Violent Crime Charges in New Jersey
Experienced NJ Criminal Lawyers Defending Assault Offenses
A charge of assault in New Jersey, regardless of whether it is a simple assault or aggravated assault, can be very complex. Individuals charged with assault may encounter a prison sentence, probation and fines. If you have been charged with assault, or any other violent crime, you need to obtain the assistance of an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Simple assault is a misdemeanor offense in New Jersey. You can be charged with simple assault by merely threatening and instilling fear of bodily harm to another. In a situation such as this, the person being threatened must believe they are in imminent danger of being physically injured.
You can also be charged with simple assault if you purposely, knowingly and recklessly attempted to cause or caused someone to experience bodily injury. Someone involved in a fight resulting in minor injuries would most likely be charged with simple assault.
If you are convicted of a simple assault, you can serve up to 6 months in prison, depending on the circumstances, and be fined up to $1,000.
A battery is considered the unwanted touching of another. This includes any unwanted touching during a verbal assault such as a push or a shove. Although extremely similar, assault and battery are not entirely the same. Simple assault only requires the victim to be in imminent apprehension of an immediate battery. In order to be guilty of a criminal battery, you must have made physical contact with the person or something he is holding or wearing. If you commit a battery in New Jersey, your charge will most likely be charged as assault because of the physical contact with the other party.
Aggravated assault is considered a felony offense. Aggravated assault consists of simple assault with the added elements of significant and/or serious bodily injury, the lack of concern toward human life and possibly utilizing a deadly weapon with the intention of conflicting bodily injury. A simple assault is also upgraded to aggravated assault if it involves a public servant such as a police officer or firefighter. Depending on the circumstances surrounding an incident and the extent of injury a person suffers will determine the degree of the charge.
The consequences of aggravated assault charges will result in penalties more severe than a simple assault. The penalties for a conviction of aggravated assault include up to 10 years in prison and fines possibly up to $150,000 depending on the degree of the convicted charge In addition, depending on the charge, a defendant who is convicted of certain violent crimes in New Jersey is a candidate for No Early Release Act (NERA). If you have been convicted of a crime that falls under NERA, you must serve 85% of your sentence before you are eligible for parole. Under NERA, you have no chance of receiving an early release from prison.