In this modern age of inter-linked electronic databases, public safety and private surveillance cameras, as well as those not-so-modern two-way radios and walky-talkies it still amazes us that some individuals feel they can avoid being caught by the police following a civil or criminal incident simply by leaving the scene of an accident or other event. As recent tragic events here on the East Coast have illustrated, no matter who you are or what you may have done, there is little chance of escaping the long arm of the law.
Of course, as New Jersey criminal and civil trial attorneys whose job it is to represent people accused of a wide range of offenses — even relatively minor ones such as drunken driving or marijuana possession — we are well aware that the law is designed to protect innocent people from unjust arrest or erroneous accusations. The fact of the matter is that here in the United States, our system of law is predicated on the understanding that anyone accused of an offense is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
As drunk driving defense lawyers assisting motorists here in the Garden State, we stand by the rights provided by the U.S. Constitution and we use these laws and those of the State of New Jersey to defend drivers charged with driving while intoxicated, operating a motor vehicle while impaired by prescription medications or other, possibly illegal drugs; not to mention breath test refusal and other alcohol-related violations.
And this goes back to the opening line of our message today, as experienced DWI lawyers, I and my team of skilled defense attorneys know that the courtroom is the best place to resolve the issue of guilt or innocence. Actively attempting to avoid responsibility for a car accident or other traffic offense, whether guilty or innocent, by leaving the scene of a roadway incident is not the best course of action. More than likely a person will be caught up with and held responsible not only for his or her part in the initial wreck, but likely for their actions following the crash.
This was illustrated not too long ago when a man from the Howell, NJ, area apparently was arrested following a car accident along a stretch of Yellowbrook Rd. on a Saturday evening. According to police, the 44-year-old suspect was headed northbound on Yellowbrook when his vehicle reportedly crossed over the centerline of the roadway and struck a second oncoming vehicle little before 8pm. While both drivers survived the crash, the victim in the other car sustained a severe facial laceration and was being treated at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center.
After responding to the accident, police realized that the suspect had apparently left the scene on foot. With the assistance of a K-9 unit, officers tracked the suspect to a local residence where he was discovered hiding in a garage. Once in custody, the man was charged with DWI and breath test refusal, as well as reckless driving, aggravated vehicular assault and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident involving injuries.
While it was no excuse to flee the authorities, police also believed the suspect was involved in the theft of lost property after they apparently found several credit cards and a social security card belonging to a Howell woman. The court set the man’s bail at $12,500, after which he was housed in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution.
Howell Driver Charged With DWI Following Crash, Patch.com, March 17, 2013