If you are charged with aggravated assault in New Jersey, you need to take the charge seriously. While simple assault is a disorderly persons offense, or misdemeanor, aggravated assault is an indictable offense, or felony. If convicted for the offense, you could face a significant fine and prison sentence as well as:
- Restitution payment to the alleged victim
- Mandatory participation in anger management classes
- Loss of the right to possess a firearm.
A conviction for aggravated assault can also follow you through life as you search for a job, pursue an education or look for housing. Your future and your family’s future could be in jeopardy.
Here, we take a closer look at the possible fines and prison terms for aggravated assault in New Jersey as spelled out in N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b). Remember: An arrest does not automatically result in a conviction. With help from an experienced criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor such as Jason A. Volet, you can fight the charge and fight for your future. Contact us today to discuss your case.
Second-Degree Aggravated Assault in New Jersey
If you are convicted of a second-degree crime in New Jersey, you face a potential fine of up to $150,000 and a prison term of five to 10 years. Additionally, under the No Early Release Act (NERA), you must serve at least 85 percent of your sentence before you can be eligible for parole. To prove you are guilty of second-degree aggravated assault, a prosecutor must prove that you did any one of the following:
- Attempted to cause serious bodily injury to another or caused such injury purposely or knowingly or under circumstances showing an extreme indifference to the value of human life.
- Caused bodily injury to another while fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer or while operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent.
- Caused significant or serious bodily injury by knowingly or purposely starting a fire or causing an explosion that resulted in injury to any responding emergency services personnel. (If you caused merely bodily injury, it would be a third-degree crime.)
Types Of Injures Important To Aggravated Assault Charges
As you can see, when you are dealing with an aggravated assault charge, it will be important know the difference between three types of injuries:
- Bodily injury – This is an injury that involves physical pain, illness or impairment of a physical condition.
- Significant bodily injury – An injury that results in a temporary loss of any one of the five senses or the function of an organ or bodily member.
- Serious bodily injury – An injury that creates a substantial risk of death, serious and permanent disfigurement or extended loss or impairment of the function of an organ or bodily member.
An experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney will know how to look at the medical evidence in a case. For instance, a prosecutor may be forced to drop an aggravated assault charge to simple assault if the evidence shows that the alleged victim suffered only a bodily injury and not a significant or serious one.
Third-Degree Aggravated Assault in New Jersey
A conviction for a third-degree crime in New Jersey carries a possible fine of up to $15,000 and a prison sentence of three to five years. Many types of aggravated assault charges fall into this category. To convict you of third-degree aggravated assault, a prosecutor must show that you did any one of the following acts:
- Attempted to cause or purposely or knowingly caused bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon.
- Attempted to cause significant bodily injury to another or caused such injury purposely or knowingly or under circumstances showing an extreme indifference to the value of human life.
- Knowingly pointed or displayed a firearm at or in the direction of a law enforcement officer, showing extreme indifference to the value of human life.
- Knowingly pointed, displayed or used an imitation firearm to intimidate, threaten or attempt to scare a law enforcement officer.
- Used or activated a laser sighting system or device (or an imitation system or device) against a law enforcement officer in the course of duty.
- Attempted to cause significant bodily injury or caused significant bodily injury purposely or knowingly or under circumstances showing extreme indifference to the value of human life to a person who meets the definition of a domestic violence victim.
- Knowingly or under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life recklessly obstructed the breathing or blood circulation of a person who falls within the definition of a domestic violence victim by putting pressure on the person’s throat or neck or by blocking the person’s nose or mouth.
Additionally, you can face a third-degree aggravated assault charge if you commit a simple assault that causes bodily injury to any one of the following while they are performing their professional duties:
- Law enforcement or corrections officer
- Paid or volunteer fireman
- Emergency medical responder
- Teacher, administrator, bus driver or other school employee
- Employee of the Division of Child Protection and Permanency
- Member of the judiciary
- Bus driver or rail passenger service operator
- Utility worker or cable company employee
- Health care or psychiatric care worker.
If the simple assault on of those workers does not result in bodily injury, then it is a fourth-degree crime.
Fourth-Degree Aggravated Assault in New Jersey
If you are convicted of a fourth-degree crime in New Jersey, you can face a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of up to 18 months. For a fourth-degree aggravated assault charge, the prosecutor would need to prove that you did any one of the following:
- Recklessly caused bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon.
- Knowingly under circumstances showing an extreme indifference to the value of human life pointed a firearm at or in the direction of another, regardless of whether you believed the gun was loaded.
- Committed a simple assault upon an institutionalized elderly person when you were employed by a nursing home or similar long-term care facility.
- Committed a simple assault upon another at a school or community-sponsored youth sports event while in the presence of a child under age 16.
Get Help from an Experienced New Jersey Aggravated Assault Defense Lawyer
Attorney Jason A. Volet is a former Monmouth County criminal prosecutor who now aggressively defends those who have been charged with serious crimes such as aggravated assault. Over the course of his career, he has successfully handled more than 2,000 criminal cases. He can go to work for you today.
Aggravated assault carries serious consequences. You need to begin your defense immediately. So, don’t wait to get help from The Law Office of Jason A. Volet. Call or reach us online now for a free and confidential consultation.