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Assault by Auto

Assault by Auto in New Jersey

The New Jersey Assault by Auto statute criminalizes the act of recklessly operating a Motor Vehicle (or even a vessel) and causing injury to another. A person acts recklessly with respect to a material element of an offense when he consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the material element exists or will result from his conduct. The degree of the assault by auto depends on the nature of the victim’s injury. For example, it’s a crime of the fourth degree if the victim suffers serious bodily injury and only a disorderly persons offense if bodily injury results.

Assault by Auto should be considered and compared to New Jersey’s Death by Auto and Vehicular Homicide statute which apply when a person recklessly causes the death of another with a motor vehicle or vessel.

The Bianchi Law Group, LLC

The Bianchi Law Group is made up of former trial prosecutors and other “of counsel” attorneys who have handled the investigations and prosecutions of most crimes in New Jersey and will defend you for all federal and state crimes in New Jersey including Assault by Auto.

Former Assault by Auto Prosecutors

Founding Partner and Former Morris County Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi has returned to private practice after running the operations of the entire Morris County Prosecutor’s Office having served as the Morris County Prosecutor for 5 and 1/2 years (2007-2013). Mr. Bianchi was appointed as the Morris County Prosecutor by the Governor of the State of New Jersey and unanimously confirmed by the New Jersey Senate in 2007. While serving as the Morris County Prosecutor, Mr. Bianchi ran the entire office’s operations, inclusive of all of its attorneys, detectives, and support staff with a budget of approximately 11 million dollars. His innovative programs and approach have led to numerous awards from State, Local, Municipal, business, and private entities. Robert Bianchi served on the Executive Board of the County Prosecutors’ Association and was one of the few prosecutors in many years to actually argue cases, motions, and sentences in court, and actually tried a murder case himself, which is extremely rare for a sitting county prosecutor.

Mr. Bianchi was previously a Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor (1989-1996) and thereafter a partner in the law firm Bianchi & Bianchi (1996-2007). Robert was one of the few attorneys in the State who qualified to handle death penalty cases when New Jersey had the death penalty.

Partner David J. Bruno has also returned to private practice after serving as Morris County Assistant Prosecutor (2007-2013). As an assistant prosecutor, Mr. Bruno prosecuted murder, major crimes, white collar, internal affairs, domestic violence, elderly abuse and assault by auto cases. Additionally, Mr. Bruno handled fraud and Major Crimes investigations and successfully tried a wide variety of trials including securing convictions for several high profile murder cases.

As an Assistant Prosecutor, David Bruno was assigned to the Major Crimes and Vehicular Homicide Unit where he investigated and supervised investigations of suspicious deaths caused by vehicles. Mr. Bruno was responsible for responding to crimes scenes, obtaining warrants for blood and vehicles, making charging decisions and handling the prosecutions of these cases to trial.

In December 2012, then Prosecutor Bianchi and Assistant Prosecutor Bruno worked together to secure a murder conviction against Jose Feliciano for the violent death of Father Edward Hinds in at St. Patrick’s Church in Chatham, New Jersey. Mr. Feliciano was sentenced to life without parole.

Together, Robert A. Bianchi, David J. Bruno and other “of counsel” attorneys make up an aggressive, ethical, and results-oriented New Jersey Criminal Defense firm who handle all criminal, municipal and DUI/DWI cases in New Jersey including Assault by Auto cases.

Certified Criminal Trial Attorneys by the New Jersey Supreme Court

Partners Robert A. Bianchi and David J. Bruno are also both certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a criminal trial Attorneys.

In New Jersey, the New Jersey Supreme Court has a certification committee which classifies certain New Jersey Lawyers as Certified Trial Attorneys. The process requires the prospective attorneys to satisfy a strict criteria including extensive jury trials, a primary focus in criminal law, an application submission, a peer review process, a character and background check and to pass a written examination. Only 250 of over 93,000 lawyers (less than 1%) are designated as certified criminal trial attorneys by the New Jersey Supreme Court. This should be an important factor in finding a New Jersey criminal defense attorney to represent you. Many New Jersey Lawyers describe themselves as trial attorneys but most do not have the New Jersey Court’s distinction as Certified Criminal Trial Attorney.

Assault by Auto statutory enhancements

Subsections C(2) and C(3) elevate an Assault by Auto to a third degree crimes under certain circumstances.

C(2) and C(4) elevate the Assault by Auto in certain circumstances where the driver was driving under the influence, in violation of 39:4-50. In certain circumstances, the assault by auto may even be a second degree exposing the driver to 10 years in New Jersey state prison.

When the victim of an Assault by Auto Dies

When the victim dies in a car crash, as opposed to serious bodily injury or bodily injury, the Government has many charging options which may be applicable. The most serious crime is Murder; Murder is typically charged when the driver uses their vehicle as a weapon and intentionally runs another person over. This is a very rare situation.

Some of the more common charges when the victim dies are Aggravated Manslaughter, Reckless Manslaughter or Death by Auto. These charges do not require an intent, purpose or knowledge to kill.

Assault by Auto Degrees and Penalties in New Jersey

Crimes in the second degree range can be punishable from 5 years to 10 years in New Jersey State prison. Crimes in the third degree range can be punishable from 3 years to 5 years in the New Jersey State prison. Crimes in the 4th degree range can be punishable up to 18 months in New Jersey State prison. Disorderly persons offenses can be punishable up to 6 months in the County Jail.

As with any other offense where a motor vehicle was used, the Sentencing Judge has the authority to postpone, suspend, or revoke for a period not to exceed two years the driver’s license, registration certificate, or both of any person convicted of a crime, disorderly persons offense, or petty disorderly persons offense. 2C:43-2(c).

The Sentencing Judge may also order fines and restitution as prescribed by 2C:43-3 for all convictions to Assault by Auto.

Trial Ready New Jersey Criminal Lawyers

Like in all of our cases handled at the Bianchi Law Group, our experienced staff of trial attorneys and “of counsel” attorneys are there to make sure the Government can prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. If our attorneys cannot resolve the case with a dismissal or a fair and just plea bargain, our lawyers at The Bianchi Law Group will not hesitate to select a jury and take the case to trial. That is what we do and what distinguishes us from other attorneys. We are former prosecutors, trial tested, and certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as certified criminal trial attorneys… We will not hesitate to go to trial.

Contact Us Today for a Free Initial Consultation

Contact Former Morris County Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi, Esq. and David J. Bruno, Esq. at The Bianchi Law Group, LLC online or call (862) 210-8570 to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced New Jersey Defense Attorney.

At The Bianchi Law Group, we will take care to provide you Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases.

New Jersey Supreme Court - Certified Attorney
National Italian American Bar Association
National Italian American Bar Association 2
Avvo Rating - 10.0 Superb - Top Attorney Criminal Defense
New Jersey Association for Justice
New Jersey State Bar Association
Order Sons of Italy in America


4 York Avenue, 2nd Floor
West Caldwell, New Jersey, 07006
Phone: 862-210-8570

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