Burlington County, NJ Law Blog

Friday, March 3, 2017

Defending Against Assault Charges in New Jersey

What should I do if I have been charged with assault in NJ?

In New Jersey, you could be charged with assault if you injure or attempt to injure another person without a legal justification.  Assault charges often result from fights or brawls.  If you have been charged with assault in New Jersey, you could face a hefty fine or even jail time.  Anyone facing assault charges should contact an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney to protect your legal rights.  

The Elements of Assault

A simple assault in New Jersey can encompass any of the three following acts:  1) attempting to or causing someone else to suffer a bodily injury; 2) negligently injuring someone with a deadly weapon; or 3) placing someone in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.  

Turning to the individual elements, bodily injury occurs when the victim suffers physical pain, illness, or another impairment in their physical condition.  Serious bodily injury, which may result in heightened criminal charges, happens when a victim sustains injuries that create a substantial risk of death or permanent disfigurement or organ damage.

Simple assault charges will not stand without the requisite element of intent.  Assault without a deadly weapon requires the intentional injury to another.  Injuries resulting from accidental physical contact should not form the basis for assault charges.  For a conviction based on assault with a deadly weapon, the prosecution need only prove the lesser intent of negligence.  

Assault Penalties

A defendant convicted of simple assault may be fined up to $1,000 and sentenced to a maximum of six months in jail, along with restitution to the victim and potentially probation.  Assault charges will form a part of your permanent criminal record, which could impact your ability to find a job, obtain financial aid, and much more.  

If you have been charged with assault, contact a criminal defense attorney in New Jersey as soon as possible.  Your attorney will review the circumstances leading to your arrest to uncover your best defense, which could include self-defense, lack of intent, and much more.

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