Being accused of committing any crime is a frightening experience—especially if that crime is assault. Because assault is a violent crime, it is aggressively prosecuted in the state of New Jersey. The penalties are serious, which is why it’s important to fight the charges with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The assault attorneys at The Hernandez Law Firm have decades of experience protecting the rights of the accused. Let us seek justice on your behalf.
What Are the Different Types of Assault Crimes in New Jersey?
The three types of assault criminal charges in New Jersey are:
- Simple Assault
- Aggravated Assault
- Assault By Auto
Simple assault is the least serious of the three offenses. It occurs when someone attempts to cause or actually causes bodily injury, attempts to put another person in fear of serious bodily injury, or negligently uses a deadly weapon to cause bodily injury.
Aggravated assault is a more serious offense than simple assault. It occurs when someone attempts to cause or actually causes serious injuries while showing extreme indifference to human life. Aggravated assault can also occur when someone recklessly uses a deadly weapon to cause bodily injury.
These two offenses may seem similar, but there are several differences between the crimes. A number of factors must be considered to determine whether a crime is a simple or aggravated assault, including the defendant’s intent, the defendant’s negligence or recklessness, and the severity of the victim’s injuries.
The final type of assault is assault by auto, which occurs when a reckless driver injures someone.
Can You Be Charged With Assault Without Hurting Anyone?
Many people think they can avoid an assault conviction by proving that the victim was not injured, but that’s not the case. You can face assault charges even if you did not physically injure anyone. In New Jersey, you can be charged with assault for simply attempting to injure someone or threatening to hurt someone. It doesn’t matter whether or not the victim was actually injured, so this is not an effective defense strategy.
What Are the Penalties For Assault in New Jersey?
An assault conviction can lead to serious criminal and civil penalties. Most simple assaults are disorderly persons offenses, which means a conviction can mean up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines. However, a simple assault is a petty disorderly persons offense if it occurred while both the victim and defendant were engaged in a fight or scuffle. Petty disorderly offenses are punishable by up to 30 days in jail and $500 in fines.
The penalties for aggravated assault and assault by auto can vary depending on whether it is charged as a second-, third-, or fourth-degree crime.
In addition to these criminal penalties, offenders may also face civil penalties. The victims of the crime have the right to file a lawsuit against the defendant in civil court in order to recover compensation for their injuries.
How to Beat An Assault Charge in New Jersey
If you are facing assault charges, let the attorneys at The Hernandez Law Firm review your case right away. Some of the many ways our attorneys can help clients who are charged with assault include:
- File motions to dismiss the charges due to lack of evidence
- File motions to get key pieces of evidence thrown out of the case
- Negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce your charges
- Negotiate a plea deal to help you avoid serious penalties
- Prove you were the victim, not the assailant, or that you were acting in self-defense
Each case is unique, so our attorneys will need to learn more about the charges filed against you in order to determine the best way to secure your freedom. Turn to the skilled assault lawyers at The Hernandez Law Firm today to learn more about your legal options.
Schedule A Free Consultation With Our Assault New Jersey Attorneys Today
Have you been charged with simple or aggravated assault? If so, seek legal representation from the experienced assault attorneys at The Hernandez Law Firm. Our team is committed to helping each client reach the best possible outcome in their case. Let us aggressively fight to protect your freedom. To schedule a free consultation, call our law firm at 732-286-2700 or fill out the form on our website today.