Bergen County NJ Vehciluar Homicide Defense Attorneys
There should be no surprise that the offense of death by auto is one of New Jerseys most serious offenses. However, what most people do not realize is that what appears on its face to be “just” a terrible car accident can quickly escalate into a felony criminal charge. Under the law, a defendant will be charged with the crime of death by auto whenever their is enough probable cause to conclude that the said defendant was operating either a vehicle or vessel in a reckless manner and as a result the of that conduct an individual died. Some of the common “reckless conduct” include speeding, weaving in and out of traffic and driving while intoxicated. The governing statute in New Jersey for death by auto is N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5 and as you will see below, typically this is a second degree offense, however, it may be elevated to a first degree offense. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has seven criminal defense trial attorneys on staff, making our firm one of the biggest criminal defense firms in the state let alone Bergen County. Of the seven lawyers on staff, three of them have over twenty years of combined prosecuting experience. If you or a loved one has been charged with the offense of death by auto in New Jersey we can help. Here is some important information with regards to N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5.
Death by Auto Lawyers Fort Lee NJ: N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5
The prosecution must prove three material elements beyond a reasonable doubt before an individual can be convicted of death by auto or vessel in New Jersey. They are as follows, first, the prosecution must prove that the alleged defendant operated either motor vehicle or vessel (see below). Secondly, they must prove that the defendant’s operation of the motor vehicle/vessel caused the death of victim. Lastly, that the death of the victim was directly related to the defendant’s reckless operation of the motor vehicle/vessel.
The legislatures have declared that anything which is propelled by muscular power will be considered an “auto or vessel” under this statute. Therefore, a rowboat or canoe without some form of motor would not be considered an auto or vessel under the statute, however, ironically a sailboat, since it is powered by the wind has been determined to fit the definition.
Fines and Penalties if Convicted:
Driver’s License Suspension:
Forfeiture of Auto or Vessel:
If the defendant is convicted of death by auto in the first degree, the defendant must forfeit the auto or vessel used during the offense. However, the defendant would be entitled to a hearing where if they can establish that the forfeiture would constitute a hardship to the family of the defendant they may be able to avoid the forfeiture.
Paramus NJ Vehicular Homicide Lawyer
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has over 100 years of combined experience on staff. The offense of death by auto is a very serious offense, one that carries with it extremely harsh penalties for anyone convicted of it. These consequences will effect not only your life but your families as well. It is imperative that you speak to an experienced criminal defense firm about your rights. If you or someone you know has been charged with the offense of death by auto in New Jersey please call any one of our Bergen County Offices for a free initial consultation.