Skip to main content

Exit WCAG Theme

Switch to Non-ADA Website

Accessibility Options

Select Text Sizes

Select Text Color

Website Accessibility Information Close Options
Close Menu
Phillip J. Murphy Attorney at Law New City Criminal Defense Attorney
  • ~
  • Calls answered and returned 24/7

Do You Get A Separate Charge For Each Injured Person After A New Jersey DWI?


You may have heard that New Jersey is one of the few states with no criminal laws against driving while intoxicated (DWI). Although it’s true that the Garden State has decriminalized drunk driving, this is only the case if you committed an offense with no aggravating factors. If you injure someone while driving drunk, you face legitimate criminal offenses in New Jersey. But what happens if you injured multiple people? Can you face a separate count for each injured person?

Single DWI Driver in Elmwood Park Causes Eight-Vehicle Accident 

Drunk drivers cause numerous injuries on a fairly regular basis in New Jersey. If you crash into another vehicle, there’s a good chance that more than one person is inside. You also have to consider the potential for multi-vehicle accidents, which are common in areas of high population density. New Jersey is the most densely populated State in the entire country, with about 1,300 people per square mile. This makes multi-vehicle accidents especially likely in the Garden State.

A multi-vehicle accident of this kind occurred in May of 2024, when a drunk driver caused a multi-vehicle pileup in Elmwood Park. The intoxicated driver of a Honda apparently sparked the accident after illegally crossing a double-yellow line and rear-ending another vehicle. The Honda impacted the other vehicle with such force that the engine was ejected from the vehicle. These engine parts impacted houses and a parked Tesla.

Eight vehicles were impacted by the accident in some way or another, and two of these vehicles were parked. One driver was caught in the wreckage of his own vehicle and had to be extricated. Another two individuals were quickly transported to the nearest hospital. Based on this report, it is safe to say that numerous people were injured.

You Face a Separate Count for Each Person You Injure in a DWI Crash 

You face a separate count for each injured person after a drunken crash in New Jersey. However, there is an important distinction between a “serious injury” and a “bodily injury.” Causing a single bodily injury only results in up to 18 months in prison, while causing a serious bodily injury may lead to up to five years in prison.

There is therefore a strong incentive to show that the injuries you caused were not serious. Of course, it might make more sense to dispute evidence of your intoxication – as this might free you from all criminal consequences.

Find an Experienced DWI Defense Lawyer in New Jersey 

If you’ve been searching for an experienced DWI defense lawyer in New Jersey, look no further than Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney at Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous DWI defendants in New Jersey – including those who face penalties for causing injuries. With our help, you can push back against excessive penalties for numerous counts of DWI with bodily injury. Book your consultation today to get started with a defense strategy.


By submitting this form I acknowledge that form submissions via this website do not create an attorney-client relationship, and any information I send is not protected by attorney-client privilege.

Skip footer and go back to main navigation