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.
The first charge, assault by auto, occurs when a person drives recklessly and causes bodily injuries to another person. Under the New Jersey statute, all that is needed is reckless conduct. In other words, the driver does not need to have any intent to cause the accident or hurt anyone. In order to prove this charge, the State must establish the following: i) the defendant was driving the vehicle at the time of the crash; ii) the defendant caused a bodily injury or serious bodily injury to the victim; and iii) the defendant caused such an injury by driving the vehicle recklessly.
The second charge, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, requires the State to show three things: i) the defendant was operating the motor vehicle; ii) there was the actual presence of a controlled substance; and iii) the driver was immediately aware of the possession (i.e., the driver knew that he or she had possession at the time of the arrest).
The third charge, causing a bodily injury while operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, is appropriate as long as the defendant’s license was suspended when the “bodily injury” took place. Under New Jersey law, the bodily injury requirement is defined rather loosely and includes even minimal injuries, such as scrapes, swelling, and pain.
The more charges you face in addition to a DWI, the tougher it can be to overcome your case. Being convicted of these charges can have serious and long-term consequences for your life. If you are facing DWI and other charges, we can help. With years of experience building strong defenses against DWI charges related to alcohol or drugs, our skilled New Jersey DWI defense attorneys know how to poke holes in the state’s case. For more information, call us today at 877-450-8301 or contact us online.
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