Assault Crimes in New Jersey
New Jersey law defines an assault charge by the injury sustained by the victim. There are two (2) versions of assault: simple assault and aggravated assault. Simple Assault is a Disorderly Persons Offense, which carries up to 6 months in jail as a penalty. Aggravated Assault can be either a second, third, or fourth degree charge. If you have been charged with a simple or aggravated assault offense of any degree in Burlington County, you should seek legal counsel from an experienced criminal lawyer at Daniel M. Rosenberg & Associates.
Simple Assault in New Jersey
According to N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a), the legal elements of simple assault are:
- You attempt to cause or cause bodily injury to another;
- You negligently cause bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
- You attempt to put another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
Under any of these scenarios, simple assault is a disorderly persons offense. Mutual fighting is characterized as a petty disorderly persons offense.
Aggravated Assault N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)
Aggravated Assault is a more serious criminal offense. There are a number of different variations of aggravated assault with offenses ranging from fourth degree to second degree depending on the circumstances of the alleged conduct. Typically, an individual is guilty of aggravated assault if he purposefully or knowingly attempts to cause or causes significant bodily injury to another.
Substantial Bodily Injury v. Serious Bodily Injury
The level of charges brought by the State depends heavily on the level of injury that is sustained by the victim.
New Jersey defines bodily injury as physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition. This is virtually “any” form of pain.
Substantial bodily injury is bodily injury that results in a temporary loss of the function of any bodily member or organ or temporary loss of one of the five (5) senses.
Serious bodily injury is bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.