Assault by Auto in New Jersey
Charges of assault by auto or vessel (boat) can lead to serious consequences, including heavy fines, probation, restricted driving privileges and even jail time. If you have been charged with assault by auto or vessel, there is enough at stake to immediately consult with an experienced criminal attorney.
Assault by Auto Charges and Penalties
A charge under N.J.S.A 2C:12-1(c), the statute which governs assault by auto or vessel in the State of New Jersey, can range from a disorderly persons offense to a second-degree crime. The level of the charge depends on the specific circumstances of the case and the injuries sustained by the victim(s).
Second Degree: When a person operates an automobile or vessel while intoxicated and is:
- On any school property or within 1,000 feet of a school
- Driving through a school crossing designated by a municipality
- Driving through a school crossing that has not been designated by a municipality but knowing that juveniles are present. It is not a defense that the person charged was unaware that they were in a school zone or that they did not know that juveniles were present.
Penalty: Five to ten years in prison, up to $150,000 in fines if convicted
Third Degree: When a person operated an automobile or vessel while under the influence of alcohol or intoxicating narcotics in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 (DUI) and serious bodily injury results.
Penalty: Three to five years in prison, up to $15,000 in fines if convicted
- When serious bodily injury results due to the reckless operation of an automobile or vessel.
- When a person operates while under the influence of alcohol or intoxicating narcotics in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 (DUI) and bodily injury results.
Penalty: Six to 18 months in jail and up to $10,000 in fines if convicted.
- When bodily injury results due to the reckless operation of an automobile or vessel
Penalty: Up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Other penalty considerations: For any conviction at any degree, there could be other monetary penalties, such as the Safe Neighborhood Service Fund assessment or the Victims of Crime Compensation Board assessment. Also, you can lose your driver’s license.
Knowingly Leaving the Scene of the Accident
If you are involved in an accident, you have a duty to remain at the scene of the accident, to report the accident, and to identify yourself to witnesses and the police. If you were operating a motor vehicle and have been involved in a motor vehicle accident in New Jersey, which resulted in serious physical harm to another, and you left the scene of the accident, you can be charged with the third degree offense of Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, which violates N.J.S.A 2C:12-1.1.
Aggravated Assault and Assault by Auto
In addition to being charged with ‘Knowingly Leaving the Scene of an Accident’, the law specifically permits the State of New Jersey to also charge you with Aggravated Assault, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b), or Assault by Auto under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(c) as separate offenses.
These charges may be crimes of the second, third, or fourth degree depending on the severity of the offense. What’s more, if you are charged with these separate offenses and are found guilty, a court is required to impose sentences for those convictions consecutively, meaning sentences are served back to back rather than “concurrently”, or at the same time.
Assault by Auto Attorney in New Jersey
If you or a loved one has been charged with assault by auto and/or leaving the scene of the accident, consequences can be severe, and you need the services of an experienced attorney.
The Daniel M. Rosenberg & Associates team will lead a powerful defense from strategy to trial, working with you for the best possible outcome. Call us today at (609) 216-7400 for a free consultation, or contact us through our site.