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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

HERE ARE THE ANSWERS TO THE COMMON INQUIRIES ABOUT DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENTS IN NEW JERSEY

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New Jersey has severe repercussions for drivers convicted of driving under the influence. Such a charge could result in license suspension, fines, insurance surcharges, driving restrictions, and other penalties if other people are injured. Below are some facts about drunk driving accidents in New Jersey.

What charges follow a DUI accident in New Jersey?

The consequences of a DWI or DUI with a major injury accident are severer. Assault by automobile (N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1c) is the charge if a drunk driver causes injury to a third party in an accident. Suppose a motorist is convicted of an assault by vehicle offense due to drunk driving, violating a DWI sentence, or violating refusal laws. In that case, they risk a third-degree crime punishable by 3-5 years in prison and up to $15,000.00 in fines. 

If the driver causes an injury while driving through a school zone or crossing, they could be punished with a second-degree offense. Second-degree offenses are subject to penalties of up to $150,000 and sentences of five to ten years in jail. But any time someone drives while intoxicated or under the influence of narcotics and causes an injury accident, it is a fourth-degree offense that can carry a $10,000 fine and up to 18 months in jail. This covers all bodily harm. Therefore, the damage suffered must not meet a “serious” injury criterion to be at least a fourth-degree offense.

I had a DUI and crashed my car, but no one was hurt. What now?

If there was an accident, but no one was hurt, the DUI still counts as a traffic infraction in Municipal Court. The judge will still consider the accident while deciding on a sentence from among the available sentencing choices. This is unless the driver has a lawyer to convince the judge to sentence them to fewer days or dollars. 

Therefore having a skilled and experienced DUI lawyer in New Jersey is valuable to effectively defend against DUI charges. They can present a case for a minimum sentence by highlighting mitigating circumstances and a defendant’s eligibility for drug and alcohol treatment rather than jail time. 

Do you have insurance coverage if you cause a car accident while intoxicated?

Insurance does not cover civil lawsuits against intoxicated drivers who cause accidents that result in property damage or injury. Vehicle insurance companies do not cover willful torts like drinking or using drugs while driving. Besides, an insurer can assert that you are not eligible for coverage if you intentionally drive a car while intoxicated. 

The plaintiff can seek compensation for their expenses, including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and mental or psychological suffering.

a key takeaway

A skilled DUI lawyer in New Jersey might be able to completely protect their client from getting arrested. They can also ensure that a defendant’s municipal court plea is not construed as an admission in a civil lawsuit for harm or damages by requesting the court to enter a civil reservation.

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