Short Hills Assault Lawyer
An assault charge can carry severe penalties, such as prison time, probation, and significant fines. Furthermore, a conviction for this type of crime can have lasting consequences, including a criminal record and appearing in background checks you may need for job and housing applications. When facing a charge like this, you need the support of a Short Hills assault lawyer. Call our dedicated criminal attorneys today to learn more.
What Are Assault Charges?
Assault typically involves causing harm or putting another person in imminent fear of bodily harm. These crimes do not necessarily require physical contact or bodily injuries. There are multiple levels of assault charges that a person could face in New Jersey, including Simple Assault, Aggravated Assault, and Assault by Vehicle.
While simple assault is the least severe assault charge, a conviction has the potential for substantial penalties, including up to six months in county jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
Aggravated Assault and Assault by Auto are indictable offenses and can be second, third, or fourth-degree crimes, depending on the specific circumstances. The prosecutor will consider several factors, including the severity of the other party’s injuries. A seasoned attorney in Short Hills can explain assault charges in further detail during a private consultation.
Simple assault is charged as a disorderly persons offense. Though a lower-level offense, it should nonetheless be taken seriously as potential consequences include jail time and significant fines. Under N.J.S.A. 2C: 12-1, a person is guilty of Simple Assault if that 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.
If your attorney in Short Hills can show that the assault offense was committed while in a fight that was entered into by “mutual consent,” then the charge may be reduced to a lower level petty disorderly persons offense.
Aggravated assault is a higher offense level and carries more severe consequences. Elements of aggravated assault charges include, but are not limited to:
- Attempting to cause serious bodily injury to another;
- Attempting to cause or knowingly causing physical harm with a deadly weapon;
- Displaying extreme indifference to the value of human life, which causes bodily harm to another;
- Recklessly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon.
Depending on the circumstances, the state can prosecute aggravated assault as a fourth, third, or second degree crime. This means that, regardless of the offense level, prison time is possible if convicted. However, a conviction for aggravated assault in the second degree is the only level that carries a presumption of incarceration. This means that a sentence of incarceration must be imposed if you are convicted. Though a third and fourth-degree offense carries the possibility of a prison sentence, there is no such presumption for these grades. Rather, your hardworking lawyer can negotiate for either probation or fines only following an assault charge in Short Hills.
Assault by Auto
When an individual recklessly operates a motor vehicle and causes injury to others, the state may prosecute them on Assault by Auto charges. Such charges should be taken very seriously, as the grade levels range from a higher second-degree offense to a lower-level disorderly persons offense. The offense level will depend on the extent of injury sustained by the victim and the surrounding circumstances.
The prosecutor does not need to establish intent when a person recklessly operates a vehicle and causes harm to others. For example, proof that a defendant was utilizing a cell phone while driving the vehicle may be used by the prosecution as an inference that the defendant was driving recklessly. A talented attorney in Short Hills can evaluate your case and determine what the best defense strategy is for you.
Meet With a Capable Assault Attorney in Short Hills
Planning a strong defense strategy for a violent crime is complex. To achieve your desired outcome requires knowledge of the criminal justice system and careful navigation of the legal process.
An assault conviction, even for simple assault, can remain on your criminal record forever. If you have been charged with assault, our knowledgeable criminal attorneys can help you fight the allegations in court.
Schedule a meeting with a dedicated Short Hills assault lawyer today to begin planning your defense.