Las Vegas street. A blood test showed his blood alcohol level was .161%. The driver of the other vehicle was killed, and the passenger in Ruggs’ car suffered a severe arm injury. Ruggs is now charged with five offenses: DUI Resulting in Death, DUI Resulting in Substantial Bodily Harm, Reckless Driving (two counts), and Possessing a Gun Under the Influence.
Sentencing for Vehicular Homicide
In Ohio, ‘Vehicular Homicide’ is a general term referring to offenses in which an individual’s driving causes the death of another person. There are actually three separate offenses in Ohio, and each offense has its own sentencing.
- Aggravated Vehicular Homicide (AVH) may be committed three different ways. AVH based on operating a vehicle under the influence carries a mandatory prison term of at least two years and up to eight years. AVH based on recklessness or driving recklessly in a construction zone is punishable by one year to five years in prison.
- Vehicular Homicide may be committed by negligent driving or by speeding in a construction zone. Either way, the punishment includes a jail term of up to six months.
- Vehicular Manslaughter is committed by engaging in a minor misdemeanor traffic offense and is punishable by up to 90 days in jail.
This is a rough summary of the possible incarceration for these Vehicular Homicide offenses. The specifics of the possible sentence are much more complicated. The specifics are explained in more detail in the Ohio Vehicular Homicide Guide. The paperback and Kindle versions can be purchased on Amazon, and the PDF version can be downloaded for free from the Dominy Law Firm website.
Sentencing for Vehicular Assault
In Ohio, ‘Vehicular Assault’ is a generic label for offenses in which an individual’s driving causes serious physical harm to another person. There are three separate offenses in Ohio, and each offense has distinct sentencing.
- Aggravated Vehicular Assault is committed by operating a vehicle under the influence. This offense carries a mandatory prison term of up to five years.
- Felony Vehicular Assault is committed by operating recklessly, and the punishment includes a prison term up to 18 months.
- Misdemeanor Vehicular Assault is committed by speeding in a construction zone, and is punishable by up to 180 days in jail.
The sentences for vehicular assault offenses, like those for vehicular homicide offenses, are complex, and what is provided here is just a summary. Details about sentencing are explained in the Ohio Vehicular Assault Guide, which can be purchased on Amazon or downloaded for free from the Dominy Law Firm website.
If The Ruggs Case Were in Ohio
Ruggs is charged with both DUI Resulting in Death (Aggravated Vehicular Homicide) and DUI Resulting in Substantial Bodily Harm (Aggravated Vehicular Assault). If he were convicted of both offenses in Ohio, he could be sentenced to 13 years in prison and subjected to a lifetime driver license suspension. The prison term could be increased to a maximum of 17 years by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction for certain misbehavior in prison. Ruggs is also charged with Possessing a Gun Under the Influence (Improperly Handling Firearms), which could add one year to his prison term.