What’s The Difference Between Simple & Aggravated Assault in NJ?

NJ Assault Law Basics

Understanding the difference between Simple & Aggravated Assault in NJ 
will help you with your criminal case.

Basically, the difference between the two types of assault depends on two things:
1) the damage you do to the victim; AND
2) role of the other person within society.

Remember the NJ cop example from the video?

Well, the same rules apply to other Public Employees.
It’s a long list but here are some common examples:
EMT employees, NJ Transit Bus Drivers, & nurses.

An easy way to know which type of Assault charge you’re facing is by asking yourself: “Did I hit a “public employees”?
If the answer is “yes”, then you will face Aggravated Assault charges.

NJ Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer

What if a you commit an assault on a cop but you didn’t know he/she was a cop?
This is a common question we get from clients. There is not a simple answer.
Rather, the case depends on the facts of your situation & many questions have to be answered.
Was the cop wearing a uniform?
Did the cop identify himself/herself?
Where did the assault occur?
Was the cop off-duty?
Had you ever met the cop before?

These questions and many more must be answered before we can prepare a proper defense.
If you have been accused of assaulting a police officer, contact us today.
You’re facing serious charges.

NJ Aggravated Assault by Auto

You will be charged with “Aggravated Assault” if you injured someone with your car.
In New Jersey, this is known as “Assault By Auto”.
The car you were driving is considered to be “the weapon” you used to commit the assault.
There are 3 ways that you can be charged with Assault by Auto in New Jersey.

NJ Assault by Auto Charges
Typically Arise in the following 3 Scenarios

Number One:
You will be charged with Assault By Auto if you intended to use your car to “collide with the victim”.
For example, as you are driving you see your enemy crossing the street and you run him over. 

Number Two:
You will be charged with Assault By Auto when you drive your car recklessly.
For example, you drink and drive & you are so impaired that you injure someone very badly.

Number Three:
You will be charged with Assault By Auto if you injure someone while fleeing or eluding police or while joyriding.

Now, depending on the injuries to your victim, you will be charged with different “Criminal Degrees”.

Your “term of incarceration” or “prison sentence” will vary depending on whether you were charged with First, Second, Third, or Fourth degree charges>

Go to this page to learn more about “Crime Degrees in New Jersey”.

Defending against Assault charges

Never lose hope, Assault charges can be defended and won.
Of course, the success of your defense depends on the facts of your case.
For example, did you hurt someone while you were “defending yourself”?
You may have a “self-defense” claim.
Next, did you and your victim agree to fight?
Perhaps, you were involved in a “mutual combat” situation.
If this is the case, we may be able to get your Aggravated Assault charges reduced from Felony to Petty Disorderly Persons charges.

Assault charges usually accompany Terroristic Threat & Drug Possession charges.

What Are the ways I can be charged with aggravated assault?

According to N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b), there are eleven ways you can be found guilty of aggravated assault:

  1. If you cause or attempt to cause serious bodily injury to another individual purposely, knowingly, or under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life
  2. If you cause or attempt to cause—either purposely or knowingly—bodily injury to another person with a deadly weapon
  3. If you recklessly cause bodily injury to another person with a deadly weapon
  4. If you knowingly (and under circumstances that manifest an extreme indifference to the value of human life) point a firearm at or in the direction of another person, whether you know it is loaded or unloaded
  5. If you commit simple assault against any of the following people during the scope of their employment:
    1. Law Enforcement Officer
    2. Fireman
    3. EMT/EMS Responder
    4. School Board Member, Teacher, School Administrator, School Bus Driver, or Any Other Public or Private School Employee
    5. DYFS Employee
    6. Member of the Judiciary (i.e. Judges and Justices)
    7. Bus Driver, Train Conductor, or Other Employee of a Rail Passenger Service
    8. Department of Corrections Employee or Other Jail Employee
    9. Utility or Cable Company Employee
    10. Health Care Worker
    11. Direct Care Worker at a Psychiatric Hospital or Center
  6. If youcause bodily injury to another person while fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer or while committing a theft crime
  7. If you cause or attempt to cause significant bodily injury to another individual or knowingly (or under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life) or recklessly cause such significant bodily injury
  8. If you cause bodily injury by knowingly or purposely starting a fire or an explosion that results in bodily injury to emergency services personnel
  9. If you knowingly—and under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life—point or display a firearm at or in the direction of a law enforcement officer
  10. If you knowingly point, display, or use an imitation firearm at or in the direction of a law enforcement officer with the purpose to intimidate, threaten, put the officer in fear of bodily injury, or for any unlawful purpose
  11. If you use or activate a laser sighting system or device (or a system or device that would cause a reasonable person to believe that it is a laser sighting system or device) against a law enforcement officer

What are the Penalties for Aggravated Assault?

Aggravated Assault charges are Felony charges.
A Felony conviction will prevent you from obtaining many types of jobs or from pursuing educational degrees.
Even worse, Felony convictions often result in lengthy prison sentences.

Aggravated Assault charges are always a serious matter.
Do not face the criminal justice system alone.
Get the assistance of our top-rated & highly experienced New Jersey defense lawyers.
When your case reaches any Superior Court in New Jersey, you are in for the fight of your life.

If you have any questions, use our FREE & Confidential Form
to get help with your NJ Assault case.

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If you’ve been arrested, come meet with us.
We know the law & we know how to fight.
Call Me now: 201-766-4800
NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer – Alan G. Peyrouton