Essex County Assault

Essex County Assault by (N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(c)(1)) Defense Attorney

In New Jersey, there is a specific statute for assault by automobile. Assault by auto can range from a disorderly persons offense to a second degree offense with extremely serious consequences. Often assault by auto is associated with DWI. If you injure someone as a result of driving while intoxicated you can be charged with assault by auto. You can also be charged with assault by auto if you were operating your cell phone while driving and injured someone as a result. Regardless of the circumstances, assault by auto is a serious offense, with the potential for long term imprisonment, that requires the involvement of an experienced criminal defense attorney. At LS&P Lawyers we have nearly four decades of collective experience representing people accused of committing a crime. A conviction for assault by auto may have tremendous repercussions on your life. If you or someone you love has been charged with assault by auto contact our office for a free initial consultation.

To be guilty of any level of assault by automobile, you must have been driving recklessly. That means that you did not intend to injure the victim, but were more than merely negligent. Also, all levels of assault by automobile require at least a level of injury that the statute calls bodily injury. That is, pain, illness or impairment of physical condition.

If those two minimum conditions are met, without any of the other factors applicable to the statute, the offense is a disorderly persons offense, punishable by fine of up to $1000 and prison term of up to 6 months.

  • It becomes 4th Degree Assault by Auto if there is Bodily Injury and either...
    • the defendant was driving while intoxicated, or
    • the defendant was driving aggressively toward another vehicle
  • The offense rises to a 3rd Degree Crime if there is Bodily Injury and...
    • the defendant was driving while intoxicated, and
    • the injury occurred within 1000 feet of a school or school property, or a school crossing

If the victim suffered serious bodily injury, the degree of the offense is one degree higher than where bodily injury was the result. Serious bodily injury is permanent disfigurement, risk of death, loss, or impairment of any body part or organ. Therefore, the level of the crime for cases of serious bodily injury is as follows:

  • It is a 4th Degree Crime for Serious Bodily Injury with no other factors involved.
  • It is a 3rd Degree Crime for Serious Bodily Injury and either...
    • the defendant was driving while intoxicated, or
    • the defendant was driving aggressively toward another vehicle
  • It is a 2nd Degree Crime for Serious Bodily Injury and...
    • the defendant was driving while intoxicated, and
    • the injury occurred within 1000 feet of a school or school property, or at a school crossing

Assault by auto in the 4th degree is punishable by 6 to 18 months imprisonment and up to $10,000. Assault by auto in the 3rd degree is punishable by 3 to 5 years imprisonment and up to $15,000 in fines. Finally, assault by auto in the 2nd degree is punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.

Although not an intentional crime, the consequences of a conviction for assault by auto are just as serious as if you intended to injure someone. If the person you injured, subsequently dies as a result, you can be charged with Vehicular Homicide and face some of the most severe penalties imposed by law. It is urgent and important that you obtain qualified competent legal counsel immediately. Contact our legal team at LS&P Lawyers to begin your defense.