Juvenile Assault Charges in New Jersey
Children and youths, especially young men, sometimes act aggressively toward others. But if a young person’s violence comes to the attention of police, an underage aggressor in New Jersey can be charged with assault as a juvenile and severely punished.
A juvenile in New Jersey might be charged with assault after a fight or verbal altercation at school, at a local mall, a ballgame, a party or in any situation. Simple assault under New Jersey law includes threatening another person as well as actually inflicting bodily harm. Aggravated assault is a more serious offense involving bodily harm. Any conviction of juvenile assault charges could prevent a young person from getting a job or being allowed to enroll in school.
Even a simple assault charged as a disorderly persons offense could lead to 6 months of detention. That’s why assault charges filed against a juvenile must be answered promptly with an aggressive legal defense from an experienced New Jersey juvenile crimes lawyer.
Attorney Jason A. Volet, a former prosecutor in Monmouth County, NJ, can help you and your underage child face assault charges. Mr. Volet’s current legal practice is focused entirely on protecting the rights of people charged with crimes and juvenile offenses. He has handled more than 2,000 criminal defense cases and is among the few lawyers certified as a Criminal Defense Attorney by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
Jason Volet knows how New Jersey’s juvenile justice system works and how it is intended to rehabilitate wayward juveniles. As a legal advocate, he is dedicated to assisting people like your child. He will work to achieve the best possible outcome if your underage child faces assault charges.
New Jersey Assault Charges a Juvenile May Face
The term “assault” can be applied to a variety of actions that range from injuring another person to threatening or attempting to injure someone or even making another person afraid. There are three basic assault charges that are likely to be filed against a juvenile involved in an altercation:
Simple assault, meaning the defendant allegedly:
- Inflicted or attempted to inflict bodily injury on another person by an intentional or reckless act
- Physically threatened someone else, putting him or her in fear of serious bodily injury
- Used a deadly weapon to inflict bodily injury.
Aggravated assault, which is:
- Significant bodily injury inflicted upon another person intentionally or by reckless conduct undertaken with extreme indifference to the value of human life
- Bodily injury caused by intentional or reckless conduct involving a deadly weapon
- Pointing a firearm at another person
- Simple assault committed upon a police officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, judge or another public official
- Using or activating a laser sighting system or device that could reasonably cause harm against a law enforcement officer
- Causing bodily injury by fleeing or eluding a police officer
- Starting a fire or causing an explosion that injures an emergency responder.
It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after your child has been detained. A juvenile arrested for a violent crime is likely to be held in custody, which requires a hearing within 24 hours to determine whether the juvenile is a danger to himself, herself or others or a flight risk and therefore should remain in custody.
Attorney Jason A. Volet can represent your child at a detention review hearing and present a carefully prepared argument to the court as to why your child should be released. He will also vigorously challenge any attempt by a prosecutor to transfer your child’s case to adult court.
Assault Charges Penalties in New Jersey
Assault offenses in New Jersey may be charged as second-, third-, fourth-degree or disorderly persons offenses.
The standard penalties for these levels of criminal charges are:
- Disorderly persons offense: up to 6 months in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
- Fourth-degree offense: up to 18 months in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
- Third-degree offense: 3 to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $15,000.
- Second-degree offense: 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $150,000.
New Jersey’s No Early Release Act (N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2) requires that a person sentenced to prison for certain violent crimes, including aggravated assault, must serve 85% of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole. After release from prison, he or she remains under parole supervision for 3 years if originally imprisoned for a second-degree offense.
Defending Your Underage Child from Assault Charges
Regardless of the circumstances of an arrest, without a confession the prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to convict. Juvenile assault charges are dismissed or reduced every day for any number of reasons. A defendant should never plead guilty without the advice of a criminal lawyer who has thoroughly examined the case against them.
As your attorney, Jason A. Volet will investigate the prosecution’s case against your child and challenge it where possible in an effort to have charges dropped or reduced. In some cases, by reaching out to the alleged victim, expressing remorse, or paying medical bills, a juvenile can get assault charges dropped.
If a case goes to trial, typical defenses to assault charges are:
- Acting in self-defense
- Acting to defend someone else
- Acting to defend property
- Acting in the heat of passion and lack of intent to harm or being incapable of forming the requisite intent due to impairment (situational, temporary or permanent)
- Mental illness that prevented understanding of right or wrong or the consequences of the juvenile’s actions.
N.J. juvenile defense attorney Jason A. Volet will present a vigorous defense on behalf of your child, including challenging the prosecutor’s witnesses and evidence. He will advocate for the most lenient outcome possible if a not-guilty finding is not available, such as probation with mandated counseling and release to you as parent or guardian.
Get Help from a New Jersey Juvenile Assault Defense Lawyer
Don’t let your child’s act of immaturity lead to consequences that can do long-term damage to his or her future. An arrest on assault charges does not automatically mean your child will be adjudicated delinquent. But you need to get an experienced criminal defense lawyer working on your case as soon as possible to ensure that all available defense options are explored.
Reach out to The Law Office of Jason A. Volet now to arrange a review of juvenile assault charges filed against your underage child. Call (732) 491-8477 or contact us online to schedule your free and confidential initial legal consultation.