Hit and Run Accidents Resulting in Injuries
We represent clients charged with N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1; New Jersey hit and run accidents which result in death or serious bodily injury complaints and indictments filed in Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Somerset County, Essex County, Union County, and Hudson County.
A driver who is knowingly involved in an hit and run accident and knowingly leaves the scene of that accident is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if the accident results in serious bodily injury to another person.
In order to obtain a conviction for this offense, the state must prove the elements of the underlying motor vehicle offense.
A driver involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to any person is required to immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close as possible and then return to the scene.
The driver is required to give his or her name and address and exhibit his or her operator's license and registration certificate to the person injured and to any police officer or witness to the accident and to the driver and occupants of the vehicle collided with.
This offense differs from the motor vehicle violation in that serious bodily injury must be proved for the crime while only an injury must be proved for the motor vehicle offense.
Serious bodily injury means injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ.
For this crime state must prove not only defendant knew she was involved in an accident but also that the defendant knowingly left the scene.
For purposes of this offense, neither knowledge of the injury nor knowledge of the violation are elements of the offense.
It is not a defense that the operator of the motor vehicle was unaware of the injury or of the provisions of the New Jersey motor vehicle law which impose obligations on drivers involved in accidents.
The fact that there can be a prosecution for this offense does not preclude an indictment and conviction for aggravated assault or assault by auto.
A conviction for this offense does not merge with a conviction for aggravated assault or assault by auto.
A separate sentence must be imposed upon each conviction.
When the court imposes multiple sentences of imprisonment for more than one offense, those sentences must run consecutively.
If a defendant were charged with this third degree crime as well as the motor vehicle offense, the motor vehicle offense should merge into the third degree conviction.
There is no mandatory jail term for the criminal conviction but the motor vehicle violation requires a mandatory term of imprisonment of 180 days if the accident results in death or injury.
If you have any questions of a New Jersey criminal defense attorney regarding a hit and run incident please click here.