Voorhees NJ Vehicular Homicide Attorney
Death by auto charges in Camden County, New Jersey, are far from trivial. As matter of fact, this offense is a component of the class of criminal homicide statutes in New Jersey. Death by auto, also referred to as vehicular homicide, typically involves a driver acting recklessly in the operation of his or her vehicle. If charged, death by auto will likely be a second degree criminal offense under the umbrella of vehicular homicide. However, if the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident, a death by auto charge will instead become vehicular homicide, which is a first degree crime. If you have been charged with death by auto in Voorhees, Merchantsville, Collingswood, Lindenwold or another town in Camden County, contact our Cherry Hill criminal firm for assistance. Our attorneys are skilled former prosecutors with many decades of experience handling homicide related charges like your vehicular homicide offense. Call us at 856-662-8300.
Camden Death By Auto Charge
The New Jersey Death By Auto statute is set forth at N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5. Generally speaking, this law applies where someone cause the death of another by virtue of driving a motor vehicle recklessly. The Camden County prosecutor handling the charge must establish three (3) elements in order to obtain a conviction including proving that: (1) the defendant the operating the motor vehicle; (2) he/she was driving recklessly; and (3) his/her actions caused the death of another. For the purpose of a vehicular homicide charge, the State must show that the driver acted recklessly. Typically, recklessness is defined as consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk that is a gross deviation from the standard of a reasonable person in the same or similar situation. The provisions of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5 state that there will be a presumption of recklessness if: (1) defendant fell asleep while driving, (2) defendant was driving despite not having slept within the past 24 hours, (3) defendant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, (4) defendant was operating a handheld wireless device at the time of the accident. These presumptions can have a major effect on the outcome of a criminal case. Therefore, familiarity with these presumptions is crucial. When the state proves each and every one of these elements beyond reasonable doubt, the accused is guilty of second degree death by auto. If the state can also establish that the defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in violation of the DWI statute, N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, first degree vehicular homicide has been established.
Penalties If You Commit Death By Auto In Cherry Hill NJ
If convicted of death by auto or second degree vehicular homicide, the defendant will face between five (5) and ten (10) years in prison, fines reaching up to $150,000, possible civil liability in proceedings after the criminal prosecution, and forfeiture of the vehicle the defendant was driving at the time of the accident. If convicted of first degree vehicular homicide, the defendant will face between ten (10) and twenty (20) years in prison, up to $250,000 in fines, possible civil liability in proceedings after the criminal prosecution, loss of license between five (5) years and life, and forfeiture of the vehicle the defendant was driving at the time of the accident. Both of these offenses carry a presumption of incarceration, meaning that defendants convicted of the crime will likely have to serve time in prison unless a judge finds that there are extenuating circumstances.
Pennsauken NJ Vehicular Homicide Defense Lawyers
Since death by auto is a variety of homicide, representation should honestly be reserved to an exceptional experienced attorney. It is also helpful if the lawyer is adept in driving while intoxicated defense as the vast majority of these cases involve alcohol and/or drugs. The attorneys at our firm, Marshall, Bonus, Proetta & Oliver, are skilled in both of these disciplines and are prepared to put their knowledge in action for you. Our team defends these cases throughout Camden County including Gloucester Township, Berlin, Cherry Hill, Winslow and Camden. We will thoroughly dissect the facts and law, and formulate a plan to reach the best possible outcome of your case. Call us 24/7 for a free consultation with a criminal attorney in our Cherry Hill Office.