Articles Posted in Assault by Auto

car accidentIf you have been charged with death by auto or vehicular homicide, you probably understand the gravity of the situation. Understanding the charges you are facing is critical to deciding how to move forward. Our hard-working New Jersey DWI attorneys understand how to protect your rights when you are charged with such a serious crime. We are here to answer your questions and address your concerns every step of the way.

A New Jersey woman was recently sentenced to six years in state prison for a drunk driving accident that killed a 49-year-old man. The woman pled guilty to one count of second degree vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated for hitting the victim, W.O., with her car and ultimately being the cause of his death. According to law enforcement, the woman was driving her Jeep Wrangler when she struck the victim, who worked for a private recycling company when the wreck took place. W.O. was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead due to severe injuries sustained in the accident.

Second-Degree Vehicular Homicide in New Jersey

In New Jersey, an individual can be convicted of vehicular homicide for causing the death of another person by operating a vehicle recklessly. Reckless driving means that you drove with a conscious disregard for human life with a significant risk to the public. If the prosecution establishes certain circumstances under which the accident took place, the jury can infer that a defendant drove recklessly. One of these circumstances is if the driver got behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or drugs then the jury can infer that he or she drove recklessly. In New Jersey, a person is driving while intoxicated (DWI) when he or she operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher.

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DWI charges can have life-long consequences. These charges can be even more severe when they are coupled with other charges, such as operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license or assault by auto. If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New Jersey, you need to reach out to a New Jersey DWI lawyer who can help. With years of experience, we know how to defend your case in an effective manner.

Last week, a woman was charged with a DWI after she crashed into the back of a car, causing a 12-year-old child in the back sear to be ejected from the car. The child, whose name was not released, had to be airlifted to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson for serious injuries sustained in the crash. The driver of the vehicle who was rear-ended was not injured, and a third passenger suffered minor injuries.

Police say that the driver had a suspended driver’s license at the time of the accident. As a result, in addition to the DWI, she was charged with assault by auto, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, and causing severe bodily injury while operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.

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Legal News GavelAssault by auto is an extremely serious charge that can be even worse if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If convicted, you could lose your job, not to mention jeopardizing your personal reputation. If you have been arrested for a DWI, you need to reach out to a skilled New Jersey DWI attorney who can help. We have extensive experience in defending DWIs and criminal charges, and we can apply our knowledge to your case.

Under New Jersey law, an individual is considered to be driving while intoxicated (DWI) when he or she is found to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. It is important to note that you can also be charged with a DWI if you are operating a motor vehicle under the influence of any drugs (illegal, over-the-counter, or prescription) that impair your ability to drive safely. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 10,000 Americans die in drunk driving accidents each year. In addition, nearly 200 of these deaths occur in New Jersey.

The law in New Jersey contains a specific provision that addresses assaults involving automobiles. When someone other than the accused drunk driver suffers injuries as a result of an accident caused by a DWI, the police may file a separate charge known as assault by auto. Unlike a DWI charge in New Jersey, which is a traffic violation instead of a criminal charge, assault by auto is a criminal charge. Assault by auto occurs if a person drives a vehicle recklessly and causes a bodily injury to another person. Bodily injury is defined as physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition, and a serious bodily injury is a bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or serious, permanent disfigurement, or the protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

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A news report earlier this month pointed up the danger of drinking and driving, not only in terms of legal liability, but especially due to the serious nature of accidents that can take place when operating a motor vehicle while possibly intoxicated due to alcohol or drugs. As Garden State DWI lawyers, my law firm is always ready to assist those motorists who have been accused of drinking and driving on New Jersey roadways. However, as drivers ourselves, we also know there are numerous risks associated with driving under the influence, many of which can be life-threatening.

That said, and while we in no way condone impaired driving, we do understand that some individuals can be fully unaware of their inebriation due to beer, wine or hard liquor, as well as possible impairment resulting from taking doctor-prescribed medications prior to getting behind the wheel. For those who believe they were unjustly charged with a DWI or drug DUI, my skilled legal team is available to help defendants fight those charges in a court of law.

Sadly, the reality of driving in New Jersey can mean that some people will be involved in a serious automobile or trucking-related accident as a result of some kind of impaired vehicle operation. From a legal standpoint, being charged with drunken driving following an injury-related roadway crash can often mean that the local prosecutor will consider other, more serious charges stemming from the accident itself.
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If it’s been stated once, it’s been stated a thousand times: a New Jersey drunk driving defense can only be complicated by a traffic accident. As Garden State DWI and drug DUI defense attorneys, I and my colleagues are serious when we say that causing an accident while possibly intoxicated is usually going to make for a difficult time in court. This is why we usually recommend that anyone involved in a DWI- or drug DUI-related car, truck or motorcycle collision seek professional legal help as soon as possible following the incident.

When someone suggests that a drunken driving charge can be complicated by a traffic accident, it is also important to point out that causing injury or death to another individual can compound the offense, which should be cause to contact a qualified DWI lawyer. Whether one lives in Atlantic, Bergen, Hudson or Sussex County, when you add an injury-related or fatal parkway wreck to a charge of driving under the influence, law enforcement and the local courts take a dim view of the situation. Naturally, if proven innocent of any drug- or alcohol-related charges, the motorist can possibly breathe a sigh of relief, but most serious DUI-DWI arrests are hardly “a walk in the park” when property damage or personal injury is involved.

Of course, it is interesting that despite the logic behind not drinking and driving, these incidents do, in deed, take place on a fairly regular basis all year long. To avoid a DWI summons, our suggestion, as usual, is to avoid getting behind the wheel at any time when a person believes that they may possibly have some alcohol in their system. The same thing goes for the taking of certain prescription medications, which may lead to a drug DUI.
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As many Garden State drivers already know, DWI and drug DUI roadblocks are frequent, if not somewhat random, occurrences throughout the New Jersey area. As Red Bank drunk driving defense lawyers, my colleague and I know that a percentage of motorists who are charged with DWI end up being arrested for intoxicated driving at these so-called sobriety checkpoints, which show up in certain “trouble spots” in and around Monmouth, Ocean and Atlantic County, as well as numerous other parts of the state.

For the average person who turns up at one of these drunk driving roadblocks, if he or she has had any amount of alcohol to drink prior to the encounter, a potential nightmare scenario is being taken into custody on suspicion of DWI-DUI. Simply one or two bottles of beer or glasses of wine during dinner can sometimes result in a major legal problem for any driver charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. We are well aware of this because we defend many individuals who have been accused of drunken driving, as well as other alcohol- and drug-related traffic offenses.

My legal team also understands that when it comes to being stopped at a DWI checkpoint, those who are arrested or served a summons for drunken driving are many times curious whether these commonly used police enforcement tools are actually legal under the laws of the State of New Jersey, not to mention that of the U.S. Constitution. Clients may often ask about the fairness of DWI-DUI roadblocks, which is completely understandable given the random nature of these checkpoints.
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When it comes to out-of-state drivers who are arrested for DWI or drug DUI here in New Jersey, it is important to remember that New Jersey and almost every other state in the nation participates in what is known as the “Driver License Compact,” or DLC for short. Briefly, the DLC is an agreement between 45 individual states and the District of Columbia, which allows the non-resident state to report any traffic-related conviction to the administrative division of the offending driver’s home state. In short, if one’s home state has a statute or equivalent law for an offense committed here in New Jersey, it will be treated as if the violation took place in the state where the driver resides.

A related agreement, known as the “Non-resident Violator Compact,” is observed by 44 participating states, which in essence safeguards the rights and privileges of non-resident drivers when operating a motor vehicle outside of their home state. For example, when a Garden State motorist is driving in a participating state, this interstate agreement ensures that the driver will have the same rights as the resident drivers of that state if he or she is arrested for drunken driving, drug DUI or other related impaired driving offense.

Under the non-resident agreement, if a motorist is charged with a traffic offense or other serious moving violation, he or she has the protection of due process. This also means that a New Jersey driver must comply with the terms of the member state’s traffic citation as ordered by that non-resident state, and any failure to comply can result in license suspension here in the one’s own state.
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While a charge of drinking and driving is one of the more serious traffic-related offenses for a Garden State motorist to receive, there are other types of “impaired” driving that can be just as serious when it comes to accidents resulting in injury or death. The New Jersey court system is no stranger to personal injury lawsuits arising from impaired driving; and for years now, law enforcement, state legislators and numerous traffic safety advocates have warned about the effects of cellphone use and distracted driving, not to mention drowsy driving.

The recent news coverage of the fatal multi-vehicle crash involving a limousine carrying well-known comedian and NBC “30 Rock” television star, Tracy Morgan, has ramped up debate regarding serious and fatal traffic collisions caused by motorists who are simply too tired to drive. As with intoxicated driving, drowsy driving can be deadly; however, the proof of whether a driver was too fatigued to properly operate his or her motor vehicle may be more difficult to come by than that involved in drunken driving cases.

Nevertheless, this latest high-profile news story has brought the issue of drowsy driving to the fore, with Walmart employee, Kevin Roper, in the spotlight and facing serious charges, including that of vehicular homicide and assault by auto following the death of comedian James McNair. The crash, as many people already know, took place last Saturday along a portion of the New Jersey Turnpike in Middlesex County. Mr. Roper, 35, has since entered a plea of not guilty across the board, though the case has much farther to go.
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As long-time Garden State drunken driving defense lawyers, my colleagues and I have seen just about everything over the nearly 100 years of our combined legal careers. In our capacity as litigators for New Jersey motorists, representing individuals accused of intoxicated driving or drug DUI has given us more than a little insight into the variety of alcohol-, prescription drug- and illegal substance-related traffic arrests. Quite simply, we understand the many and varied ways that drivers can be stopped and charged with driving under the influence.

For most motorists, at least those served with summonses or arrested for an alcohol- or drug-related offense, the usual scenario does not involve a serious traffic accident. In many instances, a driver will have been stopped after being observed making some kind of simple driving error or even a more overt moving violation, such as speeding, improper passing or running a red light.

It is only after one of these routine traffic stops that a police officer may question the driver regarding his activities prior to the stop. Although New Jersey law prohibits a patrolman from stopping a motorist purely on a “hunch” that the driver is inebriated, once stopped at the roadside, the line of questioning may lead to suspicion of drinking and driving, or even some kind of drug-related DUI.
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From time to time we all read news articles that, on the face of it, seem like just one more in a string of typical day-to-day mistakes that some people make when driving a motor vehicle here in the Garden State. However, there are instances when a simple lack of good judgment may result in some serious consequences, not only for the individual who may have erred, but for those who suffered personal lose as a direct result.

While many car, truck or motorcycle accidents can be similar in many ways to the dozens of others that occur every week in counties like Monmouth, Middlesex and Atlantic, there are certain roadway collisions that distinguish themselves as being more unique than most. As New Jersey DWI defense attorneys, we have a great deal of experience representing various individuals accused of variety of alcohol-related traffic wrecks.

While multi-car drunken driving accidents are sure very common in a state with millions of motor vehicles travelling every day along its roadways, single-vehicle accidents do occur with amazing frequency as well. Some of these types of traffic incidents end up being allegedly attributed to alcohol consumption or drug use on the part of the driver.
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