In New Jersey, a simple assault charge is typically categorized as a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor), but carries with it stiff penalties and a criminal record.
Assault is a person injuring or attempting to injure another person without legal justification. Based on the way the injury was caused and the seriousness of the injury, an assault charge can be classified as a simple assault or an aggravated assault.
If you or a family member has been charged with simple assault in the New Jersey area, it is critical that you find trusted legal guidance to help you defend yourself against criminal charges with serious consequences.
What are the Potential Consequences of a Simple Assault Conviction?
If you are convicted of simple assault in New Jersey, you may be
- sentenced to serve up to 6 months in jail
- subject to a fine of up to $1,000
- required to pay restitution to the victim
- required to pay court costs
- required to perform community service
- required to attend anger management classes
- sentenced to probation and electronic monitoring
- prevented from owning or possessing a firearm or weapon.
What is Simple Assault?
Any unwanted or offensive physical contact can be considered assault. In New Jersey, assault is separated into two different charges: simple assault and aggravated assault. Simple assault is the less serious of the two.
New Jersey laws (N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1) allows the charges of simple assault to be filed under the following conditions:
- If a person attempts to cause bodily injury to another person, or who recklessly, knowingly, or purposely causes bodily injury to someone else
- If bodily injury is negligently caused with a deadly weapon
- If someone threatens another person or puts them in fear of serious bodily injury through physical menace (e.g., brandishing a knife or pointing a gun)
In New Jersey, simple assault can be treated as a crime of the fourth degree — carrying a potential prison term of up to 18 months, a fine of up to $1,000 or both — if the assault was committed:
- while working as an employee in a care facility against an institutionalized elderly person.
- while in the presence of a child under 16 years of age at a school or community sponsored youth sports event.
Defending Against Simple Assault
A skilled criminal defense attorney will work to find ways to help you avoid a conviction or lessen the consequences. Factors that will be considered include:
- The unique circumstances of your crime
- The location of the assault (e.g., on school property)
- If the assaulted person was a minor
- If there was bodily injury
- If the encounter was by mutual consent
- If other charges are being brought against you at the same time
- If you have a prior history of convictions
Finding a Simple Assault Lawyer
A simple assault charge must be taken seriously, as it can negatively affect many aspects of your life. It is of utmost importance that you consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you understand the intricacies of the charges brought against you and direct the preparation of a strong defense strategy.
Daniel M. Rosenberg & Associates team is dedicated to providing compassionate, aggressive legal services to help you navigate assault charges and other legal issues. If you’re looking for an experienced criminal defense for a simple assault charge in New Jersey, contact Daniel M. Rosenberg & Associates today for a free consultation.