If you hit someone with or without an object — or even attempt to hit someone — you may need NJ assault lawyers to defend an assault charge against you. Assault in New Jersey falls into two categories:
- simple assault
- aggravated assault
What Is Involved in Assault Charges in New Jersey?
With either charge, jail time is on the table. And with jail time, you face fines, possible restitution, and worse of all, a violent crime on your record. All of those penalties can have a significant impact on your job opportunities and family life. A conviction could also prevent you from college acceptance, child custody, and military service. Furthermore, you could jeopardize your immigration status and affect your ability to stay in the U.S.
In an assault case, quite a bit of physical evidence and eyewitness testimony is involved. The seasoned team of NJ assault lawyers at Andres Mejer Law knows how the prosecution works. Furthermore, they have the investigation skills necessary to evaluate your case and help get you the most favorable outcome in your particular situation.
No Victim Required
In an assault case, the State of New Jersey is the plaintiff. Consequently, the victim’s preference on if or how aggressively to prosecute you is not a factor in deciding whether to move forward. If the victim doesn’t even show up to trial, the case can still proceed! As a result, this is why you need NJ assault lawyers regardless of the victim’s attitude towards the incident.
Generally speaking, an assault charge begins with a private complaint to the police. The police then arrive at the scene and gather evidence. This includes taking pictures of the victim and interviewing witnesses. If you are the primary suspect, anything you tell the police can hamper your defense. In NJ, the police will file charges even without the victim’s consent. The prosecutor will prosecute without the victim’s cooperation.
The whole notion of someone not “pressing charges” preventing the case from proceeding is a misconception. This is not civil court! Your liberties are at stake in a criminal case, and if you are being charged with domestic violence, your family relationships are also at stake.
Aggressive NJ assault lawyers at Andres Mejer Law can explore your defenses and will word hard to reduce or even overturn the charges against you.
What Is Simple Assault?
Under 2C:12-1a, the court can find you guilty of simple assault if you:
- 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 serious bodily injury.
Simple Assault Penalties
With a simple assault charge, you may face:
- Jail: Up to 180 days
- Fines: Up to $1,000
What Is Aggravated Assault?
In an “aggravated assault” charge, a particular circumstance enhances the penalties to a more severe charge. Under 2C:12-1b, the court may find you guilty of aggravated assault if you:
- attempt to cause serious bodily injury to another, or cause such injury purposely or knowingly; or
- attempt to cause or purposely or knowingly cause bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
- recklessly cause bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
- knowingly point a firearm at someone; or
- commit a simple assault, but it happens to be against an individual like the following:
- police officer
- teacher or school administrator
- train operators
- utility workers
- bus drivers
Aggravated assault charges can also arise if the alleged assault occurred within 1000 feet of a school, or you allegedly used a deadly weapon at the time of the assault.
Aggravated Assault Penalties
Aside from other penalties the judge may impose and court costs, you may face:
- Jail: From 18 months to 10 years
- Fines: $10,000 to $150,000
Call NJ Assault Lawyers at Andres Mejer Law Today
If you have already been charged with assault, you may need to play catch-up in order to protect your rights. As each day passes, you put yourself at greater risk of incriminating yourself. Sometimes the battle is won at the indictment! Therefore, be proactive in your defense. Call today for free consultation with our experienced NJ assault lawyers at Andres Mejer Law.