3rd Degree Assault by Auto Downgraded to DP
We recently defended a client who had been indicted for 3rd degree Assault by Auto under 2C:12-1(c)(2) where the State alleged that she had driven her vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and as a result of the DWI, she got into an accident with another vehicle that resulted in serious bodily injury to another. The prosecutor had strong evidence against our client including blood alcohol results, admissions from our client, extensive medical records documenting the injuries to the victim, and even a forensic expert report regarding our client’s level of intoxication.
Our client was a professional with no prior record and she would most likely lose her job if she got convicted of a felony. In order to avoid a felony conviction, we applied our her for Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI), which is a program normally reserved for first time offenders that would allow for the charges to be dismissed upon successful completion. However, the County Prosecutor’s Office denied her admission into the program based on the nature of the offense since there is a strong public interest against stopping drunk drivers from injuring others. Our attorneys appealed the denial of the PTI but were ultimately unsuccessful after a Superior Court Judge denied the application. This left us back at the beginning, facing a third degree crime punishable by 3 – 5 years in state prison. Our attorneys began prepping the case for a trial and outlined weaknesses in the State’s case against our client. Ultimately, after months of back and forth we were able to avoid the inherent risks of a trial and secure a downgrade of the assault by auto from a third degree crime to a disorderly person offense (equivalent to a misdemeanor). This allowed our client to walk out of court and avoid a felony record and potential state prison incarceration. If you would like to learn how we may be able to help you or your loved with an assault by auto charge, contact our office today at (201) 793-8018 for a completely free consultation where you can speak with an experienced criminal attorney.
State v. J.P.