New Jersey criminal penalties are extremely harsh carrying long prison sentences with an array of other serious potential penalties. Criminal convictions also carry the informal penalty of a social stigma. A felony or misdemeanor conviction can make an individual ineligible or unlikely to be certified by certain professional boards or create difficulties when searching for a job. Furthermore, for teens and young people, a criminal conviction can also impair their chances of getting accepted into a four-year college and cause other complications. Unfortunately, prosecutors in New Jersey are aggressive and will not hesitate to bring serious charges against an individual accused of causing bodily injury or other crimes.

If you are facing serious criminal penalties, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer. John J. Zarych has provided criminal defense representation for more than thirty years. The aggressive and strategic team of lawyers at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych can fight for you if you have been accused of a crime. To schedule a free and confidential consultation call (609) 616-4956 today.

What Must a Prosecutor Prove to Convict You of Aggravated Assault by Auto?

NJSA 2C:12-1b(6) states that a person is guilty of aggravated assault when he or she causes bodily injury to another person “…while operating a motor vehicle in violation of subsection c. of N.J.S.A 2C:20-10.” NJSA 2C:20-10 is New Jersey’s theft by conveyance statute.  Section (b) of the law holds that it is a fourth degree indictable offense to, “withhold temporarily from the owner, he takes, operates or exercises control over a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner or other person authorized to give consent.”

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Therefore for a prosecutor to prove that you are guilty of aggravated assault during or relating to the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle he or she must prove two main elements. First, the prosecutor must prove that you caused bodily injury to another person. Second, the prosecutor must prove that you caused the injury while engaged in the unlawful taking of a car, truck or other motor vehicle.

Since a prosecutor must prove two elements, he or she must prove both elements true to the relevant standard in a criminal trial. As many people are aware, the standard is “beyond a reasonable shadow of a doubt.”

How can a Defense Lawyer Protect You from Aggravated Assault Charges?

First, the prosecutor must show beyond a reasonable shadow of a doubt that you caused a bodily injury to another person. A bodily injury is defined as causing physical pain to another person. Alternatively, it can also mean that you caused the other person to suffer an illness or any physical impairment. Thus, what the prosecutor will try to do is to show that but for your actions or conduct, the person would not have suffered an injury. Additionally, he or she will attempt to show the injury was a likely result of your conduct. In showing that the injury was a likely or “probable” result of your conduct, the injury cannot be too remote, accidental, or too dependent on the conduct of another person. Depending on the facts of your case, these are all ways a defense attorney can attempt to rebut the prosecutor’s claims.

For the second element the prosecutor must show that the injury occurred while in violation of the unlawfully taking a motor vehicle statute. The statute requires a vehicle to be taken without consent or without the consent of an authorized person. Thus, one defense a criminal defense lawyer can raise is that you did indeed have the consent of a vehicle owner or some other authorized individual. There are other potential defenses, but consent is one of the more clear-cut defenses that could be employed to rebut these charges and protect your freedom.

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Aggressive and Strategic New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Fight for You

If you have been charged with aggravated assault under  N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(6), you face serious criminal penalties. These penalties can result in the loss of your freedom and derail the plans you have made for your life. If you are facing serious criminal charges like aggravated assault during the taking of a motor vehicle, you need aggressive and strategic representation.

The experienced lawyers of the Law Offices of John J. Zarych can fight to ensure that the prosecutor must meet all elements of the charges he or she has brought against you. Our attorneys fight hard because we understand the harsh consequences our clients face. If you are facing criminal charges in Atlantic City, Atlantic County, Cape May County, or in other locations in South Jersey call (609) 616-4956 today. We have law offices in Northfield, Cape May County, Wildwood, and Atlantic City.