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New Jersey Simple Assault Lawyer

A conviction for a violent criminal offense can have a long-standing impact on your future. Such a conviction, even for a relatively minor charge, can limit your job opportunities in the future as many employers screen for these convictions.  

Charges for offenses including simple assault are anything but simple. Though this charge is generally considered a disorderly persons offense, anyone convicted could face fines and jail time.

If you or a loved one are facing a criminal charge, contact a New Jersey simple assault lawyer today. Your criminal defense attorney can protect your rights during law enforcement’s investigation, and defend you in and out of court. Contact a qualified defense attorney today to discuss your case.

Simple Assault Charges in New Jersey

Most states refer to criminal charges as either misdemeanors (less serious offenses) or felonies (more serious crimes).

In New Jersey, state law defines criminal offenses as petty disorderly persons offenses, disorderly persons offenses, and indictable criminal offenses. Both types of disorderly persons offenses are similar to misdemeanor crimes in other states because they are less serious offenses.

An indictable criminal offense is similar to a felony in that it is a more serious charge, and can lead to harsher penalties upon conviction. Many simple assault charges are disorderly persons offenses.

However, when people are involved in mutually consensual fights or scuffles, they would likely face a petty disorderly persons offense rather than a more serious disorderly persons offense.

According to New Jersey Rev. Stat. § 2C:12-1, someone is guilty of assault if they attempt to cause or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to another; or negligently cause bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or attempt by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

What does this law mean? If someone intends to hurt another person, they could face a simple assault charge. For example, if someone punches someone else causing bodily harm, the attacker may face a simple assault charge.  An attacker could face this same charge if they did not actually intend to hurt the other person, but were acting recklessly resulting in injury.

In fact, acting negligently (failing to take reasonable care to prevent injury to another) with a deadly weapon could also lead to a simple assault charge if someone gets hurt.

Finally, someone who threatens another with imminent harm could face a simple assault charge. For example, if someone threatens to strike another person in a way that would cause serious injury.

Penalties for Simple Assault Conviction

Someone convicted of a simple assault disorderly persons offense could face the following penalties:

  • Up to six months in jail (up to 30 days for a mutual fight petty disorderly persons offense)
  • Fines up to $1,000
  • Other courts costs and assessed fines
  • Probation
  • In domestic violence cases, an additional fine of $100
  • For more serious assault charges, such as second-degree assault or aggravated assault, penalties increase upon conviction. Anyone charged with assault should contact a New Jersey simple assault lawyer as soon as possible.

    How a New Jersey Simple Assault Lawyer Can Help

    If you are facing any type of assault or related charge, contact a New Jersey simple assault lawyer today. Your attorney will work hard to defend you, and help you avoid conviction when possible.