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S.F. No. 986 - Gross Misdemeanor Penalty for Reckless Driving Resulting in Death/Great Bodily Harm (Second Engrossment)
Author: Senator Jim Carlson
Prepared By: Krista Boyd, Senate Fiscal Analyst (651/296-7681)
Kenneth P. Backhus, Senate Counsel (651/296-4396)
Date: March 26, 2015


Section 1 amends the reckless driving section in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 169 (traffic regulations). Replaces the current substantive language of the reckless driving crime (willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property) with language regarding recklessness taken from the Model Penal Code. Enhances the penalty for a violation from a misdemeanor to a gross misdemeanor when the violation results in death or great bodily harm to another.  The applicable definition of “great bodily harm” is bodily injury, which creates a high probability of death, or which causes serious permanent disfigurement, or which causes a permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or other serious bodily harm.  A misdemeanor maximum penalty is 90 days imprisonment and/or a $1,000 fine.  A gross misdemeanor maximum penalty is one year imprisonment and/or a $3,000 fine.

Section 2 provides that the state is not prevented from prosecuting or punishing a person for conduct that constitutes a different crime under a different section of law.

Section 3 provides that this act is effective August 1, 2015, and applies to crimes committed on and after that date.

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