It all depends on what you were doing at the time of the accident. Were you operating your vehicle while under the influence of drugs or engaging in reckless or distracted behavior? Did the incident occur as a result of you violating one or more traffic laws? While most pedestrian-related accidents won’t end with an individual going to jail, there is a possibility you could face jail time if you were guilty of committing a criminal offense at the time the incident transpired.
As a driver in the State of New Jersey, there are certain laws you are required to abide to help keep everyone that shares the road with you safe. For example, “the driver of a vehicle must stop and stay stopped for a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk” and under most circumstances, must “yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection” [Source: The State of New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety]. Drivers who fail to observe this law will likely be subject to one or more of the following penalties:
- Two points
- $200 fine
- 15 days of community service
- Insurance surcharges
You may also be subject to additional penalties if you hit and injure a pedestrian as a result of you violating this law. Some other laws you are required to abide by as a driver in the State of New Jersey that, when violated, could result in you being faced with penalties and even jail time include:
- You must remain at the scene of an accident if you hit and injure a pedestrian. In the State of New Jersey, it is illegal for you to knowingly leave the scene of an accident that resulted in serious bodily injury to another person. This offense carries various penalties including a maximum fine of $1,000 and/or 180 days in prison [Source: J.S.A. 39:4129(a)]. You may also be subject to having your driving privileges suspended for one year if you are found guilty of committing this crime.
- You cannot operate your vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you were intoxicated at the time you hit a pedestrian in Jersey City, NJ and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level was 0.08% or higher but less than 0.10% and it was your first offense, you could be faced with the following penalties:
- A fine of $250-$400.
- Having to serve up to 30 days in jail.
- Having to spend a minimum of six hours a day for two consecutive days in an Intoxicated Driver Resource Center.
- Faced with an automobile insurance surcharge of $1,000 a year for three years.
- You may also be faced with additional penalties if the accident resulted in the injury or death of another or your BAC level was 0.10% or higher.
- You must operate your vehicle in a safe manner. If you are guilty of operating your vehicle recklessly and you hit a pedestrian in the process, you could be sentenced to 60 days in jail or even longer depending on whether the pedestrian suffered injuries [Source: N.J.S.A. 39:4-96].
As you can see, there are times when a driver may be required to serve time in jail if they hit a pedestrian in Jersey City given they are convicted of a crime. If you were charged with a criminal offense as a result of hitting a pedestrian in Jersey City, NJ, you should consider retaining a criminal defense attorney to defend you. While the State may push for jail time and other punishments for the crime you have been accused of committing, it doesn’t mean you will actually have to serve any time given you hire an experienced and aggressive defense lawyer.
Attorney Eric M. Mark has a great deal of experience with handling criminal cases and could potentially get your charges dropped or reduce so that your penalties don’t include you having to spend time behind bars. If you are interested in learning more about how a criminal defense attorney in Jersey City, NJ can help you, contact the Law Office of Eric M. Mark today at 201-713-2227.
Tips for Preventing an Accident with a Pedestrian in the Future
To help you avoid a similar accident in the future, The State of New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety encourages you to follow these tips when driving:
- Stop for pedestrians in marked crosswalks.
- Watch for pedestrians when making a right turn at a red light.
- Always obey the speed limit.
- Never block or park in crosswalks.
- Keep your windshield clean for maximum visibility.
- Always be alert for pedestrians.
Ready to discuss the recent accident you were involved in with a legal representative who can provide you with the advice and guidance you might be needing? If so, give us a call or visit us at our Jersey City office.
The Law Office of Eric M. Mark is located at:
Jersey City Office
121 Newark Avenue, Suite 515
Jersey City, NJ 07302