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Criminal Law: Assault & Battery

New Jersey Assault Lawyer Providing Skilled Criminal Defense for Assault and Battery Cases

In New Jersey, facing assault and battery charges can be an extremely serious matter. If you were accused of these types of crimes, an experienced New Jersey assault lawyer can provide you with the skilled criminal defense you need. Contact Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. today for a consultation. 

Assault and Battery Laws in New Jersey

While some states’ criminal laws treat assault and battery as separate offenses, in New Jersey, battery is considered a form of assault under Section 2C:12-1 of the Code of Criminal Justice. This law states:

  1. Simple assault. A person is guilty of assault if he . . . purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or . . . [n]egligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon. . . .

  2. Aggravated assault. A person is guilty of aggravated assault if he . . . causes [serious bodily] injury purposely or knowingly or under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life recklessly causes such injury; . . . purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or . . . [r]ecklessly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon. . . .

Aggravated assault is a serious crime. Penalties range from probation to ten years in prison (often with 8 ½ years required before parole). The aggravating factor, such as use of weapons or attacks on law enforcement, increases penalties. Aggravated assault charges in New Jersey include:

  • Causing, or attempting to cause, serious bodily injury;
  • Assaults with weapons;
  • Assaults with cars;
  • Assaults on police or firefighters;
  • Assaults on school teachers or officials; and
  • Assaults on the elderly.

Penalties for Simple and Aggravated Assault in New Jersey

In most cases, simple assault is classified as a disorderly persons’ offense carrying up to six months’ jail time, a fine of up to $1,000 and the possibility of restitution. Aggravated assault can be classified as either a second, third or fourth-degree offense, each of which carries a range of serious penalties as follows:

  • Second-degree aggravated assault – 5 to 10 years of imprisonment and up to a $150,000 fine.
  • Third-degree aggravated assault – Three to five years of imprisonment and up to a $15,000 fine.
  • Fourth-degree aggravated assault – Up to 18 months of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.

Potential Defenses to Assault Charges

There are several possible defenses to simple and aggravated assault charges in New Jersey. Determining which defenses you have available requires the advice of an experienced New Jersey assault lawyer; and, to make sure you have the best chance possible to assert the strongest possible defense, it is important that you discuss your assault charge with an attorney right away. Some of the potential defenses to assault charges include:

  • Self Defense – If you were being attacked or feared for your safety, your actions may have been justified as self-defense.
  • Defense of Others – If you took action to defend someone else who was under threat of serious injury or death, you may be able to assert the defense of, “defense of others.”
  • Defense of Property – Depending upon the circumstances involved, if you committed a violent act to protect your home, you may have had legal justification to do so.
  • Mutual Fighting – Mutual fighting is a partial defense to aggravated assault that can lower your charge to simple assault.
  • Duress
  • Intoxication—being under the influence of drugs or medication
  • Mental problems or illness.

These are in addition to the Constitutional and other statutory defenses that apply more broadly to criminal charges in New Jersey.

Call a New Jersey Assault Lawyer for a Free Consultation

If you have been charged with assault in New Jersey, our certified criminal trial attorneys can help you fight to avoid a criminal conviction. To get started with a free and confidential consultation, call 1-877-435-6371 or contact us online now to speak with a New Jersey assault lawyer.

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