Assault Charges in Kearny NJ
Assault. Almost everyone has heard of this serious crime, but fewer people know that this widely-used term assault actually covers several levels of criminal charges that you may face in Kearny, New Jersey. Depending on the specific circumstances surrounding your arrest for assault in Kearny, you may be charged with either simple assault or aggravated assault. There are distinct things that a prosecutor must prove for each offense and different courts where each type of assault case will be handled. Perhaps most importantly, there are differing penalties for felony assault crimes versus misdemeanor type assault offenses which you face upon conviction. If you have been charged with assault in Kearny, contact our distinguished team of local attorneys to discuss your case and devise your top defense strategy. We can be reached anytime by contacting us online or calling (201) 793-8018. To best serve your needs, a Kearny NJ assault defense lawyer at our firm is available now to provide you with a free consultation.
Charged with Simple Assault in Kearny
You may be charged with assault in various degrees in Kearny or elsewhere in Hudson County, New Jersey. The most basic assault charge is appropriate termed “simple assault.” Simple assault is commonly charged as a disorderly persons offense, the equivalent of a criminal misdemeanor in other states. The exception to this rule is a mutual fight, a situation in which two people agree to fight another and one or more of them causes injury to the other. In a mutual fight situation, simple assault is typically charged as a petty disorderly persons offense, similar to an infraction in states outside New Jersey.
To prove that you committed simple assault, a prosecutor must prove that you tried to hurt someone else or succeeded in hurting someone else, for example, kicking them, punching them, shoving someone during a shouting match, and similar harmful conduct. That prosecutor may alternatively establish a simple assault charge by proving that you negligently hurt someone else by using something that the law calls a “deadly weapon.” That term sounds more threatening than it actually is. Deadly weapons are defined broadly under New Jersey law to encompass the usual suspects, things like guns and knives, all the way down to items as simple as boots or any number of other blunt or heavy objects. A tree limb might easily qualify as a deadly weapon. Additionally, a prosecutor can also prove a simple assault case brought against you by convincing a judge that you tried to make someone fear for their life or fear that they would shortly suffer serious harm to their body.
The penalties for simple assault, if it is charged as a petty disorderly persons offense, will typically involve up to 30 days in jail and a maximum $500 fine. If you are convicted of simple assault as a disorderly persons offense, which is typically the case, the penalties are more severe. You face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Both disorderly persons offense and petty disorderly persons offenses for simple assault in Kearny are normally handled in the Kearny Municipal Court.
Facing Kearny NJ Aggravated Assault Crime
If the assault that you are arrested for in Kearny is more serious, you may be charged with what is called “aggravated assault.” Aggravated assault is charged as an indictable offense, making it a felony crime, not a disorderly persons offense. You can be charged with either fourth degree, third degree, or second degree aggravated assault, based on the nature of the offense and specific facts of the case. The penalties for these charges increase as you move up each successive level.
To prove that you are guilty of aggravated assault, a state prosecutor can argue that you tried on purpose, with full knowledge of what you were doing or with a cavalier or nonchalant attitude of just not caring, to seriously hurt another person. The prosecutor must further show that you tried to seriously hurt another person under extraordinary circumstances, or circumstances that showed that you just did not care whether the other person lived or died. A prosecutor can also argue that you (again either on purpose or recklessly) hurt another person with some type of deadly weapon. The state can also establish an aggravated assault charge by convincing a jury that you pointed a gun at another person, whether or not the gun was actually loaded and it was clear that you did not care whether the other person got seriously hurt or died. Additionally, you can be convicted of aggravated assault if you commit the types of simple assault described above against certain people specifically listed under New Jersey law, including judges, peace officers, firemen, and the like.
If the prosecutor proves any of the above theories, you can be convicted of a serious felony for aggravated assault. The degree of the charge brought against you depends on a variety of factors that take into account the severity of your conduct, the degree of injury to the victim, and the recklessness or extreme indifference to life that you allegedly displayed. Your aggravated assault case arising in Kearny will be tried in Hudson County Superior Court.
What am I Facing for Aggravated Assault in Kearny, New Jersey?
You face 5-10 years in prison and up to $150,000 in fines for second degree aggravated assault in Kearny. A third degree conviction exposes you to 3-5 years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000. And a fourth-degree aggravated assault charge may result in 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Have an Assault Case for Domestic Violence in Kearny, New Jersey
If you are arrested for simple or aggravated assault against certain persons a “domestic relationship,” you can be charged with a crime and face additional consequences. Under New Jersey’s domestic violence laws, if you assault your spouse, child, ex-spouse, someone you share a child with, and a broad variety of other persons with whom you share a close relationship, you can face assault charges in criminal court and then another legal proceeding called a final restraining order hearing in family court. Domestic violence charges based on assault can result in a restraining order against you, impact your ability to retain custody of your children, and can also subject you to criminal penalties.
Kearny NJ Assault Defense Attorneys
Regardless of the specific assault offense you have been arrested for in Kearny, New Jersey, you have reached the right place to get the experienced help and knowledgeable legal guidance you need now. Our firm includes several highly respected assault lawyers who are entirely ready to handle your assault case in Kearny Municipal Court or Hudson County Superior Court. Call (201) 793-8018 for a free initial consultation and start the process of best handling your case today.