Highly Experienced Drunk Driving Lawyers
In a fair percentage of driving while intoxicated cases, the accused is facing the offense in conjunction with an automobile accident. Whether the accident involved simply damage to property or is more serious because someone was hurt, the fact that there was a collision has relevance when it comes to court. You certainly do not want to walk into court without a knowledgeable and skilled DWI attorney if this is the case. Our defense team includes former prosecutors, Alcotest certified attorneys, and instructors in standardized field sobriety testing. Our experience, know-how, and contacts throughout the state can make a huge difference if you are facing a DWI where someone was injured in an accident or where there was damage to property because of a collision. The following is some important information you should know with respect to this subject and do not hesitate to give us a call if you are in need of legal assistance.
How Can An Accident Impact a NJ DWI Charge?
In the event that someone is found guilty under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, the severity of DWI penalties is a matter of discretion on the part of the court. For example, if someone is facing a first offense involving a BAC of .10 or greater, his or her license may be suspended for anywhere from 7 to 12 months. In the case of a second offense, the potential range of jail time that a judge may impose is between 2 and 90 days. And for a third or subsequent offense, a judge has discretion to convert up to 90 days of the 180 day jail sentence to inpatient rehabilitation time. Courts treat an accident with injury or property damage as a potential aggravating fact when it comes to exercising the aforesaid discretion. It is therefore particularly important that an experienced defense lawyer be retained by someone who has been involved in a DWI-related accident. Our attorneys not only avoid conviction in a higher percentage of cases than you think — in those cases where there is a conviction, we are overwhelmingly able to achieve the minimum sentence.
DWI Accident With Bodily Injury
Where someone other than the accused sustains personal injury as the result of an accident caused by driving while intoxicated, a separate charge known as assault by auto may be filed by the police. This offense is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five (5) years in prison if serious bodily injury is sustained. Where bodily injury is sustained, the offense is a fourth-degree felony that carries up to eighteen (18) months in prison.
Civil Reservation in Accident Cases
Whenever someone enters a plea in municipal court to a motor vehicle violation, that plea may be considered an admission of fault for a related accident. In order to avoid use of the plea in a civil action (i.e. lawsuit to recover for personal injury or property damage), a civil reservation must be entered by the court.
Attorneys at our DWI defense firm are available immediately to discuss your case. Initial consultations are always without charge so do not hesitate to give us a call at (877) 450-8301.