It is not hard for you to be charged with assault in New Jersey, however, an aggravated assault charge can greatly affect your life. While it can be relatively easy to be charged with aggravated assault, it is one of the most serious crimes in New Jersey and can result in you being sentenced to decades behind bars, and responsible for thousands of dollars in fines.
It is important to find effective representation and they undertake a thorough investigation. At the Law Firm of John J. Zarych we have provided professional legal representation and successfully defended against aggravated assault charges keeping innocent people from being convicted of a violent crime. To schedule a free and confidential initial case analysis call our firm at (609) 616-4956 or schedule an appointment online.
Is Aggravated Assault different from Simple Assault?
There are different types of assault charges in New Jersey, namely simple assault and aggravated assault as the two largest categories of assault charges. These charges can result in serious penalties and a conviction for any assault charge can negatively impact your future. Simple assault charges can be brought anytime a person attempts to or purposefully causes bodily injury to another person, negligently causes bodily injury to anther with a weapon, or if they put another in fear of impending bodily harm. While this is considered the least severe form of assault, a conviction can still lead to a prison sentence of up to half a year. However, there are many times when a simple assault is elevated to a more serious charge of aggravated assault. In New Jersey a person can be charged with aggravated assault if he or she does any of the following:
- Attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causes such injury purposely or knowingly or under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life recklessly causes such injury; or
- Attempts to cause or purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
- Recklessly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
- Knowingly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life points a firearm, as defined in section 2C:39-1f., at or in the direction of another, whether or not the actor believes it to be loaded; or
- Commits a simple assault as defined in subsection a. (1), (2) or (3) of this section upon:
- Any law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his duties…; or
- Any paid or volunteer fireman acting in the performance of his duties…; or
- Any person engaged in emergency first-aid or medical services acting in the performance of his duties…; or
- Any school board member, school administrator, teacher, school bus driver or other employee…; or
- Any employee of the Division of Youth and Family Services…; or
- Any justice of the Supreme Court, judge of the Superior Court, judge of the Tax Court or municipal judge…
- Causes bodily injury to another person while fleeing or attempting to elude a law
enforcement officer in violation of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-2 or while operating a motor vehicle in violation of subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:20-10; or
- Attempts to cause significant bodily injury to another or causes significant bodily injury purposely or knowingly or, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life recklessly causes such significant bodily injury; or
- Causes bodily injury by knowingly or purposely starting a fire or causing an explosion in violation of N.J.S.2C:17-1…; or
- Knowingly, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, points or displays a firearm, as defined in subsection f. of N.J.S.2C:39-1, at or in the direction of a law enforcement officer; or
- Knowingly points, displays or uses an imitation firearm, as defined in subsection f. of N.J.S.2C:39-1, at or in the direction of a law enforcement officer with the purpose to intimidate, threaten or attempt to put the officer in fear of bodily injury or for any unlawful purpose.
Any criminal matter is incredibly fact centered and the prosecutor will determine the appropriate charges on what they believe you can be convicted of based on the circumstances of your case. This is one of the most important reasons why you should contact an experienced criminal attorney anytime you are facing a criminal charge. Because each charge is unique there can be several facts and events that can be critical to your defense, such as if there were alcohol or drugs involved, whether you were acting in self-defense, and even your criminal background. There are always two sides to a story, and in many cases, you may have a defense to an aggravated assault charge that can lead to your charges being lowered or even dismissed.
Can I go to Prison for Aggravated Assault?
Anytime you are charged with a criminal offense there is the chance that you could be sentenced to time in prison. If you have been charged with aggravated assault there is the very real chance that you can be sentenced to a stay in jail, however, the lengths you can be sentenced to can be drastically different based on the level of aggravated assault you are charged with. While simple assault is generally charged as a disorderly persons offense, aggravated assault can be charged as a much more serious offense and can be charged as either a fourth, third, or second-degree crime. With each of these levels, there are different punishments that a judge can impose.
If you are charged with aggravated assault as a fourth-degree crime, then the prosecutor can suggest that you be sentenced to a stay in prison of up to eighteen months. If you are tried and convicted of aggravated assault in the third degree then the prosecutor may suggest to the court that you be sentenced to a stay in jail of anywhere from three to five years in prison. Finally, the most serious aggravated assault charges in New Jersey are brought as second-degree charges, and if you are convicted of aggravated assault in the second degree you could face a sentence of anywhere between five and ten years in prison.
Every assault and aggravated assault charge are different and unique, and at the Law Firm of John J. Zarych we will undertake a thorough investigation of your case and identify events and circumstances that are critical to your defense.
Rely on an Experienced Cape May Aggravated Assault Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one is facing serious criminal charges due to allegations of aggravated assault in Cape May County, the experienced Cape May criminal defense lawyers of the Law Firm of John J. Zarych can fight for you. We work to defend your rights by asserting all reasonable defenses and forcing the prosecutor to carry each and every element of their burden of proof. Furthermore, we engage with the prosecution strategically to determine whether there are additional options to mitigate the consequences you face. To schedule a free and confidential initial case analysis call our firm at (609) 616-4956 or schedule an appointment online.