Simple Assault Charge Lawyer | Toms River, Ocean County, NJ

It's common knowledge that assault is a crime referring to one citizen attacking or hurting another. However, the way these laws are viewed and prosecuted can vary greatly from one state to another. For instance, New Jersey defines assault as injuring or attempting to injure another citizen without legal justification. Assault is actually divided into three separate categories depending upon several important factors. If you or a loved one have been charged with simple or aggravated assault call Daniel E. Berger today for a consultation.

Simple Assault in New Jersey

Simple assault is the lesser form of assault, but it can still result in serious penalties. Simple assault can be something as small as threatening someone with imminent serious bodily injury. Attempting to cause - or actually causing - any type of bodily harm is also categorized as simple assault depending upon the extent of the injuries. Even if the injuries are caused by accident, criminal charges may still be filed. This is especially true if reckless behavior caused the injuries.

The penalties for simple assault can vary if the injuries were the results of a consensual fight. Injuring someone in a fight is considered to be a petty offense. If only one part was an aggressor, than the crime is classified as a disorderly person's offense. The penalties can range from a fine to paying restitution or both. Committing simple assault against an elderly person in an institution can result in up to 18 months of jail time as can assaulting a child under the age of 16. These crimes are considered to be particularly egregious, but aggravated assault is still far more serious.

What is Aggravated Assault?

Aggravated assault can also be the result of reckless behavior, even when the accused meant no intentional harm to the victim. The crime is also described as knowingly attempting to cause serious bodily injury. Most aggravated assault cases involve significant or serious bodily injury. It should be noted that 'significant bodily injury' is more egregious than 'bodily injury' while 'serious bodily injury' is the most heinous of the three. Even if the injuries are the results of a consensual fight, the accused may still face aggravated assault charges. Most Aggravated assault charges are class four offenses which carries an eighteen month jail sentence and/or a $10,000 fine. The convicted party may also be subject to parole or probation, depending upon his or her previous criminal record.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Another extension of assault is assault with a deadly weapon. This can be either a second or third degree offense depending upon the circumstances. The deadly weapon laws apply if someone attempts to inflict an injury with a deadly weapon. This is the class three felony which can carry a 3-5 year sentence, a $15,000 fine or both. Actually causing an injury with a deadly weapon is a second degree offense which can carry a maximum sentence of ten years and/or a fine of $150,000.

Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charges

This crime is specifically reserved for inmates of correction facilities who intentionally throw bodily fluids upon the facility's employees. Inmates who face this charge usually face 'free world' charges meaning the initial sentence can be extended. This is a fourth degree offense unless the employee of the correctional facility suffers bodily injury; in which case the assault is a class three offense.