Morris County NJ Aggravated Assault Attorney
Criminal Defense Lawyers with offices in Morristown, New Jersey
Aggravated assault is an extremely common charge in NJ. A bar fight that might otherwise have resulted in misdemeanor simple assault charges can instead lead to felony aggravated assault charges, depending on the extent of the injuries suffered by the other person. Because aggravated assault is an indictable felony-level offense in NJ, a person charged with aggravated assault could be looking at serious prison time, in addition to other penalties outlined below.
If you or a loved one has been charged with aggravated assault in Morris County NJ, it is important to speak with an experienced Morris County NJ aggravated assault attorney who understands the system. The criminal trial team at the Tormey Law Firm has extensive experience defending clients charged with violent crimes in Morris County NJ courtrooms, including courts in Morristown, Dover, and Parsippany. We also have an active Morris County municipal prosecutor on staff, which gives us unique insight into how to help you beat your charges. Call us today at 866-949-6948 for a free consultation.
Aggravated Assault Charges in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)
Aggravated assault charges in NJ are criminalized in the NJ criminal code under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b), which provides, in pertinent part, that a person is guilty of aggravated assault if he or she:
(1) Attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causes such injury purposely or knowingly or under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life recklessly causes such injury; or
(2) Attempts to cause or purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
(3) Recklessly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
(4) Knowingly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life points a firearm, as defined in section 2C:39-1f., at or in the direction of another, whether or not the actor believes it to be loaded; or
(5) Commits a simple assault as defined in subsection a. (1), (2) or (3) of this section upon:
(a) Any law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his duties…; or
(b) Any paid or volunteer fireman acting in the performance of his duties…; or
(c) Any person engaged in emergency first-aid or medical services acting in the performance of his duties…; or
(d) Any school board member, school administrator, teacher, school bus driver or other employee…; or
(e) Any employee of the Division of Youth and Family Services…; or
(f) Any justice of the Supreme Court, judge of the Superior Court, judge of the Tax Court or municipal judge…
(6) Causes bodily injury to another person while fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer in violation of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-2 or while operating a motor vehicle in violation of subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:20-10; or
(7) Attempts to cause significant bodily injury to another or causes significant bodily injury purposely or knowingly or, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life recklessly causes such significant bodily injury; or
(8) Causes bodily injury by knowingly or purposely starting a fire or causing an explosion in violation of N.J.S.2C:17-1…; or
(9) Knowingly, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, points or displays a firearm, as defined in subsection f. of N.J.S.2C:39-1, at or in the direction of a law enforcement officer; or
(10) Knowingly points, displays or uses an imitation firearm, as defined in subsection f. of N.J.S.2C:39-1, at or in the direction of a law enforcement officer with the purpose to intimidate, threaten or attempt to put the officer in fear of bodily injury or for any unlawful purpose.
Penalties for Aggravated Assault in New Jersey
Aggravated assault is an indictable criminal offense in NJ. There many types of conduct which constitute aggravated assault in NJ. Aggravated assault can be a crime of the second, third, or fourth degree, depending on a number of factors:
- The degree of injury inflicted or attempted to be inflicted on the victim.
- Whether a firearm or other deadly weapon was used.
- Where the act happened.
- The mental state of the defendant when committing the act.
- The occupational status of the victim.
Regardless of the degree of the aggravated assault offense, you could be exposed to:
- Prison Time.
- Lengthy Probation.
- A Felony Charge on Your Permanent Criminal Record.
Degrees of Aggravated Assault in New Jersey
Second degree aggravated assault has a maximum penalty of 10 years in NJ State Prison. The charge has a presumption of incarceration, which means that a person convicted of second degree aggravated assault will probably face a minimum term of incarceration of five (5) years in NJ State Prison. Additionally, because aggravated assault is covered under the No Early Release Act (NERA), 85 percent of the sentence must be served. Second degree aggravated assault also exposes a defendant to a fine of up to $150,000.00.
Third degree aggravated assault can be the charge when a defendant purposely or knowingly caused bodily injury to another person while using a deadly weapon. Third degree aggravated assault penalties include prison time ranging from three (3) to five (5) years and a fine of up to $15,000.00.
Fourth degree aggravated assault is a felony that exposes a defendant to up to 18 months in state prison, a fine of as much as $10,000.00, and a permanent criminal record.
The Differences Between Second Degree, Third Degree, and Fourth Degree Aggravated Assault in NJ
A prosecutor may file second degree aggravated assault charges if the defendant attempted to cause “serious” bodily injury. As used here, “serious” means that the injury exposed the victim to a risk of death. A person may also be charged with second degree aggravated assault if he or she caused bodily injury while attempting to elude a law enforcement officer.
A prosecutor may bring third degree aggravated assault charges if the defendant caused “significant” bodily injury. As used here, “significant” means that the injury created a temporary loss of the function of a body part or the temporary loss of one of the five senses. Third degree aggravated assault may also be charged if the defendant knowingly caused bodily injury while using a deadly weapon. A charge can also be elevated to third degree aggravated assault if the victim was a police officer, firefighter, health care or utility worker, teacher, or judge.
A prosecutor may seek a conviction for fourth degree aggravated assault if the defendant recklessly caused bodily injury with a weapon or “serious” bodily injury with a vehicle.
Contact a Parsippany NJ Aggravated Assault Attorney for a Free Consultation
The criminal trial team at the Tormey Law Firm includes lawyers who have successfully represented countless clients charged with aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and terroristic threats in NJ courtrooms. Our extensive experience has allowed us to craft effective defense strategies in aggravated assault cases. If your fight was entered into by mutual consent or if you were acting in self-defense, we may be able to get your aggravated assault charge downgraded to a misdemeanor offense or dismissed entirely.
If you or a loved one has been charged with aggravated assault in NJ, contact the Tormey Law Firm anytime at 866-949-6948 or through our online form for a free consultation.