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Tragedy has struck The College of New Jersey this week. According to the reports, a serious motor vehicle accident occurred during the early morning hours of Sunday in Ewing Township. It appears that the Defendant, a twenty-two year old from West Windsor was driving down Pennington Avenue when his vehicle crossed over the center line colliding with a vehicle heading in the other direction. The vehicle heading in the opposite direction was carrying five TCNJ students, all of whom were seriously injured and needed assistance being removed from the vehicle. In all, eight individuals were seriously injured as a result of the incident. Three of individuals were transported to St. Mary’s Hospital in Langhorne, Pennsylvania and the other five were transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton for treatment. It was eventually determined that the Defendant was operating under the influence at the time of the incident. To make worse, it was discovered that the driver of the other vehicle was the designated driver for the evening and was attempting to help his colleagues return home safely.
Assault by Auto Defense Lawyer in Ewing NJ
In all, eight individuals were injured as a result of the accident. It is now being reported that the designated driver has past away from injuries sustained as a result of the incident. Due to the allegations, nj.com has reported that the Defendant has been charged with the following offenses:
- Six Counts of Assault by Auto in the Second Degree;
- One Count of Vehicular Homicide
- One Count of Driving While Intoxicated
What is Assault by Auto?
Assault by auto is considered a crime of the fourth degree if the victim(s) suffered what is known as serious bodily injury as a result of the incident. If it is alleged that the Defendant was operating under the influence (in violation of NJSA 39:4-50) at the time of the incident then they will be charge with a third degree felony. Lastly, if the Defendant was alleged to have been operating under the influence and was within 1000 feet of a school, then they will be charged with a crime of the second degree. Based on the charges above, it appears that the Defendant must have been operating within 1000 feet of a school.
What is the Sentence for Assault by Auto in NJ?
A conviction for assault by auto in the second degree would subject a Defendant to a term of incarceration ranging up to a decade and fine not to exceed $150,000. Furthermore, since this is a crime of the second degree, there is a presumption of incarceration that would apply. Which means, more likely than not, anyone convicted of this offense would be sentenced to a term of incarceration. For more information on assault by auto charges in Mercer County, including the penalties if convicted, please click the link.
What is Death by Auto?
Death by auto, often referred to as vehicular homicide is typically a crime of the second degree unless the incident occurred within 1000 feet of a school, then the charges are elevated to a crime of the first degree. In essence, this crime prosecute any kinda of motor vehicle accident where a death occurs and it is determined that the driver was driving recklessly. Recklessly as been defined as a situation where the Defendant “consciously disregards a substantial risk and their actions are a gross deviation from a reasonable person acting with ordinary care”. Proof that the Defendant was operating under the influence may give rise to an inference that they were operating recklessly. A crime of the first degree is punishable by up to twenty (20) years in a State Prison as well as a fine up to $200,000. To make matters worse a parole ineligibility period must be imposed. For more information on Death by Auto charges in Mercer County, including the applicable penalties, please click the link.
New Jersey has recently enacted a statute which in essence makes it strict liability for anyone alleged to have been operating a motor vehicle under the influence and involved in an accident that resulted in the death of another. For more information on strict liability death by auto, please click the link.
Charged with Assault by Auto in Mercer County NJ
If you or a loved one has been charged with assault by auto, death by auto, leaving the scene of a fatal accident, driving while intoxicated, drug DUI or any other offense for that matter, the Law Office of Proetta & Oliver can help. These are all very serious offenses, ones that carry with them crippling consequences. That is why we strongly urge that you speak to an attorney about your options as soon as possible. We serve all of Mercer County, including towns like Ewing, Hamilton, Lawrenceville, Trenton, West Windsor, East Windsor, Hopewell, Robbinsville and Princeton. To schedule a free consultation today, please call 609-789-0779.
Other Helpful Resources:
- What is Central Judicial Processing in NJ?
- Do I Need a Lawyer for Pre-Indictment Court?
- What is the Bail for Vehicular Homicide?
For more information on this incident, please click here