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Endangering an Injured Victim

It is a separate criminal offense, titled “Endangering an Injured Victim”, when an individual causes injury to another, directly or indirectly, and fails to provide necessary care. And it is important to keep in mind that a 2C:12-1.2 offense is an independent charge from a related aggravated assault offense. The following is a summary of the important aspects of the this law as summarized by our New Brunswick Assault Offense Defense Lawyers. If you would like to speak to an attorney directly, contact us in New Brunswick at 732-246-7126.

New Jersey Endangering an Injured Victim Law: N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.2

The law we are referring to is contained at N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.2. This statute provides as follows:

2C:12-1.2   Endangering an injured victim.

1. Endangering an injured victim.  a.  A person is guilty of endangering an injured victim if he causes bodily injury to any person or solicits, aids, encourages, or attempts or agrees to aid another, who causes bodily injury to any person, and leaves the scene of the injury knowing or reasonably believing that the injured person is physically helpless, mentally incapacitated or otherwise unable to care for himself.

b. As used in this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) “Physically helpless” means the condition in which a person is unconscious, unable to flee, or physically unable to summon assistance;

(2) “Mentally incapacitated” means that condition in which a person is rendered temporarily or permanently incapable of understanding or controlling one’s conduct, or of appraising or controlling one’s condition, which incapacity shall include but is not limited to an inability to comprehend one’s own peril;

(3) “Bodily injury” shall  have the meaning set forth in N.J.S.2C:11-1.

c. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for a violation of this section that the defendant summoned medical treatment for the victim or knew that medical treatment had been summoned by another person, and protected the victim from further injury or harm until emergency assistance personnel arrived.  This affirmative defense shall be proved by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence.

d. A person who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree.  Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:1-8 or any other provision of law, a conviction arising under this subsection shall not merge with a conviction of the crime that rendered the person physically helpless or mentally incapacitated, nor shall such other conviction merge with a conviction under this section.  Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:44-5 or any other provision of law, the sentence imposed pursuant to this section shall be ordered to be served consecutively to that imposed for any conviction of the crime that rendered the person physically helpless or mentally incapacitated.

e. Nothing herein shall be deemed to preclude, if the evidence so warrants, an indictment and conviction for murder, manslaughter, assault or any other offense.

Explanation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.2. The gist of this law is that someone cannot directly or indirectly cause bodily injury to another and leave the victim when he or she is in a physically helpless state or mentally incapacitated. Several definitions are necessary in order to understand what this statute entails. “Bodily injury” is defined under 2C:11-1 as causing physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition. In addition, a person is “physically helpless” when the victim is unconscious, unable to leave the scene, or physically unable to summon assistance.  “Mentally incapacitated” means that the victim is rendered temporarily or permanently incapable of understanding or controlling one’s conduct, or of appraising or controlling one’s condition, which incapacity shall include, but is not limited to, an ability to comprehend one’s own peril.

Affirmative Defense. It is an affirmative defense to a 2C:12-1.2 charge that the defendant summoned medical treatment for the victim or knew that medical treatment had been summoned by another person, and protected the victim  from further injury or harm until emergency assistance personnel arrived.

Penalties for Endangering an Injured Victim

It is a third degree crime to endanger an injured victim. An individual found guilty of this offense under 2C:12-1.2 is exposed to five (5) years in prison, $15,000 in potential fines, restitution and/or probation. It is also important to keep in mind that since this is an independent offense the assault that caused the defendant’s injury, the two charges do not merge at the time of conviction and sentencing.

New Brunswick NJ Defense Attorneys Are Available to Assist You Now

Endangering an injured victim is a serious offense in the State of New Jersey and something no one should face without representation.  At The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have over 100 years of collective experience defending criminal charges at the Superior Court in New Jersey, including third degree crimes like this one.  So if you or someone you know has been charged with endangering an injured victim, please do not hesitate to contact one of our Middlesex County locations today for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.