What Are The Possible Penalties For Assault in New Jersey?

  • Criminal Defense

Whether you are convicted of a simple or a serious one, you risk the consequences of hefty fines and significant jail terms. Not forgetting the criminal record under your name and the difficulties that result from having one.

An expert New Jersey Criminal defense attorney can fight for your freedom when you are arrested and charged for assault. You should not risk losing your great life or parting with more money than you should.

What Aggravates Assault Charges in New Jersey?

Your offense can be a simple incident or an aggravated assault charge, depending on the circumstances surrounding it. Speaking to a knowledgeable New Jersey assault defense attorney ensures that you understand the critical aspects of the lawsuit.

The factors determining how the judge treats your case include:

  • Whether the New Jersey law had provided special protection to the victim

  • Whether you used an object or a weapon to cause injury to the victim

  • How severe the victim’s injuries are

How are Assault Injuries Classified in New Jersey?

The type of injuries that the victim suffers after you assault them is an essential factor in the lawsuit. An experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer can look into the complainant’s medical report and tell you the seriousness of the case facing you. Here are the main types of injuries:

Simple bodily injury – It resulted in physical pain or injury without mental injuries.

Significant bodily injury – Involves temporary loss of any of the five senses or a body organ’s function. For example, being knocked unconscious or breaking a bone.  

Serious bodily injury – Involves long-term impairment, loss, or disfigurement of an organ or injuries that created a substantial risk of death—for instance, living with a permanent limp or losing a finger or an eye.

What Acts Are Considered Assault?

Understanding the law’s definition of assault is necessary in knowing if indeed you have a case to answer. It also equips you with the best defense; based on your knowledge of the circumstances. Here are acts that constitute assault in New Jersey:

Acting on Purpose

You wanted to injure the person.

Acting with Knowledge

You knew too well that whatever you intended to do would injure the person.

Acting Carelessly

You knew that your actions bore the risk of injuring the victim, but you just didn’t care.

Acting without Valuing Human Life

Your actions didn’t just carry the possibility of injuring others, like they would when you act recklessly, knowledgeably, or purposely. Instead, you acted in extreme indifference and showed little value for human life.

Using Deadly Weapons

Deadly weapons are not limited to the usual ones like knives and firearms. Anything that has the potential of injuring or killing someone is a deadly weapon. Even if it was created to serve a different purpose, for instance, a brick or heavy lamp used in an assault.

How is Assault Classified in New Jersey?

An assault offense can fall under first, second, third, or fourth-degree crime. A New Jersey assault attorney can tell you how your case is likely to be classified.

Here are some examples in each classification:

First-Degree Crime

  • Engaging in a fistfight with someone and injuring them

  • Threatening to harm another person

Second-Degree Crime

  • Injuring someone carelessly, knowingly, purposely, or with no regard for their lives.

  • Injuring a law enforcement officer while operating a vehicle unlawfully or while fleeing. This is regardless of whether you intended to harm them or not.

  • Injuring an emergency services personnel.

Third-Degree Crimes

  • Injuring someone using a deadly weapon.

  • Pointing a real or imitation firearm in a law enforcement officer’s direction to threaten or intimidate them.

  • Using a laser sighting device or light to an officer in uniform or while conducting his work duties.

  • Purposely driving aggressively to injure others

  • Injuring personnel offered special protection by New Jersey laws.

Fourth-Degree Crimes

  • Pointing a firearm in another person’s direction, whether they believed it was loaded or not.

  • Causing severe injuries to anyone.

Which Persons Does the New Jersey Law Specially Protect?

Assaulting anyone that the state specially protects because of their occupational status or in the line of duty is considered assault. Some of these persons include:

  • Volunteer or paid firefighters at work

  • People offering emergency medical services or first aid.

  • Employees of public and non-public schools, e.g., school bus drivers, teachers, administrators, and board members

  • Persons working with the Division of Child Protection and Permanency

  • Municipal judges, Tax Court judges, judges of the Superior Court, and the Supreme Court’s justices

  • Employees of the rail passenger service like the motorbus operator or their supervisor

  • Employees of the Department of Corrections like undersheriffs, sheriffs, sheriff’s officers, probation officers, juvenile detention officers, juvenile corrections officers, and county corrections officers

  • Workers of cable TV and utility companies

  • Healthcare workers.

  • Direct care workers at veterans’ memorial homes, state developmental centers, or psychiatric centers

  • Law enforcement officers

What is the Punishment for Assault Crimes in New Jersey?

If you are convicted for assaulting another person, you can pay restitution, pay fines, go on probation, or serve a jail sentence. A skilled New Jersey assault lawyer can help you get the least punitive consequences if the charges cannot be dropped. 

First-Degree Assault. If both parties agreed to the fistfight, fines could go up to $500, and a prison sentence can be up to 30 days. If it wasn’t mutual, the fines could go up to $1,000 and a jail term up to 6 months.

Second-Degree Assault. The prison term is between 5-10 years or fines of up to $150,000, or both.

Third-Degree Assault. You pay up to $15,000, stay in prison for between 3-5 years, or both.

Fourth-Degree Assault. If convicted, you may part with up to $10,000 in fines or be locked up for up to 18 months, or both.

A Skilled Lawyer Fighting for Reduced Penalties If not Case Dismissal

Most people get scared or nervous when they are arrested for a crime. This is absolutely normal because the thought of your unknown fate can be quite frightening. But hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer in New Jersey lessens the uncertainty.

Upon evaluating your circumstances, a knowledgeable New Jersey assault attorney can use his expertise to point out loopholes in the case. Our law firm is committed to walking with you to the very end. Talk to us on 732-286-2700 to access our skilled attorneys and learn your legal options.

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