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Simple Assault

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William A ProettaReviewsout of 30 reviews Keith G OliverReviewsout of 55 reviews

Simple Assault Attorneys in Bridgewater NJ

NJSA 2C:12-1a Charges in NJ

Simple Assault Lawyers in Bridgewater NJFights are going to happen, that is just a part of life but the key is making sure that a simple lapse in judgement does not affect the rest of your life. If you have been arrested and charged with simple assault in Somerset County, it is imperative that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible about your options. Although the offense of simple assault is the lowest level assault crime in New Jersey, it is still a misdemeanor. As you will see below, if this offense is not handled properly it could cost a Defendant their freedom. In addition, based on the new bail reforms, if the offense of simple assault is determined to be an “act of domestic violence” then the Defendant will run the risk of being detained at least 48 hours in the Somerset County Jail pending pretrial services review of the case. If it is determined egregious enough, the prosecutor’s office can either seek special conditions upon your release and/or they can seek to detain you pretrial, without bail. However, in order to do so, the prosecution would need to file for a Detention Hearing. To speak to one of our Somerset County criminal defense lawyers about your options today, please contact us at (908)533-1064.

If you have been accused of simple assault, stalking, harassment, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, disorderly conduct or been served with a temporary restraining order in Somerset County, the attorneys at Proetta & Oliver can help. Our attorneys have probably handled over a thousand simple assault cases throughout their careers. We have seen just about everything when it comes to defending these charges, including when the charges are completely fabricated. If you would like to have a free initial consultation with Mr. Oliver or one of the other attorneys on staff, then please contact us at (908)533-1064. We can go over the facts of your case and we will give you our honest feedback on how we can be of assistance. Our office serves all of Somerset County, including Bridgewater, South Bound Brook, Bound Brook, North Plainfield, Somerville, Clinton, Franklin, Raritan and Watchung. These are serious criminal charges and should not be taken lightly, here is some information on simple assault charges in New Jersey.

Bound Brook NJ Simple Assault Lawyer

As touched upon above, the offense of simple assault is the lowest level assault charge under the New Jersey criminal code. This offense will be governed by NJSA 2C:12-1a. This is the only assault type charge in New Jersey that is not considered a felony. This is a disorderly persons offense, which is New Jersey’s version of a misdemeanor. The prosecution in essence has three different subsection in which they can attempt to prove a simple assault occurred. Here is a breakdown of those different subsections.

NJSA 2C:12-1a(1): In order to be convicted of simple assault in New Jersey the prosecution will have to prove the following elements:

  • That the Defendant either caused or attempted to cause bodily injury to another; &
  • That in doing so, the Defendant acted purposely or knowingly or recklessly.

NJSA 2C:12-1a(2): In order to be convicted of simple assault in New Jersey the prosecution will have to prove the following elements:

  • That the Defendant caused bodily injury to the victim;  
  • In order to do so, the Defendant used a deadly weapon; &
  • The Defendant acted negligently in causing bodily injury.

NJSA 2C:12-1a(3): In order to be convicted of simple assault in New Jersey the prosecution will have to prove the following elements:

  • That the Defendant purposely attempted to put the victim in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; &
  • That the Defendant did so by physical menace.

How to Defend a Simple Assault in NJ

As you can see each subsection not only requires a different mental state (Purposely, Knowingly, Recklessly, Negligently) but it also requires a different type of injury (Serious Bodily Injury & Bodily Injury). So, when it comes to defending these types of charges it is key to have a firm grasp of what the state must prove in order to complete their burden on the injury required.

Bodily injury, which is the lowest defined level of injury in New Jersey, requires the prosecution to prove that the victim suffered some form of physical pain, illness or any impairment of the physical condition.

Serious bodily injury which is the highest defined level of injury in New Jersey, requires the  the prosecution to prove that the victim suffered “bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.” As you can tell this is a much higher burden.

If the facts support it, an experienced Defense attorney can either seek to disprove the prosecution’s case by showing that the Defendant was actually acting in self defense. If they are successful, the Defendant must be found not guilty. Another angle that an experienced defense attorney can seek to show is that the fight was what has been coined as “mutual combat”. If that is established, the Defendant would still be found guilty however the charges would be reduced to a petty disorderly persons offense. For more information on the difference between a disorderly persons offense and a petty disorderly persons offense please see below.

Can I avoid Jail on a Simple Assault Charge in NJ?

Simple assault can either be a disorderly persons offense or a petty disorderly persons offense. The difference in the potential penalties, if convicted, are rather significant. Here is a breakdown:

Disorderly Persons Offense:

  • Up to 6 Months in the Somerset County Jail;
  • Up to a $1,000 Fine;
  • Fees & Assessments ranging up to $250;
  • A Criminal Record;
  • Court Ordered Anger Management;
  • Probation;
  • Restitution if applicable.

Petty Disorderly Persons Offense:

  • Up to 30 Days in the Somerset County Jail;
  • Up to a $500 Fine;
  • Fees & Assessments ranging up to $250;
  • A Criminal Record;
  • Court Ordered Anger Management;
  • Probation;
  • Restitution if applicable.

With that being said, there is a diversionary program known as the conditional dismissal that a Defendant may be able to take advantage of provided the offense is not considered an act of domestic violence. If the Defendant is eligible, they would be placed on probation for one year, if they complete the probationary period without violating any of the terms, the charges will be dismissed outright. For more information on this program, please contact our office at (908)533-1064.

Raritan NJ Simple Assault Lawyer

Being charged with a criminal offense can be stressful, however, hiring the right attorney can go a long way to alleviating that stress. If you have been accused of simple assault, stalking, eluding, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief or any other offense for that matter in Somerset County, it is crucial that you speak to any experienced criminal defense lawyer who also has experience in courts in Somerset County. Hiring the right attorney, one who not only knows the law but the specific courts and how they operate can go a long way to achieving a favorable outcome. At Proetta & Oliver we serve all of Somerset County, including Bernards, Bedminster, Clinton, Branchburg, Somerville, Hillsborough and Bound Brook. For a free initial consultation today with one of our Somerset County criminal defense attorneys, please contact us at (908)533-1064.