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Assault by auto charge becomes vehicular homicide after man dies

If it is alleged that a New Jersey driver is at fault for injuring someone in an accident, they are likely to be charged. This is particularly true if the person is suspected of drunk driving at the tiem of the accident as well. If the victim's injuries are serious enough, then the charges could change if the injured person's condition takes a turn for the worse.

That's what happened with a woman who was involved in a Bergen County accident recently. According to police, she was driving when the wheel of her SUV made contact with the bicycle of a 61-year-old man. He was knocked off the bike and hit his head on the pavement. As a result, the woman was charged with assault by auto. Prosecutors also said the woman was driving under the influence at the time of the accident.

However, the man who was struck passed away as a result of his injuries a few days later. Thus, prosecutors elected to charge her with vehicular homicide. The charge, obviously, is much more serious. Initially, the woman was released on $15,000 bail; however, with the upgraded charge, the bail amount was increased to $125,000.

It might seem that someone in this position is without hope and might be resigned to his or her fate. However, everyone in New Jersey who is charged with a crime, no matter how serious it might be, is entitled to mount a defense and have his or her case heard in court.

Source: CBS New York, "Charges Upgraded Against Alleged Drunken Driver After NJ Victim Dies," May 12, 2014

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