Assault by Auto

Mercer County NJ Assault by Auto Lawyer

Need Local Assault by Auto Lawyer in Mercer CountyAssault by auto is a serious criminal offense in New Jersey and as such it requires the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Most assault by auto charges issued in Mercer County stem from a motor vehicle accident in which the Defendant is accused of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. As you will see below, this offense can either be a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) or a second, third or fourth degree felony. The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony conviction could be the difference between a Defendant receiving a probationary sentence at worse or a ten (10) year State Prison sentence.  If you have been accused of assault by auto, aggravated assault, eluding, resisting arrest, possession of heroin, DWI, DUI, death by auto or any other offense for that matter in Mercer County, the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver can help. At Proetta & Oliver we pride ourselves on zealously advocating on our client’s behalf. We fully understand what a criminal conviction could do to one’s life. If you would like to come into our office for a face to face consultation with one of the attorneys on staff then please contact us at (609) 789-0779. Our office serves all of Mercer County, including towns like Hamilton, Trenton, Princeton, Robbinsville, East Windsor, West Windsor and Ewing. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us and as always our initial consultations are free of cost. For more information on assault by auto charges, please see below.  

What you Need to Know About Assault by Auto Charge in Mercer County

The assault by auto offense is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(c). As touched upon above, assault by auto can be either a misdemeanor or a felony offense. The underlying facts of the case will dictate the degree of the charge. The individual’s prior record or lack there of is irrelevant. Furthermore, it is important to highlight that an individual can be charged with assault by auto for excessive speeding or really any other reckless driving conduct, regardless of whether or not alcohol or drugs were involved.  The distinct factors that will dictate what degree of assault by auto a Defendant is charged with are as follows:

  • Type of injury suffered;
  • Location of the accident (i.e. school zone); &
  • Was the Defendant intoxicated or under the influence.

Different Ways to be Charged with Assault by Auto in New Jersey

The five most common scenarios in which a Defendant finds themselves being charged with assault by auto in Mercer County include the following.

Misdemeanor Assault by Auto Offense in NJ:

In order to be convicted of a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) assault by auto, the prosecution is going to have to establish beyond a reasonable doubt at least three material elements:

  • That the Defendant was driving a vehicle or vessel;
  • That the Defendant caused bodily injury to another; &
  • The bodily injury was caused as a result of the Defendant’s reckless driving.

4th Degree Assault by Auto Charges in NJ:

In order to be convicted of a fourth degree felony offense assault by auto, the prosecution is going to have to establish beyond a reasonable doubt at least four material elements:

  • That the Defendant was driving a vehicle or vessel;
  • That the Defendant caused bodily injury to another;
  • The bodily injury was caused as a result of the Defendant’s reckless driving;
  • The Defendant was operating his vehicle while intoxicated or he/she refuse to submit to a breath test.  

3rd Degree Assault by Auto Charges in NJ:

In order to be convicted of a third degree felony offense assault by auto, the prosecution is going to have to establish beyond a reasonable doubt at least three material elements:

  • That the Defendant was driving a vehicle or vessel;
  • That the Defendant caused serious injury to another;
  • The bodily injury was caused as a result of the Defendant’s reckless driving;
  • The Defendant was operating his vehicle while intoxicated or he/she refuse to submit to a breath test.  

2nd Degree Assault by Auto Charges in NJ:

In order to be convicted of a second degree felony offense assault by auto, the prosecution is going to have to establish beyond a reasonable doubt at least three material elements:

  • That the Defendant was driving a vehicle or vessel;
  • That the Defendant caused serious injury to another;
  • The bodily injury was caused as a result of the Defendant’s reckless driving;
  • The Defendant was operating his vehicle while intoxicated or he/she refuse to submit to a breath test;
  • The incident occurred on or within 1000 feet of a school zone.

Understanding the Different Type of Injuries Need to Prove an Assault by Auto Case in NJ

So one of the main factors which is used to determine what degree of assault by auto a Defendant gets charged with is the type of injury suffered. Bodily injury has been defined as causing physical pain, illness or any impairment of a physical condition. Conversely, serious bodily injury has been defined as causing an injury “that creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ”. So as you can tell from reading, these two type of injuries are significantly different and it should be no surprise to hear that the potential penalties are significantly different as well.

Assault by Auto can be a Felony or a Misdemeanor in New Jersey

Assault by auto is one of those unique statutes in New Jersey where the potential penalties can really vary. At one of the spectrum, an individual could be facing a disorderly persons offense, where the likelihood of a jail time is minimal at best or they could be facing a second degree felony where the main question will not be whether the individual will be doing time but how much time. Here is a breakdown of the potential exposure an individual faces if convicted of the different degrees.

If you have been arrested and charged with assault by auto in the second degree a Defendant is facing the following penalties:

  • Five to ten years in a State Prison;
    • Presumption of imprisonment exists.
  • Fine up to $150,000;
  • Felony Criminal Record.

If you have been arrested and charged with assault by auto in the third degree a Defendant is facing the following penalties:

  • Three to Five years in a State Prison;
    • Presumption of imprisonment does not exist.
  • Fine up to $15,000;
  • Felony Criminal Record.

If you have been arrested and charged with assault by auto in the fourth degree a Defendant is facing the following penalties:

  • Up to Eighteen Months in a State Prison;
    • Presumption of imprisonment does not exist.
  • Fine up to $10,000;
  • Felony Criminal Record.

If you have been arrested and charged with a disorderly persons assault by auto a Defendant is facing the following penalties:

  • Up to Six Months in the Mercer County Jail;
    • Presumption of imprisonment does not exist.
  • Fine up to $1,000;
  • Criminal Record.

Common Criminal Charges Associated with Assault by Auto Case in NJ

It is very common for an individual to be charged with multiple offenses in connection with an assault by auto offense in New Jersey. There are really two different types of categories for these offenses: ones that happen simultaneous to the assault by auto charge and those that happen after the assault by auto occurs. With regards to the first scenario, the most common offenses we see are: Eluding, Driving While Intoxicated and Death by Auto. Some of the more common charges for the later include: Possession of CDS, Unlawful Possession of a Handgun, Resisting Arrest and Obstruction of Law. Regardless of the additional offenses is for, it will certainly further complicate the situation and could lead to an increase in the potential penalties.

Speak with a West Windsor NJ Assault by Auto Lawyer Today

If you have been charged with assault by auto, DWI, aggravated assault, cocaine possession, marijuana possession, criminal mischief or any other offense for that matter in Mercer County, the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver can help. Our team of attorneys appear in courts throughout Mercer County, including the Mercer County Superior Courthouse, the Hamilton Municipal Court, the West Windsor Municipal Court, the Hopewell Municipal Court, the Trenton Municipal Court and the Robbinsville Municipal Court. If you would like to come into our office and discuss your options with one of our Mercer County assault defense attorneys then please contact us at (609) 789-0779. We try to make ourselves available around the clock to help assist in anyway possible.