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Driving While Intoxicated and causing injuries to another is a criminal offense, Assault by Auto under N.J.S. 2C:12-1c. Criminal offenses are heard in the County Superior Court, not the local Municipal Court.

In addition to the penalties for the underlying DWI offense, the defendant is exposed to criminal sentencing if convicted, either for a 3rd-degree crime of assault by auto if “serious bodily injury results” (3 to 5 years in prison) or a 4th-degree crime if mere “bodily injury results” (up to 18 months in prison). There are non-jail alternatives, such as probation or pre-trial-intervention. These dispositions are dependent on many factors, including the seriousness of the injuries and the defendant’s prior criminal and motor vehicle history.

—Greggory Marootian, Esq., NJ DWI & Municipal Court Specialist