An innocent bystander is in critical condition following two separate motor vehicle accidents in Paramus New Jersey. According to nj.com, the Bergen County Prosecutors office is reporting that two separate arrestes have been made as a result of this incident. One individual has been charged with one count of second degree assault by auto and the other individual has been charged with driving while intoxicated. News report indicate that a Bergen County resident was intoxicated when she crashed her vehicle into a telephone pole in Paramus New Jersey. The reports go on to state that when the innocent bystander came to her aid he was then struck by another vehicle operated by a River Edge resident who was also alleged to be intoxicated at the time. It has been reported that this incident has left the innocent bystander in critical condition at Hackensack University Medical Center.
Assault by Auto is a second degree crime in New Jersey and if convicted the defendant may be sentenced up to ten years in a New Jersey State Prison. The defendant was charged with second degree assault by auto in this case as a result of him allegedly being intoxicated at the time of accident. The governing statute in New Jersey for Assault by Auto is N.J.S.A. 2C:12(C)3 , which in pertinent part state that:
- Assault by auto or vessel is a crime of the second degree if serious bodily injury results from the defendant operating the auto or vessel while in violation of R.S.39:4-50 or section 2 of P.L.1981, c. 512 (C.39:4-50.4a).
Therefore, the Bergen County Prosecutors office will need to prove that the defendant not only operated the vehicle on the night in question while being under the influence but also that the victim suffered serious bodily injury as a direct result of the accident. The reports indicate that the defendant was also charged with refusing to submit to a breath sample as well.
The operator of the first vehicle was not charged with assault by auto as a result of her conduct. She was charged with driving while intoxicated though. If she is convicted of this offense and it is determined that this is her first offense, she will be facing a seven – twelve month loss of her drivers license and up to a $800 fine.
In conclusion, we have two people who were allegedly operating there vehicle while being under the influence. Both individuals were involved in a motor vehicle accident. However, they are facing drastically different charges. On one hand you have an individual who is facing anywhere between five to ten years in a New Jersey State Prison and on the other hand you have an individual who barring unrevealed circumstances will most likely not incarcerated as a result of her conduct. The only difference between these two incidents is that one involved someone suffering serious bodily injury and other not.
As you can tell, the penalties for a second degree assault by auto can have devastating impacts on not only your life but your loved ones as well. The Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall has over 100 years of combined experience on staff. We have been representing individuals charged with driving while intoxicated and refusing to submit to a breath sample throughout Bergen County in towns like Fort Lee, Elmwood Park, Englewood Cliffs, Palisades Interstate Park, Hackensack and Fair Lawn for over fifteen years. If you have any further questions about these charges please contact any one of our Bergen County Offices for a free initial consultation with one of our eight criminal defense attorneys.