In New Jersey, an assault charge needs to be taken very seriously. An assault occurs when someone injures or attempts to injure another person without legal justification. The offense then falls into one of two categories: simple assault or aggravated assault.
According to the New Jersey 2C: 12-1 Criminal Code, “A person is guilty of simple assault if he:
- attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another;
- negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
- attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.”
Although this is the less serious of the two forms of assault, simple assault is still considered a disorderly persons offense. This means the guilty party could face up to six months in county jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.00.
Aggravated Assault charges are significantly more complex than simple assault charges. There are more than a dozen scenarios that constitute aggravated assault. A complete and detailed list of these scenarios can be found HERE. The seriousness of the offense typically depends on the degree of force involved, the severity of the injuries, and whether or not a weapon was used.
Aggravated assault is an indictable criminal offense in the state of New Jersey. Depending on the circumstances, it can be graded as a 2nd-degree, 3rd-degree, or 4th-degree crime. This means a charge of aggravated assault could result in a ten-year prison sentence or more, depending on the offender’s prior criminal record.
Defenses against Assault Charges
Fortunately, Fred Sisto has years of experience dealing with both simple and aggravated assault cases. Depending on the unique characteristics of the case, there are a number of defenses he can use including, but not limited to:
- Insufficient evidence
- Defense of others
- Defense of property
- Intoxication (can only be used on cases involving specific intent)
- Police misconduct