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Former Long Branch Cop Sentenced to Jail Time for Fatal DWI

Monmouth County NJ DWI Defense AttorneysAs reported by nj.com, former police detective Jake Pascucci has been sentenced to a year in County Jail for his part in a 2017 DWI fatality. Pascucci was off-duty at the time of the incident. The untimely death of a local woman is a tragic and unnecessary loss of life first and foremost. However, it is also an interesting case study showing a new law in effect, and how DWI cases are changing in our state. This case is historically significant, being the first usage of the new New Jersey strict liability vehicular homicide laws passed on July 21st 2017.

Today, our DWI criminal defense attorneys will review the details of this recent sentencing, discuss the implications for future DWI cases in New Jersey, and more.

Long Branch, NJ Detective Sentenced for Vehicular Homicide

In September 2017, 66 year old Karen Borkowski was struck and killed by a 2016 Jeep Cherokee traveling southbound on Ocean Boulevard in Long Branch, NJ. Borkowski was pronounced dead on the scene of the incident as a result of her injuries. The driver of the vehicle was off-duty police detective Jake Pascucci. Pascucci was a eight year veteran of the police force, even earning the honor of “Cop of the Month” in 2015.

At the time of the incident, Pascucci had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08, the minimum amount which determines that an individual was legally intoxicated. Earlier this year, Pascucci pleaded guilty as part of a deal in which he would expect to serve between zero (0) and five (5) years in county jail. This deal also allows his attorney, Steve Altman to appeal any sentencing. Altman has already indicated that he intends to appeal the decision and seek a reduced sentence.

Edward Burkowski, Karen’s surviving husband, stated that he was satisfied with the ruling and “I hope it holds up”. The appeal must be entered within 10 days of the decision. Pascucci expressed his regret of the incident in court via a statement which read in part, “Like all people, I’m susceptible to making mistakes. With that being said, I stand before the Borkowski family in this courtroom here to apologize.”

Monmouth County DWI Defense Attorneys Discuss New Strict Liability Laws

Our Monmouth County DWI defense attorneys view this case as a precedent setting event with some key considerations. This is indeed the first usage of the NJ strict liability vehicular homicide statutes, but it is anything but a typical vehicular homicide case. The vehicular homicide regulations were implemented after public outrage surrounding light sentences for DWI vehicular manslaughter and vehicle homicide cases. Previously, third degree convictions for first time offenders would typically carry no incarceration. This new law allows DWI cases where the victim is killed with a new crime distinction: third degree strict liability homicide.

As mentioned previously, Pascucci has received a one (1) year sentence with the potential to have that reduced. This is within the range allowable, but on the lower end. Our Monmouth County criminal defense attorneys expect this not to be a typical case for the following reasons:

  • Pascucci was a first time offender
  • Pascucci was tested at the minimum BAC to be considered legally drunk (one hundredth of a percentage less and the case would have been different)
  • As a police officer and community member, Pascucci showed that he was a responsible and conscientious person leading up to the crime

Facing DWI Charges? Contact our West Long Branch Criminal Defense Attorneys Today

The DWI criminal defense attorneys of Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington have decades of legal experience defending the legal rights of clients across Monmouth County communities including West Long Branch, Freehold, Red Bank, Howell, Asbury Park, Middletown, and all of Central New Jersey. Our team employs a wide variety of tactics to contest the criminal charges leveled against our clients. We have a proven track record of having our clients’ DWI or DUI charges reduced or dismissed.

If your or a loved one are facing criminal charges in New Jersey, please contact us online or call our West Long Branch, NJ office today at (732) 440-3950 for a free and confidential consultation.

Pedestrian Accidents Monmouth County, NJ

New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the U.S. Other than meaning that we may have the most diners per street corner in the world (research yet to be conducted), it also can endanger pedestrians on crowded streets. Car accidents, truck accidents, train accidents, and other motor vehicle accidents can all be devastating when they involve pedestrians. Pedestrian accidents often… Continue Reading

Monmouth County, NJ Personal Injury Depositions

Most personal injury cases result in a settlement outside of the courtroom. This is due to a litany of reasons including both parties wanting to avoid the costs of litigation, the extended timelines, and the risks involved in a court trial. However, even personal injury cases which never are heard by a judge are still serious legal… Continue Reading

Expert Witnesses Used in Monmouth County, NJ Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury claims are not nearly as dramatic as courtroom dramas we see on TV, films, or in John Grisham novels. However, many of the same concepts do translate into real life legal practice. One of those concepts is the usage of expert witnesses. Experts within personal injury cases are primarily used to give sworn testimony as… Continue Reading

Severe Injuries Demand Higher Personal Injury Compensation

No two injuries are exactly alike. This may seem obvious, but the nature and severity of your injuries can have a material impact on the compensation to which you may be entitled through a personal injury claim. Victims of car accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, construction accidents, defective product accidents, and any other type of accident may need to… Continue Reading

Monmouth County, NJ Opioid Crisis Shows Signs of Decline

For many years, Ocean County and Monmouth County, NJ have been considered hotbeds for illegal and dangerous opioid usage. Controlled substances including Oxycontin and Percocet were being abused and distributed at an alarming rate. However, there is reason to believe that these trends are beginning to reverse. As reported in an nj.com article from earlier this week, Ocean and… Continue Reading

Motorcycle Safety Laws in New Jersey

Those who ride motorcycles understand that there is nothing quite like that feeling. The lifestyle, the freedom, the culture, and even the less frequent trips to the gas station are all great reasons to ride in New Jersey. Unfortunately, bikers also assume a greater risk of serious injury or even wrongful death due to the inherent dangers of riding… Continue Reading

What is Considered Workplace Discrimination in New Jersey?

Discrimination law has come a long way in New Jersey and in the U.S. overall. It is unlawful to treat employees differently based on their inherent traits, gender, age, and much more. Still, issues of employee discrimination persist even in the modern workplace. If you have been the victim of discrimination, hostile work environment, or other employer… Continue Reading

What are “Certain Persons” Weapons Charges in NJ?

New Jersey and New York have some of the strictest gun regulations in the U.S. One such regulation is the limitation of “certain persons” from acquiring or owning weapons and/or firearms. Certain persons charges can range from second to fourth degree felonies and carry severe penalties upon conviction. New Jersey lawmakers have put these statutes… Continue Reading

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Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington of West Long Branch, New Jersey, provides representation throughout Monmouth County including Asbury Park, Belmar, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold, Hazlet, Holmdel, Howell, Lake Como, Long Branch, Manalapan, Manasquan, Marlboro Township, Middletown, Neptune, Oakhurst, Ocean Township, Redbank, Shrewsbury, Spring Lake, Tinton Falls, Wall Township, West Long Branch, and Freehold Township; Ocean County including Bayville, Brick, Jackson, Lakewood, Lakewood Township, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant, Point Pleasant Beach, and Toms River; Middlesex County including East Brunswick, Milltown, New Brunswick, Old Bridge Township, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, and Spotswood.

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