NJ Simple Assault and Aggravated Assault Defense Attorney
Experienced Lawyer fighting Assault Charges throughout Bergen, Hudson, Passaic and Essex County, New Jersey.
Most people know the general definition of assault, but the legal definition of assault and aggravated assault are more complicated. If you have been charged with assault or aggravated assault in New Jersey, it is important that you understand exactly what you are being accused of and why.
Many people are surprised to find out that you can be charged with simple assault without ever physically harming another person. According to New Jersey law, N.J.S.A.2C:12-1, simple assault occurs when a person:
- Attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or
- Negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
- Attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
Put more simply, assault can consist of threatening another person while destroying a piece of property near them or causing another person to feel a fear of injury. So a threat of physical violence or contact without actually doing it can be an act of simple assault. A simple assault conviction can result in jail time of up to six months.
In addition, there are increased consequences if the simple assault involves a law enforcement officer, a fireman or any person engaged in emergency medical services. In New Jersey, simple assault can be either a third degree or fourth degree offense resulting in up to five years in prison if it involves an office, fireman or an individual providing emergency medical services.
Aggravated assault is more serious than simple assault and is considered a “felony” in New Jersey and all other states. While simple assault is an attempt to frighten another person with the possibility of physical violence, aggravated assault is generally an attempt to do serious harm to another human. Common examples of aggravated assault include attempts to physically harm, kill, rape, maim, or rob another person. Aggravated assault often involves the use of a deadly weapon, such as a gun, knife, or even car. It is often paired with an attempt to commit another crime or with other reckless, negligent, or illegal behavior.
Depending on the details and circumstances of the aggravated assault, this criminal charge could be considered a fourth degree, third degree, second degree or first degree offense in New Jersey. While one aggravated assault could result in probation or a short jail sentence, a more serious form of aggravated assault, such as an aggravated sexual assault, could result in up to a twenty year prison sentence. Assault charges that are paired with domestic violence or family violence can also have more serious consequences than other forms of assault not involving family or intimate partners.
While every assault and aggravated assault case in New Jersey is different, there are a number of common defenses seen in court. In some cases, the person charged with aggravated assault was defending himself and fought back. In other cases, the person charged with aggravated assault could have been taking part in a consensual fight. Even when it is not possible to prove innocence or dismiss assault charges, it may be possible to receive a lesser charge or a minimal sentence for your charges.
If you have been charged with assault or aggravated assault in New Jersey, a knowledgeable and experienced NJ assault lawyer can listen to your story and help you get through your difficult time with optimal results. Contact us today at 201-791-1333 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a free, private consultation.