I had a great result in the New Brunswick Municipal Court today. My client was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and careless driving. The defendant had one prior conviction for leaving the scene. Therefore, the defendant was exposes to the enhanced penalty provisions of NJSA 39:4-129. If convicted of a second offense under subsection (a) of the statute (injury), the accused will permanently forfeit their license (that means a lifetime suspension). In addition, there is the real possibility of jail with second offenses.
Although the victim was injured, the injuries were not “serious.” Nonetheless, a civil suit was pending. This actually helped in this scenario. We conferenced the matter with the prosecutor, and by the end of the conference, the state recommended that the leaving the scene of an accident summons be dismissed, and that the defendant plead guilty to the careless driving offense (2 points, $100 fine).
This outcome was achieved through careful planning and preparation. There are a number of legal issues present when a victim has a pendant matter in the civil courts, especially a PI case. The various strategies employed in these situations require legal training. But it is often not in the best interest of the victim to testify during the municipal court proceeding, as it may adversely affect the civil case.
This is not always the scenario, and you should contact an experienced lawyer for a consultation regarding your particular offense. But with a some careful planning and preparation, I was able to achieve a result that my client was extraordinarily pleased with.