Paramus NJ Assault by Auto Defense Lawyers
With offices at 254 State Street in Hackensack, New Jersey
Travis J. Tormey is a highly regarded criminal defense and drunk driving (DWI) attorney with years of experience representing clients throughout New Jersey, including in Hackensack, East Rutherford, and Lyndhurst. Mr. Tormey and his team of attorneys appear in Superior Courts and Municipal Courts throughout northern New Jersey on a regular basis, representing clients charged with offenses such as assault by auto, simple assault, aggravated assault, and disorderly conduct. In fact, they have handled thousands of criminal cases throughout their years of practice and will employ this invaluable experience to achieve the best possible result in your case. With offices conveniently located in Hackensack and Morristown, the attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm are available immediately to assist you. Call (201)-330-4979 today for a free consultation about your case.
Assault by Auto (Vehicular Assault) in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(c)
Assault by auto charges in New Jersey are addressed in the New Jersey criminal code under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(c), which sets forth:
§ 2C:12-1(c). Assault by Auto
(1) A person is guilty of assault by auto or vessel when the person drives a vehicle or vessel recklessly and causes either serious bodily injury or bodily injury to another. Assault by auto or vessel is a crime of the fourth degree if serious bodily injury results and is a disorderly persons offense if bodily injury results.
(2) Assault by auto or vessel is a crime of the third degree if the person drives the vehicle while in violation of 39:4-50 or 39:4-50.4a and serious bodily injury results and is a crime of the fourth degree if the person drives the vehicle while in violation of 39:4-50 or 39:4-50.4a and bodily injury results.
(3) Assault by auto or vessel is a crime of the second degree if serious bodily injury results from the defendant operating the auto or vessel while in violation of 39:4-50 or 39:4-50.4a while:
(a) on any school property used for school purposes which is owned by or leased to any elementary or secondary school or school board, or within 1,000 feet of such school property;
(b) driving through a designated school crossing
(c) driving through a non-designated school crossing knowing that juveniles are present.
Assault by auto or vessel is a crime of the third degree if bodily injury results from the defendant operating the auto or vessel in violation of this paragraph.
Degree of Charges for Assault by Auto in New Jersey
There are typically three scenarios in which an assault by auto charge arises. First, when a driver acts with the purpose or intent to collide with a victim. The degree of a charge for an intentional collision hinges on the nature of the injury suffered by the victim (e.g., serious, significant, minor). Second, when an individual acts recklessly (e.g., driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, extreme speeding, etc.) and this recklessness results in injury to another person. Whether this conduct is a second degree, third degree, or even fourth degree aggravated assault depends on the extent of the resulting injury. Third, an assault by auto arises when an individual causes bodily injury while fleeing or eluding police in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2(b), or while joyriding in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-10(c). This variety of assault by auto charge is also classified as a second degree crime. Lastly, if a victim dies as a result of the crash, the prosecutor’s office will decide whether to charge the driver criminally and to what degree. The range of charges can include murder, aggravated manslaughter, reckless manslaughter, or death by auto.
Penalties for Assault by Auto in New Jersey
As mentioned previously, the penalties associated with assault by auto charges vary based on the circumstances of a given case.
Second Degree Assault by Auto: punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from five (5) to ten (10) years in New Jersey State Prison. These offenses also entail a presumption of incarceration, which generally requires a convicted defendant to be sentenced to serve time in prison.
Third Degree Assault by Auto: punishable by a term of imprisonment ranging from three (3) to five (5) years in New Jersey State Prison. These offenses entail a presumption of non-incarceration for first time offenders, who may also be eligible for a diversionary program such as Pre-trial Intervention (PTI).
Fourth Degree Assault by Auto: punishable by a sentence to serve up to eighteen (18) months in New Jersey State Prison. Similar to third degree offenses, these charges are associated with a presumption against incarceration for those with no prior criminal record.
Disorderly Persons Offense Assault by Auto: punishable by a sentence to serve up to six months in the county jail.
Contact the Hackensack NJ Law Offices of The Tormey Law Firm for Immediate Assistance
As you can see, the penalties for an assault by auto charge can be extraordinarily severe, not to mention that these cases often entail other charges that stem from the same incident. Bearing this in mind, it is critical to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can serve as your advocate throughout the adjudication process. Travis J. Tormey and his Bergen County law firm regularly represent clients charged with serious assault offenses and they are committed to providing you with the best possible defense. Contact the Hackensack, New Jersey offices of The Tormey Law Firm at (201)-330-4979 to find answers related to your case.