Death by auto is an extremely serious criminal charge that should not be taken lightly. If you have been charged with death by auto, you need a reputable New Jersey criminal defense lawyer who focuses exclusively in defending against criminal charges. We will meticulously assess the details of your case and determine what legal defenses we may be able to raise on your behalf.
A former New Jersey police officer was recently sentenced to nine months in jail in an accident that killed a motorcycle rider last Halloween. Specifically, the officer will serve 270 days in county jail as a condition of the three years probation he will serve when he is released. Law enforcement says the defendant officer was off duty when he drove a jeep under the influence and crashed into a motorcycle, killing 29-year-old victim J.L. The officer later pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, tampering with physical evidence and driving while intoxicated. In addition, the officer is no longer employed by the Elizabeth Police Department.
Death by Auto
In New Jersey, vehicular homicide, also known as death by auto, is a criminal charge from being the cause of death by driving an automobile recklessly. Reckless can be established through a few factors including intoxication. Essentially, a driver acts recklessly behind the wheel when he or she drives with an active disregard of a significant risk that death would occur from his or her driving behavior.
To convict someone of vehicular homicide, the prosecution is required establish the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt: you were intoxicated while driving a vehicle and that you were in a wreck that ultimately led to the death of someone else. Death by auto is a second-degree crime punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and up to $200,000 in fines.
Possible Defenses in Death by Auto Cases
There may be a number of defenses that are relevant to your case including, but not limited to, the following:
- The prosecution failed to prove an element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. For example, if the state failed to meet its burden when it came to establishing that the driver was intoxicated, the case will likely be dismissed.
- A vital piece of evidence was contaminated due to poor police handling, mislabeling or some other issue that makes it unreliable or inaccurate.
- A search warrant that discovered a key piece of evidence that links the accused to the crime was flawed in some way or based on misleading information for the judge or magistrate.
Skilled New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you have been charged with death by auto, you need to speak to a seasoned New Jersey criminal defense attorney who can help. Our firm will make every effort to help you minimize or eliminate the serious penalties associated with your death by auto charge or conviction. With years of experience, we are here to answer your questions and address your concerns every step of the way. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation, please call us 877-450.8301 or contact us online
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