New Jersey Aggravated Assault Lawyer
Violent crimes, such as assault and battery, are serious charges no matter what the circumstances are. Even if you were merely trying to defend yourself or someone else, you need an experienced defense lawyer to fight these charges.
An experienced aggravated assault lawyer will advocate for you and your right to self-defense in court. A conviction for aggravated assault can result in a prison sentence, steep fines, and other legal penalties.
Impact of Assault Charges
If convicted of aggravated assault, an individual could also face a great deal of social stigma. A criminal record can follow them for years after conviction, and can impact their life even after their sentence is complete.
The best chance at avoiding conviction is to contact a New Jersey aggravated assault lawyer. While no criminal defense attorney can guarantee a not guilty verdict, an experienced assault defense lawyer can use their knowledge and legal skills to defend them and protect their rights.
Aggravated Assault Defined
Aggravated assault is an indictable criminal offense under New Jersey law. This type of offense is sometimes referred to as a felony. Aggravated assault, like other indictable criminal offenses, is a serious crime.
A conviction for indictable criminal offenses can result in a prison sentence. Depending on the severity of the charge, the penalties for aggravated assault vary between 18 months and ten years in prison.
Simple assault is when someone knowingly, recklessly, or purposefully attempts to cause or causes bodily injury to another. Aggravated assault is similar but the person committing the assault intends to cause serious bodily harm. Often aggravated assault stems from attacks involving deadly weapons.
If a person stabs someone with a knife intentionally causing serious bodily harm or knowing that serious bodily harm is likely to occur, they would likely be charged with aggravated assault.
Types of Offenses
Under state law, merely pointing a firearm at someone, even if the person holding the weapon thought it was unloaded, is considered aggravated assault. Other examples of aggravated assault include:
- Committing simple assault against certain government, utility company, or healthcare workers
- Knowingly or purposefully causing bodily injury by setting a fire or creating an explosion
- Causing bodily injury while fleeing the police
- Causing bodily injury while committing certain crimes
- Knowingly pointing a firearm, or an imitation firearm, at a law enforcement officer
- Using a laser pointer against a law enforcement officer
Penalties for Aggravated Assault Conviction
There are three degrees of aggravated assault in New Jersey, based on the nature and severity of the alleged crime. From most serious to least serious, the degrees are second degree, third degree, and fourth degree. Penalties upon conviction vary for each, and can include:
- Second degree aggravated assault: between five and ten years in prison; a maximum $150,000 fine
- Third degree aggravated assault: between three and five years in prison; a maximum $15,000 fine
- Fourth degree aggravated assault: up to 18 months in prison; a maximum $10,000 fine
The stakes are high for anyone facing an aggravated assault charge. Someone facing this charge, or a related charge, should call a New Jersey aggravated assault lawyer immediately. Violent crimes are aggressively prosecuted throughout the state. A criminal defense lawyer can protect a defendant’s rights during investigation and during the case.
Contacting an Attorney
If you were you recently charged with second, third, or fourth degree aggravated assault in New Jersey, contact an aggravated assault defense lawyer for help.
Can a person get an expungement on an aggravated assault in New Jersey?
Yes, you can get an expungement on an aggravated assault in New Jersey. You may or may not be eligible depending on your record.
First, you have to file a petition for expungement. To do that, you’ll play the waiting game. If you have no indictable offenses on your record, you’ll have to stay out of trouble for 4 years. If these offenses are found on your record, it’s a 6-year wait.
If you’re convicted of a single offense during this period, the clock resets.
You should also know this is only true for NJ aggravated assault charges. Other related crimes, like sexual assault and robbery, make you ineligible for expungement.
Is strangulation a felony in NJ?
Yes, strangulation is a second-degree felony in NJ. Strangulation or obstructing an individual’s airway was merely a simple assault until 2017. Back then, this charge carried a much smaller penalty—up to 6 months of jail time and fines of $1,000.
But today, a strangulation conviction could forever alter the course of your life.
You face a maximum penalty of 10 years in a state penitentiary. The change is a result of legal systems taking a firmer stance against domestic abuse.
How serious is an aggravated assault charge in NJ?
In NJ, aggravated assault is an extremely serious crime. If you’re hit with these charges, every aspect of your future hangs in the balance.
The stigma of being accused is bad enough. Depending on where you live, your community can turn against you in a heartbeat. You may face scrutiny and malice from these people for years to come—even if you plead Not Guilty.
But losing the respect of your family and friends isn’t your biggest worry. If convicted, you face up to 10 years in a state prison and fines up to $150,000. Having this dark mark on your record will impact your career and housing opportunities for years to come.
Hiring a focused and successful New Jersey aggravated assault attorney is the best thing you can do. With an expert in your corner, you stand a real chance of beating these charges and putting this whole mess behind you—once and for all.
What is the statute of limitations on aggravated assault in NJ?
The statute of limitations on aggravated assault in NJ is 5 years from the alleged date of the assault.
In plain English, a person has 5 years from the date of the assault to accuse you. The charges also have to be formally filed within this 5-year period. Otherwise, you can’t be tried for the crime.
Can an aggravated assault case be used to obtain a temporary restraining order in NJ?
Yes, your aggravated assault can be used to obtain a temporary restraining order in NJ.
This is due in large part to the state’s views on domestic violence. In the eyes of the law, victims of domestic violence deserve all the protection they can get.
So, if your aggravated assault case is related to a domestic partner, you can expect a temporary restraining order. Depending on the outcome of your case, it may become a Final Restraining Order. This is designed to create long-term protection for the victim.
Can aggravated assault charges be dropped in NJ?
Yes, aggravated assault charges can be dropped in NJ. A skilled and aggressive New Jersey criminal defense attorney can increase the likelihood of this happening.
The prosecution will drop your charges if they realize there’s little to no evidence. The burden of proof lies with the state, and it’s their job to build a case which supports conviction.
Without enough evidence—or, with enough contradictory evidence—they have no choice but to drop the charges.
But there are situations where your charges can’t be dropped. In this situation, we’ll pursue other solutions. This usually means asking the judge to dismiss your case or reducing your charges through a plea bargain.
How do you defend against an aggravated assault charge?
You can defend against an aggravated assault charge by claiming:
- Self-defense. If you were threatened with force, reasonably afraid for your safety, and had no way to escape, what other choice did you have? This is a common and often successful way to defend against aggravated assault charges.
- Defense of other people. Like self-defense, except you were concerned for other people. Just like with a self-defense claim, there has to be a reasonable cause for your fear.
- Defense of property. This defense means you feared an illegal invasion of or imminent harm to your property. In New Jersey, you have the right to defend yourself from these unlawful intrusions and attacks.
- Consent or duress defense. New Jersey law recognizes both consent and duress defenses. If you committed the crime under duress or the alleged victim consented to these activities, you’ve got a potential defense strategy.
Working with an experienced New Jersey aggravated assault lawyer gives you the best chance of constructing a solid defense. With one of the above scenarios as a strong foundation, your attorney will work to explain the exceptional circumstances of your case.
What are aggravated assault legal options?
The legal options for your aggravated assault depend on the details of your charges. New Jersey has quite a few laws about which crimes are eligible for dismissal, expungement, and plea bargains.
And trying to figure it all out of your own is a Herculean task—to say the least. That’s why contacting a talented New Jersey aggravated assault lawyer should be the very next thing you do.
With an experienced attorney by your side, you’ll never have to wonder if you’re taking the right steps. You can rest easy knowing every potential legal option will be fully explored.
If you or a loved one is facing life-changing consequences from aggravated assault charges, call us anytime. We’re open 24/7 because arrests don’t just happen during business hours. Call the Law Office of John B. Fabriele, III at (732) 487-3223 for your FREE case evaluation.