In Cumberland County, NJ, there are three types of assault charges that can be imposed on defendants. The accused may face offenses for simple assault, aggravated assault, or assault by automobile.
These charges can be accompanied by devastating criminal penalties including time in prison. Guidance from our experienced legal team can be highly valuable to those who have been accused of assault. Our attorneys will help defendants ensure that their rights and interests are preserved.
After being accused of assault in Cumberland County, NJ, speak with our assault defense lawyers at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych by getting on the phone and dialing (609) 616-4956.
What Types of Assault Can You Be Charged with in Cumberland County, NJ?
In general, there are three main types of assault that you may be accused of committing in Cumberland County:
The offense of simple assault is set forth by N.J.S.A. § 2C:12-1(a). You can be charged with simple assault if you take any of the following actions:
- You attempted to cause or caused someone else to suffer a bodily injury
- You negligently caused a bodily injury to someone else with a deadly weapon
- You attempted to impose a fear of imminent serious bodily injury on another
In most instances, charges for simple assault will be treated as disorderly persons offenses, as opposed to indictable crimes.
Aggravated assault is a type of assault outlined by N.J.S.A. § 2C:12-1(b). Typically, in order to be charged with aggravated assault, you must cause serious bodily injury or attempt to cause bodily injury with a deadly weapon.
However, there are several different circumstances where defendants can be charged with aggravated assault. For example, you can be accused of aggravated assault if you committed an act of simple assault against a law enforcement officer. Additionally, aggravated assault charges may be applied to cases where defendants caused injuries by acting aggressively behind the wheel.
Assault by Automobile
Finally, under N.J.S.A. § 2C:12-1(c), you may also be charged with assault by automobile in Cumberland County. This charge is applied to cases where defendants cause bodily injury to others through reckless operation of their motor vehicles or water vessels. Those who have been accused of assault by automobile can face serious consequences, including prison sentences and expensive fines.
Possible Defenses for Assault Charges Filed in Cumberland County, NJ
If you are charged with assault, there are a multitude of different defenses you may be able to utilize. During a free assessment of your case, our experienced assault defense lawyers can help determine if one of the following defenses may be applied in your case:
You may be able to defend against an assault charge by arguing that you acted in self-defense. Self-defense is a right afforded to us by our constitution. The use of force is warranted if you reasonably believe that it is immediately necessary to protect yourself from another.
However, you can only respond to aggressors with force equal to the force being used against you. Additionally, once the threat is gone, you cannot continue to use force against the other party. At that point, your actions would constitute another assault, rather than actions of self-defense.
Defense of Other People
Also, you may be able to say that your actions were warranted if you acted in defense of other people.
Furthermore, a potential defense to assault charges is the defense of property. In many instances, this defense will apply to cases where homeowners utilized force to protect their homes from being invaded.
Furthermore, if two individuals can agree that they both essentially consented to fighting each other, then their potential assault charges can be downgraded to “mutual fighting.” This defense does not result in the absolute best outcome, because you may still be charged with a disorderly persons offense or municipal ordinance violation. However, being charged with mutual fighting is still better than being charged with assault.
Plea Agreements for Assault Charges in Cumberland County, NJ
Our assault defense lawyers will fight to have defendants’ charges dismissed. However, this is not possible in every case. In many instances, accused parties enter into plea agreements where they will plead guilty to certain offenses in exchange for more lenient penalties. When you accept a plea bargain, you agree to waive your right to trial and moving straight to sentencing.
If you were accused of aggravated assault, our attorneys may be able to negotiate with prosecutors for a reduced charge of simple assault. The penalties for simple assault are significantly less severe than those that can accompany an offense of aggravated assault. Negotiating a plea bargain can be difficult without support and guidance of an experienced lawyer.
What Happens to Juveniles Who are Charged with Assault in Cumberland County, NJ
If a juvenile is charged with assault in Cumberland County, then they may be tried in juvenile court instead of criminal court. During juvenile court cases, judges will account for defendants’ ages, family situations, phycological disorders, medical conditions, and other factors before determining consequences for their actions.
Still, assault charges may result in defendants’ incarceration. Juveniles who are guilty of such offenses will be held in juvenile detention facilities. Furthermore, they may be placed on probation, forced to attend counseling, and ordered to perform community service.
Do You Have to Inflict a Serious Injury to Be Charged with Assault in Cumberland County, NJ?
You do not have to inflict a serious injury to be charged with assault in New Jersey. Courts take a very nuanced view of the word “injury.” The victim does not have incur an injury that necessitates medical treatment for assault to be charged. For instance, a simple smack to the face would still constitute an assault. Whenever there is any sort of unconsented to and offensive touching, assault may be charged.
Call Our Cumberland County Assault Defense Lawyers for Help
After being accused of assault, get in touch with our experienced assault defense attorneys today by calling the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956.