The offense of assault by auto arises when someone is injured as the result of reckless operation of an automobile or other motor vehicle. This offense can have significant consequences including up to ten (10) years in jail at the extreme. If you or someone close to you have been charged with assault by auto, aggravated assault, manslaughter, cocaine possession, terrorstic threats, eluding or burglary our Newark NJ Law Firm has decades of experience defending indictable criminal offenses like this one. In addition, we also happens to employ some of the most qualified DWI attorneys in the state should your charge be alcohol related. An attorney with years of experience in defending assault by auto charges is ready to help you now at 973-710-1520.
Assault by Auto Lawyer Newark NJ: N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(c)
Whether your accident was in Belleville, West Caldwell, West Orange, East Orange, Millburn, Livingston, Newark, or another municipality, the related assault by auto charges will invariably be heard at the Essex County Superior Court, Newark NJ. This is because assault by auto is almost always an indictable felony crime and the county court is the only one with jurisdiction to handle this severity of offense. There are five (5) grades or varieties of assault by auto that can arise under N.J.S. 2C:12-1(c). The determining factor in how an assault by auto charge is filed by Essex County Prosecutor’s Office (i.e. which grade of offense is charged) is the severity of the injuries sustained by the victim in the accident. The least severe is “bodily injury” and arises where someone sustains any level of pain, illness or impairment from the collision. Serious bodily injury results where bodily injury creates a “substantial risk of death or causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”
Second Degree Assault by Auto: Causing Serious Bodily Injury As A Result of a DWI or Refusal in a School Zone.
If the collision results in serious bodily injury and the accused was operating his/her vehicle while intoxicated in a school zone, the charge is enhanced to a second degree crime. It is also a second degree crime where the defendant violates the refusal law after causing bodily injury to another by auto. An individual faces 5-10 years in state prison and a fine that can reach $150,000 if they are convicted of second degree assault by auto.
Third Degree Assault By Auto: Causing Serious Bodily Injury As A Result Of Violating N.J.S. 39:4-50 (“DWI”).
When someone commits a violation of the driving while intoxicated statute (“DWI”) and this results in serious bodily injury to another person, what would normally be a fourth degree crime is enhanced to a third degree crime. Third degree assault by auto also applies when the accused is convicted of breath test refusal under N.J.S. 39:4-50.4a. The maximum fine and jail for this third degree crime is $15,000 and five (5) years in prison.
Fourth Degree Assault by Auto: Recklessly Causing Serious Bodily Injury.
If reckless operation of a car, truck or other vehicle results in serious bodily injury to another, it is a fourth degree crime. Fourth degree assault by auto carries up to 18 months in jail (i.e. state prison) and a fine of $10,000.
Disorderly Persons Offense: Recklessly Causing Bodily Injury.
When someone operates a motor vehicle and their recklessness results in someone suffering “bodily injury” they may be convicted of a disorderly persons offense. This variety of assault by auto is the least severe under 2C:12-1(c) and is a misdemeanor. The maximum county jail term is six (6) months.
Assault by Auto Charges Stemming from Road Rage. An individual may also be charged with assault by auto when he/she operates a motor vehicle in an aggressive manner toward another vehicle. This is often referred to as road rage. Conduct falling into this offense includes “unexpectedly altering the speed of a vehicle, making improper or erratic traffic lane changes, disregarding traffic control devices, failing to yield the right of way, or following another vehicle too closely.” When conduct of this nature results in bodily injury to another, it is a disorderly persons offense. If serious bodily injury results, then the offense escalates to a third degree crime.
Assault by Auto Attorney in West Orange NJ
Our law firm, the Law Offices of Marshall, Bonus, Proetta & Oliver is one of the largest of its kind in the entire state. From our office in Newark, our former prosecutors and team of criminal lawyers with over 100 years of combined experience, defend all grades of assault by auto. And with this exceptional compliment of highly experienced and skilled lawyers, there is no doubt as to our ability to effectively handle your charge at the Superior Court in Newark. And if you are looking at other firms as well, take a close look at their purported credentials (e.g. when they were admitted to practice, whether the firm is a criminal firm, the resources of the firm in terms of defense lawyers, etc.), and we are confident you will looking to contact us. We care available for immediate consultation 24/7 at 973-710-1520.