NJ Assault Lawyer: Simple, Aggravated & Sexual Assault Defense
Few things in life are worse than being accused of a NJ assault crime.
Our experienced assault lawyers are here to fight for you.
If you are accused of any type of assault in New Jersey, you need to fight back through an aggressive criminal lawyer.
They are as follows:
1. Simple Assault
2. Aggravated Assault
3. Aggravated Sexual Assault
Of all the assault crimes in New Jersey, Simple Assault is the least serious while Aggravated Sexual Assault is the most severe.
On this page, you will learn the following:
1. Definition of each Assault Crime
2. Examples of each type of Assault
3. The penalties, fines & prison time for each Assault offense
4. Alternatives to incarceration
5. Legal Defenses to each Assault Crime
You will find a lot of information on this page regarding New Jersey Assault offenses but if you have been arrested for an Assault offense, you need the services of a Criminal Defense lawyer.
You should take advantage of our
Free Consultation so that we can help answer all of your questions.
(If you don’t see the answer to one of your questions, Contact Us and we will respond immediately.)
Now, if you are facing Simple Assault charges, you need to know a few things.
An arrest is a humiliating experience.
Facing criminal charges can be frightening.
But always remember that things could be much worse.
For example, you could be facing Murder charges.
Of all the criminal offenses in NJ, a Simple Assault charge is one of the less serious.
If there are no injuries, you’ve got a good case.”
These charges often arise in Restraining Order type cases.
If you’re full of fear and anxiety because you have a pending criminal charge, relax.
We’re here to help.
What Is New Jersey's Simple Assault Law?
2C:12-1 - Simple Assault - New Jersey Code
A person is guilty of assault if the person:
(1) Attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or
(2) Negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
(3) Attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
Simple Assault Examples
You slap your boyfriend
You kick someone in the leg
You push someone in the chest
You scratch someone
Can Simple Assault Charges Get Dropped or Dismissed?
Simple Assault charges can absolutely get dropped or dismissed.
Here are some ways that your case can get dropped or dismissed.
1. A charged for Simple Assault can get dropped if the alleged victim fails to appear in court.
2. Also, this charge can be dropped if the alleged victim does not want to go forward.
3. Your case may also get dismissed if the prosecutor
does not produce the evidence within a certain amount of time.
4. Your case may get dismissed because of a Constitutional Due Process violation.
5. Your criminal defense attorney persuades the prosecutor
that he doesn’t have a case he can prove.
For a great article on getting criminal charges dismissed, click here:
Dismissing Criminal Charges: Top 7 Ways To End The Nightmare
When Should I Accept A Plea Deal?
Discovery is the (fancy) legal term for evidence.
You need to know what evidence the State of New Jersey has against you before you make any decisions.
Very simply, if the evidence against you is weak, then your lawyer may get your case dropped to an ordinance.
Or, if he’s a really good lawyer (like us), he might be able to get it dismissed completely!
Now, if the evidence against you is strong, then you should ask your lawyer to put all of his efforts into preparing for trial.
If you have a clean record and are found guilty at trial, you can get apply for a Conditional Dismissal.
Simple Assault Charges Involving Domestic Violence
You will have the following 4 choices:
- Plead Guilty
- To plead guilty means to tell the judge/court that you did, in fact, commit Simple Assault
- Plead Guilty to an Amended Charge
- This means that your criminal defense attorney worked out a good deal for you. Instead of admitting that you committed Simple Assault, you will accept responsibility for a different offense. For example, you may plead guilty to a local ordinance violation.
- Go to Trial and Lose;
- Go to Trial and Win
Can a Simple Assault Conviction get Expunged?
If you plead guilty or are found guilty of Simple Assault,
you can expunge the arrest and conviction after five years.
However, you will need to expunge the “arrest” record.
If you use the Conditional Dismissal program, you will need to wait one year to expunge your arrest record.
It is extremely important to expunge the record of your arrest because this will pop up on any & all background checks.
Legal Defenses for Simple Assault
Each case is different, so each defense will vary.
You need to discuss the specifics facts of your case with your lawyer.
Here are a few common defenses:
1. Self-Defense (I was protecting myself)
2. Mistaken Identity (SODDI Defense – Some Other Dude Did It)
3. Alibi (I was out of the country when this happened)
WARNING: Was the victim a protected class?
For example, you will be charged with Simple Assault in New Jersey if you slap your next-door neighbor.
However, you will be charged with Aggravated Assault in New Jersey if you slap a police officer.
It’s the same “slap” but depending on the “who the victim” is, you face Simple Or Aggravated Assault Charges.
Here’s a great article: “What’s the Difference Between Simple & Aggravated Assault?”
How much should a lawyer
charge for my simple assault case?
If you have never been arrested and you ONLY have one charge for Simple Assault, then your legal fees should run between $1,500 – $2,000-.
Of course, this fee does not include a “trial fee”.
Should your case go to trial, then you will need to discuss your criminal defense attorney’s trial rates.
Now, if you have a clean record and are facing a Simple Assault charge along with other charges like, CDS Possession or Driving While Intoxicated, then your legal fees will be much higher. Makes sense doesn’t it?
Defense To Simple Assault:
Fighting By Consent Or Mutual Combat
Very simply it means that if you and someone else “agreed” to fight, then you would be facing only 30 days in jail and a $500.00 fine.
Since you and the person you injured understood that you would be “fighting” then there is not a real victim.
As you can see in the picture to the right, the Mutual Combat defense is most commonly raised with high school and college kids.
If I'm convicted at trial, can I appeal?
If you feel that you didn’t get a fair trial or that certain evidence was irrelevant, an appeal is the way to go.
I highly recommend that you hire an aggressive, criminal defense attorney to represent you for your criminal conviction Appeal.
There are specific steps that must be taken to (intelligently) file an appeal.
Please do not try to do this alone, get help.
Simple Assault Video
New Jersey Aggravated Assault
These criminal charges are graded as 2nd, 3rd, & 4th-degree crimes.
Check out the following link to learn more about NJ Felony charges.
If you’ve been charged with Aggravated Assault in NJ, this means that you are accused of seriously injuring someone.
Please be aware that you’re facing prison time.
In this section, you will find answers to all of your Aggravated Assault questions.
New Jersey Aggravated Assault Definition
Aggravated Assault can be charged as 2nd, 3rd, or 4th-degree felony in New Jersey.
The degree of your charge depends on a variety of factors.
But the two most important factors deal with “who” your victim is & “how” bad their injuries are.
If your victim is a member of a “protected class”, then a Simple Assault (Misdemeanor) on that person instantly becomes a 3rd-degree Aggravated Assault (Felony).
For example, if you slap your neighbor you’re facing Simple Assault.
But if you slap a cop in the exact same way, you’re facing 3rd-degree Aggravated Assault.
You see, the “cop” is a member of a protected class & now you’re facing felony charges.
Aggravated Assault Law - 2C:12-1b
A person is guilty of aggravated assault if :
Aggravated Assault Examples
- Breaking someone’s jaw
- Cutting someone’s face with a knife
- Punching someone in the eye so they cannot see out of that eye
- Slapping a cop while he’s trying to arrest you
- Burning someone with a hot iron
- Crushing a whiskey bottle over someone’s head
- Pushing someone down a flight of stairs
- Pointing a gun at someone
What's the difference between
Simple & Aggravated Assault?
What Does Aggravated Mean?
A person acted purposely, knowingly, or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.
Basically, this means that you knew what you were doing when you did and that you didn’t care about any consequences.
What is Serious Bodily Injury?
1. Poking someone’s eye out during a fight;
2. A stabbing victim loses a kidney;
3. Breaking a person’s legs.
To avoid prison, it is necessary to identify your victim’s injuries.
The police make mistakes sometimes and will charge a person with 2nd-degree Aggravated Assault when it should be a 3rd or 4th-degree charge.
What Is Significant Bodily Injury?
This means that a victim loses their eyesight or hearing as a result of the assault.
1. Getting a black eye and losing vision for a week;
2. Getting hit in the head and losing hearing for a week;
3. Injuring a finger and not being able to use it for a week.
If you are accused of causing Significant Bodily Injury to someone, you will be facing serious prison time.
What is Aggravated Sexual Assault NJSA 2C:14-2?
New Jersey defines sexual assault as a crime in which one person forces another person to have “vaginal intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio or anal intercourse” or to be subject to the “insertion of a hand, finger or other object” in the vagina or anus.
Sexual Assault charges get elevated to Aggravated Sexual Assault if one of the following occurs:
- The alleged victim is younger than 13.
- The alleged victim is 13 to 16 years old, and the defendant is related by blood or other legal means to the minor (such as a legal guardian).
- The alleged sexual assault occurred while another crime was being committed or attempted (such as a kidnapping or a robbery).
- The alleged sexual assault involved physical force that resulted in bodily injury.
- The defendant allegedly had a weapon and threatened to use it during the assault.
- The alleged victim was helpless or incapacitated (such as if the person was unconscious or unable to move), and the defendant knew or should have known that.
Is Aggravated Sexual Assault A Felony In NJ?
Aggravated Sexual Assault charges are always prosecuted as either First or Second-degree crimes.
If you plead guilty to a First-degree crime, you are facing a minimum of ten years in prison.
Depending on the number of charges, you will be sentenced to multiple decades of incarceration.
These charges never get downgraded and you will be ineligible for PTI.
You may want to read:
Dismissing Criminal Charges: Top 7 Ways To End The Nightmare
Penalties for 1st-degree Aggravated Sexual Assault
If you were convicted of 1st-degree Aggravated Sexual Assault, you would be sentenced to a specific term of years fixed by the court.
The term would be between 25 years and life imprisonment of which you must serve 25 years before being eligible for parole.
What is the statute of limitations for
Aggravated Sexual Assault?
There is no statute of limitations for Sexual Assault in NJ.
In other words, you can be charged many years after you allegedly committed this offense.
However, for most other sex offenses, the period of time is 5 years.
If you believe that you are being investigated for sexual assault in NJ, contact us immediately.
For more information on the statute of limitations for sexual assault crimes throughout the country, please click here.
Can I Get PTI For An Aggravated Assault Charges?
Your eligibility to get into PTI for an Aggravated Assault charge will depend on a number of factors.
For a complete discussion of New Jersey’s Pretrial Intervention Program, see NJ PTI: Everything You Need To Know In 5 Minutes!
i'm under investigation for
Aggravated sexual Assault,
Should I talk to
the police & explain my side?
You risk incriminating yourself every time you try to explain things to law enforcement.
The best course of action is to retain a Criminal Defense lawyer & let him guide your decision to speak with law enforcement.
The truth is that you always have time before trial to give a statement to the police.
Remember, if you make one single mistake while giving your statement, you can never take it back.
It’s that innocent statement that will land you in prison for a decade.
actions you should take if the police approach you
1. Never Speak to the police until you retain a lawyer
2. Never Answer police questions until you retain a lawyer.
3. Never Admit anything to the police until you retain a lawyer. It is human nature to try and explain your side of things but you should never try to explain anything if you are being investigted for a crime.
The problem is that you never help your situation when you answer police questions.
In fact, you make matters worse because the tiniest piece of information can get twisted.
Legal Defenses - Aggravated Sexual Assault
Consent means that you and the alleged victim agreed to engage in the underlying sexual behavior.
However, this defense is not available when the alleged victim is a minor.
The second defense deals with the State’s inability to prove penetration.
If the State failed to obtain DNA evidence or if you never provided a statement admitting to the sexual act, then the case becomes a credibility issue.
Whether you are charged in NJ with Simple, Aggravated, or Aggravated Sexual Assault you need to retain a criminal lawyer who can protect your Constitutional rights and represent you throughout NJ’s Criminal Justice Process.
Each type of Assault is different and each legal defense will be different.
While Simple Assault is a Misdemeanor, Aggravated & Sexual Aggravated Assault are high felonies that carry hefty prison terms.
Reach out to us today to help you with your Assault matter.
We offer FREE consultations.