Simple Assault Lawyers in Morristown, NJ

Arrested for Simple Assault in Morris County – Need Attorney

Morristown Simple Assault Defense Attorneys NJ

Simple assault is a disorderly persons (misdemeanor) type offense in New Jersey which will be handled in the local municipal court in the town in which the alleged incident occurred. On this type of charge, a defendant is facing up to a $1,000 fine, up to six (6) months in the Morris County Jail, probation, and a permanent criminal charge on their record if convicted. Simple assaults typically involve a fight or a domestic violence incident in the home.

The Tormey Law Firm, LLC is a Morristown-based firm which practices solely in the areas of criminal defense and drunk driving (DWI). Our criminal defense attorneys have successfully handled thousands of cases in New Jersey, in both Superior Court (indictable/felony level offenses) and Municipal Court (disorderly persons/misdemeanor level offenses). Travis J. Tormey has handled thousands of criminal cases and focuses his practice solely on criminal defense and drunk driving defense. Mr. Tormey previously collaborated with the United States Attorney’s Office and worked closely with the gang task force, the white collar unit, and the sex crimes unit. Mr. Tormey is an experienced Morristown NJ simple assault lawyer who has represented clients charged with aggravated assaultdisorderly conduct, shoplifting, and other offenses all over Morris County. With offices conveniently located in Morristown, attorneys from The Tormey Law Firm, LLC appear in courts in Parsippany-Troy Hills, Dover, Budd LakeDenville, Rockaway, Madison, Victory Gardens and throughout Morris County NJ on a daily basis. Contact one of our skilled attorneys anytime at (908) 336-5008 for a free consultation.

Charged with Simple Assault in Morris County, New Jersey

Simple assault is a disorderly persons criminal offense in New Jersey. The crime is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a),  which provides, in pertinent part:

§ 2C:12-1. Assault

a. Simple assault. A person is guilty of assault if he:

(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.

Simple assault is a disorderly persons offense unless committed in a fight or scuffle entered into by mutual consent, in which case it is a petty disorderly persons offense.

Simple Assault Charges – Arrest – Warrant or Summons?

If a simple assault charge is issued against you, in can be issued on a warrant or a summons. If it is an alleged domestic violence incident, then it must be issued on a warrant and you will be taken to the Morris County jail to be housed. You will then see a Judge within 24-48 hours for a bail review. At the bail review, you can be released with certain conditions and a court date or the State can move for detention and ask the Judge to hold you while the case is going on. This is typically due to a lengthy prior criminal record where the State believes you are a danger to the community or a flight risk.

If the State moves for detention, there will be a detention hearing scheduled within five (5) days. Until then, the defendant remains in jail. The probation department will create a public safety assessment (known as a “PSA”) for the Judge which uses a grading scale on a scale of 1 to 6 which considers the risk for new criminal activity if the defendant is released from jail and whether or not there is a risk that they fail to appear in court. 1 is the lowest number on the scale and 6 is the highest number on the scale.

The Judge will consider the facts of the case, the strength of the State’s case, the wishes of the victim, the arguments of the State and the defense attorney, and the PSA and render a decision. Either the defendant will be released with certain conditions (report to probation by phone, report to probation in person, house arrest, curfew, ankle bracelet, no contact with the victim) or the defendant will remain in custody while the case is litigated in court.

Penalties for Simple Assault in NJ

Simple assault is a disorderly persons offense, except when it is a petty disorderly persons offense. The charge is handled in the Municipal Court in the municipality in which the alleged offense was committed. A disorderly persons offense is punishable by up to a $1,000.00 fine and six (6) months in the county jail. However, if the simple assault was committed in a mutual fight or scuffle, it is a petty disorderly persons offense, which is punishable by a $500.00 fine and up to 30 days in jail. If the simple assault was committed in a domestic violence incident, a restraining order may also be issued.

On a simple assault charge, the alleged victim must appear and testify in court unless the alleged assault was witnessed by a law enforcement officer or someone else. In addition, if this is a domestic violence offense, the defendant is not eligible to apply for the conditional dismissal program for first time offenders. Unfortunately, domestic violence charges are not eligible for that program.

Potential Resolutions of a Simple Assault Charge in Municipal Court

There are a number of potential outcomes for a simple assault charge in Municipal Court. The first is that the victim doesn’t want to proceed and the case is dismissed. This usually happens only if the State has no other witnesses or evidence to prove their case. If a police officer or another witness is available to testify (besides the victim), then the Prosecutor may not dismiss the case even if the victim wants it dropped. They may also consider a carry order where the charges are carried for 90 days or 6 months and, as long as there are no other incidents of domestic violence between the parties, the case will be dismissed at the end of the period. Sometimes the defendant is also required to complete counseling and provide proof to the court as a condition of the dismissal.

If the victim wants to proceed and the evidence is strong, a defendant may plead guilty to the charge with fines only (no probation, no jail). Or, if it was not a domestic violence incident, for example a bar fight, and the defendant has no prior criminal history, the defendant can be admitted into the conditional dismissal program. They will be placed on probation for one year and if they complete the probation successfully the charges are dropped. You can only use a program like this once in your life.

Finally, there could potentially be a plea negotiation where the defendant pleads guilty to a downgraded charge such as a local ordinance or disorderly conduct. If the case does not resolve in any of these fashions, then the case will likely proceed to trial. The trial is held in Municipal Court before a Judge and the State must prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Expunging a Simple Assault Charge from Your Record

If your simple assault charge was dismissed, you can file immediately for an expedited expungement to have the arrest removed from your record. If you successfully completed the conditional dismissal program on a simple assault charge, you have to wait six (6) months after your charges were dropped to then file for an expungement. If your simple assault charge was downgraded to a municipal ordinance and you plead guilty to that, you have to wait two (2) years to expunge the arrest from your record. Finally, if you plead guilty or were convicted of simple assault at trial, you can potentially expunge this charge from your record after 3-5 years depending on if you can show good cause and what other charges are on your record. You should speak to an attorney about your expungement eligibility.

Dover Simple Assault Attorney

If you’ve been charged with simple assault in Morris County NJ, the experienced criminal defense lawyers at The Tormey Law Firm can help you. We have a former municipal prosecutor on staff, so we understand how the other side thinks in assault cases. We also have years of experience defending clients charged with simple assault in Morris County courtrooms, so we have a firm grasp of the many nuances involved in assault cases. The criminal trial team at The Tormey Law Firm will fight to help you beat your simple assault charges. For a free consultation regarding your simple assault charges in Morris County, contact our Morristown offices at (908) 336-5008.

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With unmatched knowledge and experience in the practice of law, the seasoned attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm are committed to serving their clients and tenaciously confronting the allegations against them.

We will examine every facet of your case in order to defend your constitutional rights and reputation.

With a dedicated legal advocate to assist you, our attorneys will ensure that you are never forced to navigate the complex legal process on your own.

The Tormey Law Firm

Morristown Location

55 Madison Avenue, Suite 400, Morristown, NJ 07960

(908) 336-5008 Directions

Areas we serve

All of Morris County including Boonton, Boonton Township, Butler, Chatham Borough, Chatham Township, Chester Borough, Chester Township, Denville Township, Dover, East Hanover Township, Florham Park, Hanover Township, Harding Township, Jefferson Township, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Long Hill Township, Madison, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township, Mine Hill Township, Mount Arlington, Montville, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Morristown, Mount Olive Township, Mountain Lakes, Netcong, Parsippany-Troy Hills Township, Pequannock Township, Randolph, Riverdale, Rockaway Borough, Rockaway Township, Roxbury Township, Victory Gardens, Washington Township, and Wharton.