Sea Girt Lawyer

Penalties for Leaving the Scene of a Car Accident

Juvenile HandcuffIn New Jersey, leaving the scene of a car accident (also called a “hit and run”) can result in serious fines and possible jail time depending on the severity and circumstances surrounding the incident.  If you are in an accident involving other people, you must stop immediately and give your name to the other driver, a police officer, a witness or someone injured in the incident.  If nobody else is present, the least a driver is supposed to do is to leave a note on the damaged property with his or her name and address on it and then go to the nearest police station to report the accident. Even when your car is the only vehicle involved in an accident, if any property damage results, leaving the scene after the accident is unlawful.

The penalties for leaving the scene of an accident can be significant, regardless of the amount of damage caused.  If an accident results in damage to any property or vehicle (including the driver’s own car), punishment for a conviction can be a fine ranging from $200 to $400, possible jail time for up to three months, and the loss of your driver’s license for up to six months.  However if the accident results in the injury or death of a person, the penalties are more severe.  The driver can be fined between $2,500 and $5,000, can receive jail time of six months, and can lose his or her license for one year from the date of conviction if he or she leaves the scene without reporting it.  In addition to the above penalties, the driver will also have points added to his or her driver’s record: 2 points if there are no injuries involved in the accident and 8 points are added if there were injuries involved.  If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, Villani & DeLuca can assist you with your defense.  Contact our experienced Sea Girt Municipal Court attorneys today at 732-965-3350.

Applying for Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI)

Depending on the type of offense, first-time offenders in New Jersey may avoid harsh penalties if they participate in a program known as Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI).  This program is designed to give first-time offenders the opportunity to receive treatment rather than being subjected to prosecution.  Anyone charged with an indictable offense in Superior Court is eligible to apply for Pre-Trial Intervention.

Applications to PTI should be made as early as possible to the Criminal Division Office in the county where the criminal charge is filed.  The application may not be made more than twenty-eight days after indictment.  The application process includes an interview with the defendant, which is performed by a staff member of the Criminal Division of the Superior Court.  A report is then prepared detailing whether the applicant is admitted into or rejected from the PTI program.  This report is forwarded to the prosecutor and the defendant’s attorney.  If the defendant is not accepted into PTI, the applicant may appeal the decision to the presiding judge in the Criminal Division.

Divorce Mediation vs. Litigation

Once a decision to end a marriage has been made, there are several different methods a couple can use to effectuate their divorce.  Litigation has been the traditional method of getting a divorce.  In recent years, however, less adversarial methods of getting divorced have become more popular.  One such method is mediation.  Mediation is often used in divorce proceedings when both members of the couple want to maintain control of the divorce process.  During the mediation process, the parties meet with an experienced mediator who works with the parties to settle the issues between them, including child custody, the division of property and assets and issues relating to spousal support.  There are many advantages to using mediation in a divorce instead of litigation: it saves both time and money by avoiding a lengthy court process; it is fair to all involved since the mediator is a neutral third-party; and it is confidential since there is no record from a public court process.

Parties to a divorce can voluntarily choose mediation at any time to avoid the time and cost of a divorce before a court.  Additionally, New Jersey courts can issue an Order to Mediate requiring parties in a divorce to attend a mediation session.  Under this scenario, the parties attend the first hour-long mediation session without incurring any costs and then split the remaining cost of the mediation.  If you are going through a divorce, Villani & DeLuca’s Sea Girt divorce lawyers can advise you on the various options available to best effectuate your divorce. Call our experienced family law attorneys today at 732-965-3350 for a free consultation.

Experienced Sea Girt Attorneys

The law firm of Villani & DeLuca represents clients throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties.  Our attorneys have a wide range of experience in the practice areas of criminal defense, family law and DWI.  If you have a need for an attorney to assist you in a criminal matter, a divorce or other family law matter or if you need a defense for a DWI charge or other traffic matters, you should contact us for a free consultation by calling 732-965-3350.