Legal Blog

How to Handle a DWI After a Car Accident in New Jersey

Author Clark & Noonan, LLC
Posted June 16, 2017
Category Criminal Defense

Wall New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys serving Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County and all surrounding NJ areas.


Posted: January 9, 2017

When police officers respond to a motor vehicle accident, they will do a standard preliminary investigation. The goal of the investigation is to determine how the accident occurred. As part of this initial investigation, an officer may interview witnesses and/or attempt to speak with one of the drivers involved in the accident.

Sometimes, after a motor vehicle accident, an officer believes that the operator of one of the motor vehicles was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When this occurs, officers will ask the person to perform field sobriety tests.

These tests may include:

  • Standing on one leg
  • Walking a straight line
  • Turning around
  • An eye test widely known as HGN

Obviously, an individual who was injured in a motor vehicle accident and needs medical treatment will not be asked to perform these tests.

If an individual is intoxicated and gets into a motor vehicle accident and hurts another person, that individual may be charged with assault by auto. Assault by auto is an indictable offense, which means it will be handled in the Monmouth County Superior Court. Assault by auto is a crime that occurs when an individual is involved in a motor vehicle accident while they are operating their vehicle in a reckless manner.

Recklessness will be established by the specific facts and circumstances—however, a jury may be able to presume that the individual was driving their vehicle in a reckless manner if they find that the individual was operating his or her vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Specific factual defenses to the charges of DWI and assault by auto may exist, depending upon the facts and circumstances.

If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI in Wall Township, New Jersey or with assault by auto after a motor vehicle accident, call our law firm day or night at 732-303-7857. Our attorneys have handled many DWI and assault by auto matters in Wall Township, Monmouth County Superior Court and many other courts throughout the state of New Jersey.

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