What is Simple Assault in NJ?
Simple assault is one of the most common criminal charges filed against individuals in New Jersey. This is predominantly because the language of the simple assault statute is so broad that it encompasses a wide range of alleged conduct. Moreover, charges for simple assault can arise is myriad of scenarios. For instance, it often occurs in situations involving alcohol, such as a bar fight, or is the result of a domestic violence incident which may include other offenses such as harassment or terroristic threats. Because simple assault is considered a violent crime, New Jersey takes it very seriously and, if convicted, you can be punished by probation, community service, and jail time. Therefore, it is important that you have the representation of an experienced New Jersey assault lawyer.
Jersey City Simple Assault Lawyer
Proetta & Oliver is a Hudson County law firm where skilled criminal defense attorneys defend clients charged with simple assault and related crimes such as disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Our lawyers represent individuals in Hudson County and throughout New Jersey, including in Weehawken, Bloomfield, North Bergen, Newark, Secaucus and Belleville. The law firm’s founding attorney, Will Proetta, Esq., has successfully handled thousands of criminal and municipal cases throughout his career.
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“Great experience from beginning to end, considering the circumstances. After several months, my case played out along the most likely scenario Will presented to me at our first meeting. He is very familiar with the courts and their procedures. I am extremely pleased. Professional service.” View more reviews
We know the courts and we know how the system works. If you have been charged with simple assault in New Jersey and would like to learn more about how we can help you, call our Jersey City office today for a free initial consultation at (201) 793-8018. You can also fill out our online form to arrange a free consultation about your simple assault charges.
New Jersey Simple Assault Law under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1a
Simple assault is a criminal offense in New Jersey and is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1, which provides in pertinent part that:
A person is guilty of a simple assault if he or she:
(1) Attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or
(2) Negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
(3) Attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
Charged with Simple Assault in Jersey City
As seen in the above statute, simple assault does not require actual injury to the victim or that the injury was done intentionally – a common misconception. In fact, merely an attempt to cause bodily injury to another person is considered a violation of New Jersey simple assault law. Notice, the statute makes a distinct between “bodily injury” and “serious bodily injury.” The extent of the victim’s injury is often a critical factor in an assault case. As defined by a Section 2C:11-1, “bodily injury” means physical pain, illness or any impairment of physical condition. On the other hand, “serious bodily injury” refers to injury which 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.
In the context of simple assault, a person may be charged with a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1 for attempting to cause bodily injury, the lesser extent of the two, or for physical menace that puts a person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. As you might imagine, the breadth of the language in this statute is often used to justify simple assault charges when no actual injury occurs.
What are the Fines & Penalties for Simple Assault in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, simple assault is considered a disorderly persons offense, also referred to as a misdemeanor. A disorderly persons offense is punishable by up to 6 months in the county jail and a $1,000 fine. Additional penalties can include anger management counseling, community service and thousands in restitution for the victim’s damages. It is also common for a simple assault charge to be upgraded to an Aggravated Assault crime if the victim’s injuries are serious, a deadly weapon was used, or if the victim is a police officer or another public servant. In fact, you may be charged with aggravated assault for behavior that would otherwise constitute simple assault, if the alleged victim is a paid or volunteer fireman, an emergency medical technician (EMT), teacher, school bus driver, school board member, school administrator, employee of the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, judge, prosecutor, public utility employee, or corrections officer.
Simple assault is also considered a predicate act of domestic violence in New Jersey, which means it may be used to justify the issuance of a restraining order. If simple assault occurs in the context of domestic violence, the victim may pursue criminal charges for simple assault and file a Temporary Restraining Order. When examining the evidence at a Final Restraining Order hearing, a judge will use simple assault to satisfy one of the necessary criteria for a permanent restraining order.
Contact a Hoboken NJ Simple Assault Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been charged with simple assault in Hudson County, New Jersey, including in Kearny, Harrison, West New York, Guttenberg, Union City or Bayonne, then please take advantage of this opportunity to contact an experienced NJ simple assault lawyer at (201) 793-8018 for a free initial consultation. We will listen to the circumstances of your unique case and explain all of your legal options.