Brigantine is a small island city located in Atlantic County New Jersey. With less than 10,000 people in this beach town, you may think that like many quiet towns not much goes on. However, Brigantine is a fully functioning town with its own police department and court system. That being said, one of the most common charges in Brigantine and in New Jersey is assault. Assault in New Jersey can be divided into either simple assault or aggravated assault. However, no matter what the charge is, an assault charge can have serious consequences on your life.
What are the Simple Assault Laws in Brigantine, NJ?
Simple assault is defined in NJSA § 2C:12-1. Under this statute a person who injures or attempt to injure another person can be charged with the crime of simple assault. There are three main scenarios where these circumstances can typically be met.
- First, a person can be charged with simple assault if he or she attempts to cause or purposefully, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another.
- Second, a person can be charged with simple assault if they negligently cause bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon.
- Third, a person can be charged with simple assault if they attempt to by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
In most cases simple assault crimes in New Jersey are classified as disorderly persons offenses. Disorderly persons offenses are considered a lower-level crime that can be punished with a fine of up to $1,000, restitution, or both. If the simple assault charge is due to a consensual altercation or fight, then it is considered a petty disorderly persons offense. However in certain circumstances, simple assault can be charged as a fourth-degree crime, which can result in the imposition of an eighteen-month prison sentence. These circumstances include when the injury is inflicted by the employee of a care facility against an institutionalized senior citizen or when in the presence of a child under age 16 at a community or school-sponsored youth sporting event.
What is Considered Aggravated Assault in Brigantine?
Aggravated assault is a separate and more serious crime in New Jersey, similar to simple assault aggravated assault can occur under a variety of circumstances. Like with simple assault, aggravated assault can occur under a myriad of circumstances. Similar to simple assault, aggravated assault requires that the person intended to bring about the harm or injury to the other person, that they acted with extreme indifference to human life, or a deadly weapon was involved. Circumstances where aggravated assault charges would likely be appropriate include:
- Recklessly shooting off a gun where the bullet accidentally strikes an observer or passerby. In these circumstances, aggravated assault would likely be considered a fourth-degree crime.
- If the defendant causes an injury while fleeing from law enforcement, the individual can be charged with a second-degree crime.
- The individual knowingly pointed or brandished a real or imitation firearm at a law enforcement officer.
- A driver who drives aggressively while targeting another person or vehicle may be charged with a third or fourth-degree crime depending on the severity of injuries inflicted.
- When an individual commits simple assault against certain protected individuals in the state. These protected individuals can include firemen, police officers & law enforcement officials, justices of the courts, department of corrections employees, certain health care workers, and others.
- Individuals who purposefully cause a law enforcement official to come in contact with a bodily fluid can be charged with fourth-degree aggravated assault.
While aggravated assault charges can arise in many more circumstances, the penalties you face are always based on the degree of a crime charged. For a second degree charge, you can face a prison sentence of five to ten years and fines of up to $150,000. A third-degree charge can result in a three to five-year prison sentence and significant monetary fines. A fourth-degree charge can, upon conviction, be punished by up to 18 months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
What are the Possible Penalties for Simple Assault?
Simple assault is categorized as a disorderly person offense unless the injury occurred as a result of a consensual fight or scuffle, in which case it is a petty disorderly persons offense. A defendant convicted of simple assault can be fined, ordered to make restitution or both. The fine cannot exceed $1,000 in the case of a conviction for a disorderly persons offense, or $500 for a petty disorderly persons conviction. A judge can, however, order a higher fine not to exceed double the amount of loss suffered by the victim.
The average range of a punishment/sentence for a simple assault case is as follows:
- Fines – Ranges from 0 to $1000
- VCCB Assessment – $50
- Safe Neighborhood Assessment – $75
- Court Costs – $33
- Domestic Violence Surcharge – $100
- Jail Term – 0 to six months
- Restitution to the victim
- Loss of driving privileges
Where will an Assault Case be Heard in Brigantine?
If you have been charged with simple assault, your case will likely be heard in the Brigantine Municipal Court. The Court’s address is:
CITY OF BRIGANTINE MUNICIPAL COURT
1417 West Brigantine Avenue
Brigantine, NJ 08203
FAX (609) 266-6376
Our Brigantine Assault Defense Attorneys Will Fight for You
If you have been charged with either simple or aggravated assault, it is a serious matter and one you should not take lightly. If you are tried and convicted you are likely to face serious consequences such as a high fine or jail. When you decide to work with an attorney from the Law Offices of John J. Zarych you can rest assured that you matter will be handled aggressively and strategically. To schedule a free criminal defense consultation at one of our South Jersey offices in Wildwood, Atlantic City, Atlantic County, or Cape May call us at (609) 616-4956 or contact us online.