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

Assault Lawyer NJ

What Is Assault In NJ?

If you have been charged with Assault in NJ, your freedom depends on the victim’s injuries and who that victim is.

There are two things which determine whether you should be charged with Simple Assault or Aggravated Assault in NJ.

It makes a big difference whether you slapped your friend or a NJ cop.

It is Simple Assault in NJ to slap your friend. This action is charged as a Misdemeanor.

It is Aggravated Assault in NJ to slap a police officer. This action is charged as a Felony.

It’s the same action, BUT a different victim.

Depending on who you hit, you’ll be facing two different charges with two different outcomes.

Are you with me so far?

Click on the following link for a great article on “How To Drop Simple Assault Charges In NJ”.

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Assault In NJ Laws Made Easy

Let us make things easy.

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?

Well, the same rules apply to other Public Employees.

It’s a long list but here are some common examples:
EMT employees, Bus Drivers, PSEG workers, the Cable TV guy, nurses, DYFS workers, etc.

When you get angry and hit public employees, you will be charged with Aggravated Assault in NJ.

Is It Aggravated Assault In NJ If I Didn't Know The Person?

Here’s a question. 

What if a public utility employee is not wearing any type of uniform and he enters your property to shut off your water. 

All you see is a stranger trespassing onto your property with bad intentions. 

You confront him. Argue & punch him.

Should you be charged with Aggravated Assault in NJ? 

I was charged with Aggravated Assault in NJ but the victim was not a public employee

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Now if the person you injured was not a cop or nurse or EMT etc. and you were charged with Aggravated Assault in NJ, this means that you really injured the victim.

Simple Assault rises to Aggravated Assault when the victim’s injuries were severe.

In other words, you didn’t slap them, you punched them as hard as Mike Tyson.

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

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 Aggravated Assault nJ consequences?

assault lawyer in nj

The bad news is that if you are facing Aggravated Assault charges, this means that you are facing a felony.

A typical example would be Assault by auto charges in NJ.

You probably didn’t mean to hurt anyone but you’re still charged with this felony.

Another common Aggravated Assault charge in NJ is a weapons charge.  If you pointed a weapon at anyone, you will be charged with a felony.

All Aggravated Assault charges in NJ are charged as 2nd, 3rd, or 4th degree crimes.

To learn more about NJ criminal degrees, click here.

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

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