Monmouth County Leaving Scene of Accident Lawyer
Motor vehicle accidents are going to occur and people are going to be injured as a result, that is just a part of life. Unless it is alleged that the driver was under the influence of alcohol, drugs or they were operating the motor vehicle in an egregiously reckless manner, a traffic summons is usually the worse case scenario from a legal standpoint. However, if the Defendant leaves the scene of the accident and one of the other parties involved suffers what is known as serious bodily injury, the situation goes from bad to worse, quickly.
As you will see below, the legislature has chosen to a criminalize leaving the scene of an accident where in which an individual suffers serious bodily injury. This offense is considered a third degree indictable offense, which is New Jersey’s version of a felony offense. If convicted, the individual would be facing a lengthy prison sentence in addition to high fines and being labeled as a convicted felony.
At Keith Oliver Criminal Law, we fully understand the panic and shock that most feel when they are involved in a motor vehicle accident and for most, that is probably the driving factor that lead to them leaving the scene of an accident. Regardless of the reason, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. Our office defends those accused of leaving the scene of an accident that results in serious bodily injury, leaving the scene of the scene of an accident that results in death, driving while intoxicated, aggravated assault, assault by auto, death by auto or any other criminal offense that occurs in Monmouth County. If you or a loved one has unfortunately found yourself being charged with this offense and you would like to discuss your options with one of our criminal defense lawyers, then please contact our office at 732.858.6959. We serve all of Monmouth County, including towns like Howell, Hazlet, Eatontown, Wall Township, Asbury Park, Tinton Falls, Middletown, Ocean Township, Freehold, Manalapan, Colts Neck, Marlboro and Belmar.
Facing a Leaving the Scene of an Accident Where Someone Got Hurt in NJ
NJSA 2C:12-1.1 : Leaving Scene of Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury
Anyone who is alleged to have knowingly left the scene of a motor vehicle accident that results in serious bodily injury for one of the parties involved, will be charged with a violation of NJSA 2C:12-1.1. This is a third degree felony offense in New Jersey. It is important to note here that there is a traffic summons version of this offense, (NJSA 39:4-129), however, that offense only covers a situation in which nobody suffers serious bodily injury. In order to be convicted of this offense, the prosecution must prove the following five elements:
- The Defendant operated a motor vehicle;
- The Defendant was involved in an accident;
- The Defendant knew that he/she was involved in an accident;
- The Defendant knowingly left the scene of that accident; &
- The accident resulted in serious bodily injury to another person
With regards to the “knowingly“ aspect of this offense, the statute is clear, that “neither knowledge of the serious bodily injury nor knowledge of the violation, are elements of the offense and it shall not be a defense that the driver of the motor vehicle was unaware of the serious bodily injury…” So in other words, the prosecution is required to prove that the Defendant was aware that they were involved in a motor vehicle accident but not the fact that someone suffered serious bodily injury as a result. Also, pursuant to NJSA 2C:11-1, “serious bodily injury“ has been defined as “bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of any bodily member or organ.”
Can I go to Jail for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in New Jersey?
A violation of NJSA 2C:12-1.1 is considered a third degree felony offense. If convicted, a Defendant could be sentenced up to five years in a State Prison and a fine up to $15,000. Furthermore, the presumption of non-incarceration which applies to all third or fourth degree felony offenses in New Jersey does not apply appear. Furthermore, anyone charged will this offense can also be charged with aggravated assault in the second degree as well as assault by auto in the third degree and if convicted, these offenses would not merge for sentencing purposes. As you can tell from reading above, this is a very serious offense and one that the prosecution takes very seriously, especially if they feel that the Defendant left the scene in an effort to avoid being charged with driving while intoxicated.
Middletown NJ Leaving the Scene of an Accident Attorneys
Keith Oliver Criminal Law is a Monmouth County based criminal defense firms that represents those accused of serious felony offenses like leaving the scene of an accident that results in death as well as traffic offenses like driving under the influence. If you have been charged with a crime and would like to speak to one of our criminal defense lawyers one on one then please contact our Middletown office at 732.858.6959 or you can try contacting us online. As always, our initial consultations are free of costs. So, if you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our office appears in courts throughout Monmouth County, including courts in towns like Atlantic Highland, Manasquan, Upper Freehold, Rumson, Little Silver, Red Bank, Ocean Township, West Long Branch, Oakhurst, Wall and Belmar.