Experienced Atlantic City, NJ Criminal Defense Attorney Fights Assault by Auto Charges
Regardless of how good a driver you are, distractions such as weather, other vehicles and roadway construction can get in your way. This is how true “accidents” happen. However, if you choose to drive recklessly, perhaps you are speeding or weaving or driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, or talking or texting on a cellphone, and you cause an accident where one or more persons are injured, you may be charged with “assault by auto” or aggravated assault.
If you or someone you know has been charged with aggravated assault by auto, you know the penalties associated with conviction are severe in New Jersey. You need an experienced Atlantic City criminal defense lawyer who will investigate your case and prepare a winning defense. John W. Tumelty has been representing people charged with assault by auto in Atlantic and Cape May counties for more than 25 years. Fighting criminal charges can be difficult and frightening. You need Mr. Tumelty on your side.
What is Assault by Auto?
Not all roadway accidents are classified as “assault by auto.” However, a police officer in Atlantic City or an Atlantic County Prosecutor has a wide range of criminal offenses that they can use to charge and prosecute individuals who commit assaults with motor vehicles. Generally the seriousness of the offense will be based on the resulting harm to the victim and whether the driver acted purposely or recklessly in causing an accident. For example, New Jersey law considers it a second-degree crime for a driver to commit an assault recklessly under circumstances showing an indifference to the value of human life when such reckless driving results in serious bodily injury to a person.
“Bodily injury” is defined as physical illness, pain or impairment of physical condition. “Serious bodily injury” is defined as bodily injury which results in a high risk of death or which causes serious permanent, disfigurement, impairment, or loss of the function of any bodily organ.
- A motorist acts with the intent or purpose to collide with a victim. (The degree of a charge for an intentional collision depends on the severity of the victim’s injury.)
- A motorist acts recklessly, resulting in injuries to another person. (Examples of this are driving while intoxicated or extreme speeding.)
- A motorist causes bodily injury while being chased by police or while joyriding.
What are the Penalties for Assault by Auto Conviction?
The nature of an assault by auto charge and punishments are contingent upon the severity and extent of the injuries to the victim (serious bodily injury or wrongful death), the location of the alleged crime and whether or not the defendant was intoxicated (DWI) at the time of the arrest.
Disorderly Persons: If the driver causes bodily injury as a result of the reckless operation of motor vehicle. A disorderly persons offense is punishable by fine of up to $1000 and prison term of up to six months. As an example, a driver may operate his vehicle recklessly by driving 30 miles per hour in excess of the posted speed limit. In driving in this manner, the driver disregards a risk that he could injure another person. If, due to excessive speed, the driver loses control of his car, crashes and a passenger receives painful cuts and bruises in the accident, the driver could be prosecuted for an assault by auto.
Fourth Degree Assault by Auto: If the driver causes serious bodily injury as a result of the reckless operation of motor vehicle. It is also a fourth degree where bodily injury is occurs as a result of driving while intoxicated. A fourth degree crime is punishable by six to 18 months in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Third Degree: If the driver causes serious bodily injury as a result of driving while intoxicated (DWI). A third degree crime is punishable by three to five years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.
Second Degree: If the driver causes serious bodily injury in a school zone or driving through a school crossing as a result of driving while intoxicated (DWI). A second degree crime is punishable by five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
Call John W. Tumelty Today for a Free Consultation with an Experienced Atlantic City NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you or someone you love is charged with aggravated assault by auto, don’t face the charges alone. John W. Tumelty can help you. He is a former NJ deputy attorney general and former assistant prosecutor with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office. For the past three decades, he has been prosecuting and defending people charged with various types of aggravated assault and other criminal offenses in South Jersey including Brigantine, Margate, Ventnor, Longport, Atlantic and Cape May counties.
Mr. Tumelty understands both how to defend auto-related charges, including DWI/DUI. Due to his experience as a prosecutor, he knows the strategies the State will use and can use that knowledge on your behalf. He has successfully defended charges of assault by auto and many others for over 30 years. Mr. Tumelty is focused on protecting the rights and interests of his clients. Contact him now for a free consultation by phone or at any of his three offices in Atlantic City, Marmora or Somers Point. He is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 609.385.4010.