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Middlesex County Assault Lawyer

New Jersey statutes use the term "assault" to refer to a wide range of offenses. Some are comparatively minor, but others are serious crimes with penalties that include years of imprisonment and substantial fines.

Therefore, if you are facing assault charges in Middlesex County or the surrounding area, it is vital to understand the full nature of those charges and well as the options you have to protect your rights and defend against the allegations. An experienced Middlesex County assault lawyer can explain the charges, devise the most effective defense strategy based on the unique circumstances of your case, and advocate on your behalf at each stage of the proceedings to bring about the best possible result. Speak with a skilled defense attorney and know that you are in good hands.

The Definition of a Simple Assault in Middlesex County

There are three basic assault offenses described in § 2C:12-1 of the New Jersey code: simple assault, aggravated assault, and assault by auto or vessel. Simple assault is a fairly straightforward offense. An individual may face allegations of simple assault for either:

  • Attempting to physically injure another person      
  • Causing physical injury to another person "purposely, knowingly, or recklessly"    
  • Causing physical injury to another with the negligent use of a deadly weapon  
  • Using physical menace to cause another person to fear imminent serious physical injury
How Definitions of Assault Can Impact the Consequences Someone May Face

Under this definition, someone may commit a simple assault completely by accident or may commit an assault without touching another person, if that person is put in fear for their safety.

New Jersey law considers simple assault to be a "disorderly persons offense" in most situations. If the charge resulted from a fight engaged in by mutual consent, then the offense is downgraded to a "petty" disorderly persons offense.

Although these offenses are not technically criminal offenses in New Jersey, they would be considered misdemeanor crimes in most jurisdictions and the penalties can include up to six months of imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000. (See N.J. Rev. Stat. §§2C:43-3 and 2C:43-8.) If the offense is considered petty disorderly persons offense, then the potential sentence is reduced to 30 days of incarceration and a fine of up to $500.

Aggravated Assault Can Take Many Forms

While simple assault is defined by a few different sets of circumstances, the potential situations that can lead to a charge of aggravated assault are much more complex. Some forms of aggravated assault that are common in Middlesex County include situations where someone causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to another person or commits any type of physical injury with the use of a deadly weapon.

If an individual commits a simple assault against a first responder, school employee, or others who are given special protection under the statute, then that simple assault will be considered an aggravated assault. Other examples of aggravated assault include situations where someone causes injury to another by starting a fire, while fleeing a police officer, or in domestic violence situations.

Aggravated assault is considered a serious crime generally ranging from the second through fourth degrees. Although the penalties vary according to the circumstances involved, those convicted may face up to ten years in prison if the offense is treated as a second-degree crime. A Middlesex County assault lawyer could mitigate the severity of the penalties that someone may face.

Assault by Auto or Vessel

The offense of assault by auto or vessel usually occurs when someone injures another while operating a car or boat recklessly. Such recklessness may be inferred if the driver was using a handheld phone. The offense may be treated as a disorderly persons offense if no serious injury or other violation is involved, but in many cases it is considered a third or fourth-degree crime.

Reaching Out to a Middlesex County Assault Attorney

Whether the charge involves a simple assault or a more serious offense, an assault can cause tremendous difficulties with employment, housing, and other aspects of daily life.

Therefore, if you are facing any form of assault charges, it is wise to find out how an experienced Middlesex County assault lawyer can help you fight the charges. To begin building your defense, call today.