How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Zoey_ JD Your Own Question

Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16821
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
18321761
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Zoey_ JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello, I have a friend who just got charged with DUI in

Resolved Question:

Hello,

I have a friend who just got charged with DUI in Paramus NJ. Legal Limit is .08, his level was .20. He was driving a rental car because his car was in the shop. There was also an accident at scene. He did not know the person he got into an accident with. Can he recieve an Assault by Auto charge during the hearing. This is his 1st offense. How much should he pay for a lawyer.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello Jacustomer,

Here is the statute for Assault by Auto in New Jersey.

2C:12-1c(1) A person is guilty of assault by auto or vessel when the person drives a vehicle or vessel recklessly and causes either serious bodily injury or bodily injury to another. Assault by auto or vessel is a crime of the fourth degree if serious bodily injury results and is a disorderly persons offense if bodily injury results.

(2) Assault by auto or vessel is a crime of the third degree if the person drives the vehicle while in violation of 39:4-50 or 39:4-50.4a [these are the DUI statutes] and serious bodily injury results and is a crime of the fourth degree if the person drives the vehicle while in violation of 39:4-50 or 39:4-50.4a and bodily injury results.

(3) Assault by auto or vessel is a crime of the second degree if serious bodily injury results from the defendant operating the auto or vessel while in violation of 39:4-50 or 39:4-50.4a while:

(a) on any school property used for school purposes which is owned by or leased to any elementary or secondary school or school board, or within 1,000 feet of such school property;

(b) driving through a designated school crossing

(c) driving through a non-designated school crossing knowing that juveniles are present.

Assault by auto or vessel is a crime of the third degree if bodily injury results from the defendant operating the auto or vessel in violation of this paragraph.

So whether he can be charged with an assault by auto will depend upon the condition of the driver of the other vehicle. If he sustains injuries, or sustains serious injuries, this potentially can be a very serious charge for your friend. A crime of the third degree in NJ, for example (intoxicated driver and the victim was injured seriously) can carry a sentence from 3 to 5 years in prison and a hefty fine of up to $15,000. A crime of the 4th degree is up to 18 months in jail. Probation is potentially available for either offense if he wants a plea.

He should have a lawyer because although the DUI itself is not an indictable offense in NJ and only carries a maximum jail possibility of 30 days, how serious this case will be is as yet unknown and can get very serious, indeed, as I've indicated already above and as you can see for yourself in the statute.

Lawyers charge by the amount of time they figure that they will have to spend on the case, how serious the case is, and whether it's likely to be resolved by a quick plea or go all the way to trial. Lawyer fees vary all over the country, but the average attorney bills out his services at at least $200/hour and more in some parts of the country.

So if this turns out to be indictable he can expect to pay several thousand dollars for a defense lawyer, while if it goes forward only as a DUI (a disorderly person's offense in NJ), the charge would be signifcantly less.

The New Jersey State Bar Association's Legal Referral service can give you a more specific ballpark figure for your part of the country. From there, for a fee, they can also refer him to an attorney. The referral is around $50 and includes a free half hour consultation with the lawyer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The gentleman who he got in an accident with had no serious injuries. He just went to the hospital to get his whiplash, minor cuts to be checked out. My friend spoke to an attorney and was quoted $10k. Is that too much

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

It sounds a bit high to me, unless your friend wants to try the case. But the case also sounds like an indictable offense.

The other driver does have injuries and your friend had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his bloodstream. So, assuming that the other driver's condition does not worsen, which it can do, he's looking at least at a felony of the 4th degree. And, of course, on a different front, he may face civil liabilities as well, which may have been factored into the lawyer's quote as well.

I would do some comparative shopping, but as I've said, this case can get serious, and he may end up having to spend real money to get himself a decent defense lawyer who can protect him in criminal court while doing damage control on the civil front as well in case he's sued..
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16821
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Zoey_ JD and 4 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
< Last | Next >
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/retiredlawyer/2012-6-6_19326_franL.64x64.jpg Fran L.'s Avatar

    Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    2079
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NA/nathanmoorelaw/2011-5-31_21375_headshotbig.64x64.jpg Nate's Avatar

    Nate

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1625
    Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1434
    30 years legal experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/philip.simmons/2012-6-7_161915_BIGPhilipSimmons.64x64.jpg P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1418
    16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1380
    Licensed attorney with 27 yrs. exp. in criminal law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RO/RobertJDFL/2012-6-6_175352_7538220120606.64x64.jpg RobertJDFL's Avatar

    RobertJDFL

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1300
    Experienced in multiple areas of the law.