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Texting and Driving in NJ Can Lead to Jail or Prison Time

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In 2012, New Jersey's cell phone and driving law was amended. The Amendment was named the “Kulesh, Kuberts, and Bolis Law.”

It allows for criminal liability for drivers whose cell phone use (texting, talking or emailing) causes death or serious bodily injury. The amendment makes it clear that illegally using a cell phone when driving can amount to "recklessness" under New Jersey's vehicular homicide (N.J.S.A.2C:11-5) and assault by auto (N.J.S.A.2C:12-1) statutes.

In other words, if you use a cell phone when driving and cause an accident or hit somebody, you may be charged with vehicular homicide and/or assault by auto. 

Under New Jersey criminal law, vehicular homicide is a crime of the second degree, which is punishable by prison time of 5 to 10 years, and a fine of up to $150,000. Assault by auto is a crime of the fourth degree when serious bodily injury occurs, and may result in jail time of up to 18 months. 

The law was passed in response to recent deaths and serious injuries due to tragic and senseless texting and driving accidents in New Jersey. 

Toni Bolis and her full-term unborn baby were killed when a young man using his cell phone veered into her lane of travel causing a head-on collision that fractured many of the vertebrae in her spine.

Mrs. Kulesh was an elderly woman who was walking across the street when she was killed by a driver who was texting.

The Kuberts became amputees after their motorcycle was hit by a texting driver. In each of these cases, New Jersey law did not allow the drivers to be charged criminally. That all changed with the 2012 amendment; you can go to jail if you use a cell phone when driving and cause an accident. 

Driving is a privilege, not a right. Please don't use your cell phone when driving. It can wait. If it can't wait, pull over to a safe area like a parking lot before using your cell phone. You may just save an innocent person's life and avoid ruining yours. 

Suggested articleNJ Law Banning Cell Phone Use & Driving - Criminal Liability

**DISCLAIMER: This website does not provide any legal advice or create any attorney-client relationship. Each case is unique and requires review by a qualified attorney. 

Category: Car and Truck Accidents


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