The crime of assault by auto or vessel is set forth at N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(c) of the New Jersey criminal statutes. This law makes it an indictable felony crime for an individual to intentionally or recklessly injure another with a motor vehicle. Negligence does not suffice in satisfying the standard of proof required under 2C:12-1(c) — the conduct must be in conscious disregard of the welfare of another and/or intentional in order to trigger the offense of assault by auto. Provided this level of proof can be demonstrated by the prosecutor, the grade of crime and related penalties to be imposed hinge on the underlying conduct and extent of injury involved.
- Second Degree Assault by Auto. It is a second degree crime to cause serious bodily injury in a school zone as a result of operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated (i.e. DWI).
- Third Degree Assault by Auto. Assault by auto or vessel is a crime of the third degree if bodily injury results from the defendant’s operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
- Fourth Degree Assault by Auto. Assault by auto is a crime of the fourth degree where an individual’s reckless operation results in serious bodily injury. It is also a fourth degree where bodily injury is sustained as a result of driving while intoxicated.
Assault by Auto Attorneys in Paterson NJ
Interplay of Aggravated Assault & Assault by Auto. Insofar as an individual may be charged with second degree aggravated assault where he or she purposely causes serious bodily injury to another, prosecutors often file this offense in conjunction with an actionable automobile accident. An important consideration when this occurs is that the No Early Release Act (“NERA”) applies to an aggravated assault charge. NERA triggers a period of parole ineligibility that requires an individual to serve 85% of any sentence without the possibility of parole. NERA does not apply to an assault by auto charge.
Penalties for Assault by Auto. The jail exposure for a second degree assault by auto is five (5) to ten (10) years in prison. The period of imprisonment is less for a third degree, ranging from zero to five (5) years of incarceration. The maximum fine is $15,000 and $150,000 for a third degree and second degree, respectively.
Wayne NJ Assault by Auto Defense Lawyers
An attorney on our defense team, which includes four (4) former prosecutors, is ready to provide you with the guidance and assistance you are seeking. If you or a loved one has been charged with aggravated assault, eluding, terroristic threats, arson, robbery and heroin possession in towns like Paterson, Passaic City, Totowa, Wayne, Clifton and West Milford. And you will happy in knowing that our lawyers possess over one hundred years of collective experience to put to use on your behalf. Give us a call anytime 24/7 for a telephone consultation or so set up a meeting in our Wayne office.