Monmouth County Assault Lawyers
Assault Charges Attorneys in New Jersey
Assault is when a person injures or attempts to injure another person without legal justification. Our firm can quickly explain to you the consequences of being charged with assault and can start to put forward a defense to those charges quickly.
There are two main types of assault in New Jersey: simple assault and aggravated assault. The type of assault you are charged with depends on several factors, including the severity of the victim’s injury, whether a weapon was used, and whether the victim is afforded special protection under New Jersey law (e.g. a police officer, nurse or other public officials).
In many states, serious crimes punishable by more than one year in prison are referred to as felonies. New Jersey uses different terminology, calling these offenses “crimes” or “indictable offenses”, with punishments that can include a term of imprisonment ranging from 18 months to 10 years or more. An aggravated assault is a very serious crime in the state of New Jersey and a conviction can result in a lengthy prison sentence, especially if the person has a prior criminal record. Just being charged with aggravated assault could result in a high bail being placed on someone, which would require them to be held if they cannot post bail. Consequences of conviction for aggravated assault also include the loss of certain basic civil rights, including the right to vote, possess a passport, the right to sit on a jury, or own or possess a firearm.
When police arrive on the scene of a fight, it is not unusual for all parties involved to be arrested and charged with assault. It is important to hire an experienced attorney If you have been arrested on an assault charge in New Jersey, contact our firm. Shebell & Shebell will give you straight answers and effective legal services, using our experience to get you the best possible outcome.
Pursuant to New Jersey’s simple assault statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1a, there are several different scenarios that could give rise to a charge of simple assault:
- Intentionally causing bodily injury another person
- Attempting to cause bodily injury to another person
- Negligently wielding a deadly weapon resulting in injury (even if you didn’t intend to harm anyone). A deadly weapon can be any object with the potential to kill someone, for example, a gun, knife, cinder-block, or tire iron.
- Attempting to make someone fear they will suffer imminent serious bodily injury.
A simple assault is typically classified as a disorderly persons offense unless committed in a fight or scuffle entered into by mutual consent, in which case it is a petty disorderly persons offense. Simple assault cases are most often handled at the municipal court level.
The penalties for simple assault are:
- Up to six months in jail (30 days maximum for consensual fighting)
- A requirement to pay restitution to the victim for medical bills and recovery
- Probation as ordered by the Court
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- Victims of Crime Compensation Board (VCCB) Assessment of $50
- Safe Neighborhood Assessment of $75
- Court Costs
- Domestic Violence Surcharge (if applicable) of $100
- Possibility of a civil lawsuit filed against you by the victim
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b), a person commits aggravated assault when they cause or attempt to cause serious bodily injury or bodily injury with a deadly weapon. Additionally, a person can be charged with aggravated assault if:
- The victim is a protected person, acting in the performance of their duties (e.g. a police officer, firemen, DYFS (DCPP) worker, EMS worker, teacher or judge)
- They knowingly displayed or aimed a firearm at a law enforcement official
- They intentionally drove a motor vehicle towards another individual or vehicle, resulting in serious bodily injury
- They committed simple assault against a bus driver
- Bodily injury occurred while fleeing law enforcement officers or resisting arrest
- The harm caused to a victim is considered significant bodily injury or serious bodily injury
Unlike simple assault charges, aggravated assault charges are handled in Superior Court. Depending on the circumstances, aggravated assault can be charged as a second, third or fourth-degree crime.
If convicted of aggravated assault, you could possibly serve 10 years in prison or more, depending on the nature of the offense and the person’s criminal history. Additionally, the No Early Release Act (NERA) applies to “violent” crimes such as second-degree aggravated assault, meaning that a person convicted must serve a minimum of 85 percent of their prison sentence before they are eligible for parole. Once released, they must serve a minimum of three years on parole.
There are several defenses to charges of assault, including:
- Self defense
- The injury was not bad enough to amount to the specific crime charged
- The injury was not caused by intentional or reckless action
Our criminal defense lawyers will thoroughly examine all aspects of your case and come up with the most effective defense strategy. Our goal is always to obtain a complete dismissal of all charges against you. If we can not get the charge dismissed, we will try to secure the best possible plea agreement or prepare your matter for trial. If you have been charged with aggravated assault, we are often successful in getting those charges downgraded. We will not rest until we achieve the best possible outcome in your case. We are experienced trial attorneys that will never pressure you to take a plea just to get done with a case quickly.
Contact our Monmouth County criminal defense lawyers
Our experienced assault lawyers at Shebell & Shebell have successfully defended countless clients against assault charges. For a free consultation, contact Shebell & Shebell today.