Things go from bad to worse for a Long Branch police officer, who was formally charged this week with among other things, vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated. The charges stem from an incident that took place back on September 22, when the officer, who was off duty at the time, struck and killed a pedestrian who was crossing the street in the City of Long Branch. Following the incident, the case was sent to the Middlesex County Prosecutor Office to be further investigated and after about a month of investigating, they have announced that they formally charged the Defendant with vehicular homicide, reckless driving, careless driving and driving while intoxicated. There was an MVR footage released back in September that shows the Defendant saying “She walked right in front of me, jaywalking,” … “I have a green light, going this way, southbound. She walked right out in front of me”. At this point in time it has not been released what the Defendant is alleged to have been under the influence of at the time of the incident. He was released following being charged and is due back in court on December 12th.
Vehicular Homicide Charges in New Jersey
One of the offenses that the Defendant was charged with is vehicular homicide. He was charged under the new subsection of the statute that in essence creates a strict liability standard for anyone who is found to be involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident where they are alleged to have been driving under the influence. Prior to the creation of this subsection, in order to convict someone of vehicular homicide, the state at a minimum who need to show that the Defendant was acting “recklessly”. By establishing that the Defendant was driving under the influence will not guarantee that the jury will conclude that the Defendant was acting “recklessly”. This subsection is a third degree felony offenses and unlike most third degree offenses, this offense requires mandatory incarceration of convicted. So if convicted, a Defendant would be facing anywhere from three to five years in a prison. It is important to note there, that the prosecution could still choose to charge the Defendant under the traditional statute, which could either be a first or second degree felony offense depending on the circumstances. For more information on this offense, please feel free to contact our office at 732-858-6959.
Long Branch NJ DWI Lawyer
Keith Oliver Criminal Law defends those not only accused of driving while intoxicated offenses but assault by auto, aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child, eluding, resisting arrest and heroin possession charges as well. If you have been charged with a crime in Monmouth County, in towns like Little Silver, Long Branch, Asbury Park, Freehold, Middletown, Red Bank, Ocean Township, Neptune, Wall Township or elsewhere, we can help. If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation today, then please contact us at 732-858-6959. We are available around the clock to help assist in anyway that we can.