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New Jersey First-Degree Assault Lawyer

Dealing with any sort of criminal charge can be a scary experience. When the charge is as serious as first-degree assault, the danger is even greater. Your liberty is at stake. It is critical to get legal advice from attorneys who have specific expertise and experience in dealing with felony charges.

Being incarcerated, even for a relatively short period of time, can destroy a person’s life. Also, an individual with a criminal conviction on their record can be limited in what kinds of jobs and opportunities are available.

That is why it is of the utmost importance that an individual get in contact with a New Jersey first-degree assault lawyer. A skilled assault attorney can defend a person from charges they may face and will work hard to build their case.

Legal Definition of Assault

Under New Jersey law, assault means that a person injured or attempted to injure another person without legal justification. The seriousness of the potential penalty is determined by several factors, including the extent of the physical harm to the accuser and whether the defendant used a weapon or other object.

Another factor is whether the accuser is provided special protection by state law, such as police officers, firefighters, or emergency response personnel.

If a court finds that the alleged assailant used a deadly weapon, or that they “manifested extreme indifference to the value of human life,” then the assailant could be looking at many years behind bars.

Every American is protected by the Bill of Rights. Every American is presumed innocent, and the government must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

It is very important to get advice from experienced attorneys who know the criminal law inside and out, and who know how to use the individual’s Constitutional rights, as well as the rules of criminal procedure and evidence, as forcefully as possible.

Possible Defenses Against Assault Charges

In defending against a charge like assault, it is important to highlight the context in which the event occurred, putting all facts in the light most favorable to the accused.

Perhaps the defendant was acting in self-defense, insofar as they had a reasonable belief that physical force was about to be used by the other person.

Another possible defense is the fighting words argument. If the accuser of the assault was being verbally abusive in a highly personal way, the defendant’s lawyer can contend that a reasonable person would have been pushed to the breaking point.

It is important to consider the strength of the state’s evidence – for example, were there any witnesses to the alleged assault? Knowledgeable attorneys will know when the best course of action is to stand firm and try to get the charges dismissed, or whether to seek a plea agreement.

How a New Jersey Assault Attorney Can Help

The best outcome for any type of charge is dismissal, leaving the person without a criminal record. If a dismissal is not in the cards, then the next best thing would be a plea to a municipal ordinance, which will preclude one from sustaining the stigma that an offense attaches to one's record, although typically a fine will be imposed.

If restitution for the accuser’s medical expenses and emotional distress is called for, it should be made before sentencing, as this can be a powerful mitigating factor before the judge at sentencing.

If you are facing a serious criminal charge such as first-degree assault, you owe it to yourself and your family to get advice from lawyers who have worked in the criminal courts for years, and who know how to work aggressively to defend their clients’ rights.