Levels Of Assault Charges In New Jersey

two men fighting

Various types of assault charges are based on the level of violence and the intention of the person who committed the assault. Assault defense attorney Michael J. Beatrice, P.C., has years of experience handling cases involving all levels of assault charges as both a prosecutor and defense attorney in New Jersey. His wide range of experience gives him a deep understanding of the law and a unique legal perspective that helps him develop creative defense strategies that can lead to assault charges being reduced or dismissed.

Simple Assault

You may be charged with simple assault if you:

  • Attempt to cause bodily injury to another person
  • Knowingly or recklessly cause bodily injury to another person
  • Negligently cause bodily injury with a deadly weapon
  • Attempt to put someone in fear of serious bodily injury through physical menace, such as pointing a gun or brandishing a knife

For an act to be considered assault, the victim does not need to have physical or mental injuries. Any unwelcome or offensive physical contact can be considered assault.

Charges And Penalties For Simple Assault

Penalties for simple assault convictions can include fines, restitution, jail time, mandatory anger management classes, probation, parole and the loss of the right to own or possess a firearm.

Although simple assault is usually charged as a low-level disorderly persons offense, it may be charged at the level of fourth-degree assault if it was committed against an elderly person in an institution where you were working as an employee or if the assault occurred while in the presence of a child under 16 years of age at a school or community-sponsored youth sports event. This level of assault carries a potential prison term of up to 18 months and fines of up to $1,000.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault takes into consideration the attacker’s intent toward the victim and the severity of the victim’s injuries. You may be charged with aggravated assault if:

  • The victim suffered serious or permanent bodily injury
  • The assault was committed with the intent of serious physical injury or harm
  • The assault involved the use or threat of a deadly weapon such as a firearm or knife
  • You assaulted a family member
  • The victim’s ability to resist was impeded by restraints of some kind
  • You assaulted a law enforcement officer, security guard, judge, district attorney, health care worker, teacher or other public worker or official
  • The assault occurred while you were eluding a law officer or resisting arrest

Charges And Penalties For Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault is a very serious charge that carries harsher penalties than simple assault charges. Aggravated assault can be charged as a second-degree, third-degree or fourth-degree felony offense.

If you are convicted of second-degree aggravated assault, you may face 5-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Second-degree aggravated assault convictions also invoke a NERA (No Early Release provision) that requires 85 percent of your prison sentence to be served before you are eligible for parole.

A third-degree aggravated assault conviction can come with penalties of 3-5 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

If you’re convicted of fourth-degree aggravated assault, you may face an 18-month prison sentence and fines of up to $10,000.

Contact A Skilled Assault Defense Attorney In New Jersey

Assault convictions can leave a permanent stain on your reputation and result in an inability to find housing and employment. Assault defense attorney Michael J. Beatrice, P.C., uses his experience and expertise to fight for your rights and provide the quality legal representation you deserve. For a free telephone consultation, contact us at 201-512-8200.

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