I never get over individuals who snap and decide to use their car as a weapon. This is precisely what was reported by the Home News recently about a Plainfield man. The assailant swerved into his girlfriend’s vehicle on Route 22, sending the car into a spin. A police officer happened to be in the area and witnessed the incident. The rogue driver has been charged with Aggravated Assault and Reckless Driving.
N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b), the Aggravated Assault Statute, defines this offense to include attempting to cause serious bodily injury…under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life. A second degree aggravated assault carries up to ten years in jail. There is also a charge of Reckless Driving under N.J.S.A. 39:4-96. Although this charge is clearly secondary, a conviction can nevertheless give rise to license suspension and up to six months in jail.
The accused in this case is going to have a difficult time defending this matter by virtue of numerous factors including his poor luck; the arresting officer apparently witnessed the entire encounter. The focus will undoubtedly have to be on the nature of the intended injuries, his state of mind, and other potential avenues to establish that this is a third degree aggravated assault as opposed to a second degree. Provided the accused has no prior criminal record, a third degree conviction and/or plea should allow him to avoid jail time.