New Jersey Assault Lawyer
Being accused of any crime, including assault, can be a difficult and confusing experience. Simply being charged with a crime in New Jersey can bring on many emotions including panic, concern, and apprehension. Some questions a person may have might include:
- What does an assault charge mean?
- What are the potential penalties?
- How can an assault attorney help?
An experienced assault lawyer can assist clients with navigating the criminal justice system. New Jersey attorneys will guide you through the entire process from arraignment, to pre-trial appearances, to a potential trial.
Considering the consequences of a conviction, these assault allegations should be examined, evaluated, and contested at every stage of the proceedings.
New Jersey assault lawyers will work with you on your unique case to protect your rights and fight to provide you with the best defense possible.Defining Assault
Assault in New Jersey is described in NJ Statute 2C:12-1 (2016). Assault comes in three forms in New Jersey. The most basic, known as simple assault, contains three parts, or elements. These are:
- Causing bodily injury to another, either purposely, knowingly or recklessly
- Negligently causing bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon
- Attempting by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious harm
What is important to remember is that an attempt to cause harm to another person, through threats or intimidation, is enough to result in an attempted assault charge. An individual should keep in mind that only one of these elements is necessary for an assault charge to move forward.
A more serious form of assault in New Jersey is aggravated assault. The elements are similar, but generally are more severe. For example, an assault committed with a deadly weapon such as a knife or gun. A charge of aggravated assault can also be brought if the behavior alleged would otherwise be considered simple assault, but the actions were taken under specific circumstances.
A simple assault committed against a police officer, a bus driver, or during a domestic disturbance are three prominent examples where an aggravated assault charge would be applied.
The third form of assault in New Jersey involves reckless driving resulting in the bodily injury of another person. Title 2C Chapter 12 Section 1 provides a full list of these aggravating factors and elements of the charges.
New Jersey assault attorneys are intimately familiar with these factors and can help clients to better understand exactly what these charges mean.Potential Penalties for Assault in New Jersey
The potential penalties for assault are as varied as the degrees of the charges. Most simple assaults are classified as a disorderly person’s offense in New Jersey Law. This category of offense in New Jersey carries a potential penalty of up to six months in jail.
In some cases, if the assault occurred during a mutual fight, the penalty is reduced to no more than 30 days jailtime. Aggravated assault carries harsher penalties.
Depending upon the reason that the assault is considered to be aggravated, the sentences range in severity from a fourth-degree crime to a second-degree crime. Second degree crimes carry a minimum penalty of 10 years in jail with a maximum of 20 years in jail, as stated in NJ Statute 2C:43-7.
Consult with a criminal defense lawyer to gain a better understanding of the potential penalties for assault.Help from an Attorney
If you are charged with simple, aggravated, or vehicular assault in New Jersey, you need to take action to protect your rights.
While simple assault is only considered to be a disorderly person offense, if found guilty, it will remain on your criminal record. More serious crimes like aggravated assault can carry significant jail sentences upon conviction.
New Jersey assault lawyers can help you to fully understand the nature of your charges, and work with you and your unique circumstances to aim for your best possible outcome.