Back in March of this year, a Hudson County man was charged with a fatal DUI/DWI crash. The passenger, from North Bergen, was killed because of the crash. The defendant, Jose Francisco-Garcia, whom  is 26 years old, was allegedly driving under the influence when he struck a utility pole on the border of Fairview/North Bergen. The front passenger was killed instantly. At the time Francisco-Garcia was driving a 2017 black Honda Civic Type R. The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office announced that he was charged with vehicular homicide.

Francisco-Garcia was hospitalized and was in stable condition. Apparently he climbed out of the car wreck. In addition to being charged with reckless death by auto (vehicular homicide), he was also charged with operating under the influence of liquor or drugs, reckless driving, careless driving, and traffic on marked lanes. Francisco-Garcia was released and not taken to jail due to concerns of the corona virus.

DUI & Vehicular Homicide Law and Penalties

DUI, N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, is a serious offense. However, since December, 2019, there are new laws that were put in place. Under the new law, and if the DUI/DWI was due to liquor, a defendant is not exposed to the same penalties prior to December, 2019. Under the new law:

  • Blowing above a .15 a defendant looks at;
    • 4 to 6 months loss of license
    • 9 to 15 months of interlock after their license is restored
    • Up to, but not mandatory, 30 days in the Bergen County Jail
    • 12 to 48 hours at IDRC
    • $300-$500 in fines plus other surcharges and court costs
  • Blowing below between a .10 but less than .15 a defendant looks at;
    • Loss of license until an interlock is installed
    • Interlock for 7 months to one year
    • And the above fines, fees, and possible jail time
  • Blowing below between a .08 but less than a .10
    • Loss of license until interlock installed
    • 3 months of interlock
    • $250 to $400 in fines
    • 12-48 hours of IDRC

A vehicular homicide charge, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5A, depending on the facts of the case ranges from a fourth degree crime to a second degree crime. The defendant above faces a second degree vehicular homicide charge. This means that if convicted or if he pleads guilty, he faces a possibility of up to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison. He will also be parole ineligible due to the No Early Release Act “NERA”.

Bergen County Vehicular Homicide Attorneys

At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have ten (10) criminal defense attorneys, and our credentials include the following:

  • Seven (7) were former prosecutors
  • Three (3) of which were former assistant county prosecutors
    • One was the head of the Major Crimes Division,
    • Another was the head of the Trial Team, and
    • The last one was the director of the Gun, Gang and Drug Task Force
  • Three (3) were former municipal court prosecutors
  • One Certified Criminal Trial Attorney
    • Certification comes from the Supreme Court of New Jersey
    • Less than 1 percent of attorneys in this state hold that distinction
  • Selected to the National Trial Attorneys Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorney and Top 40 Under 40
  • Multiple attorneys with superb Avvo ratings
  • Selected to Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers Rising Stars list here in New Jersey for this year
    • Only 2.5 percent of attorneys in this state are selected to this list