Assault Defense Lawyers in Middlesex County NJ
The essence of assault and related crimes is disrupting the peace and safety of another. New Jersey takes violent crimes very seriously, and prosecutors are often hesitant to plea bargain these crimes. A conviction can result in a permanent criminal record, incarceration, probation and thousands of dollars in fines. This is why at Proetta & Oliver, our Middlesex County law firm, puts so much stress on working closely with our clients to put together a vigorous and thorough defense for your charges. Through our experience, we are normally able to have the charges downgraded or dismissed entirely. From our office in Edison, our criminal defense lawyers handle assault cases throughout Middlesex County, including in New Brunswick, Piscataway, Old Bridge, Perth Amboy, South Plainfield, and Woodbridge. To speak with an experienced Middlesex County assault defense attorney, contact us at (732) 659-9600 today for a free initial consultation.
Charged with an Assault Crime in Middlesex County
Assault charges commonly arise from alcohol-induced fights, domestic violence between spouses, or even arguments between neighbors. However, no matter the circumstances of your assault offense, you can rest assured that our lawyers will aggressively challenge the state’s case against and work with the prosecution to come to a fair resolution. Because of the nature of these crimes, it is common for assault charges to be greatly exaggerated or “over-charged” as a higher degree offense which can expose you to more serious penalties and or incarceration. We represent clients charged with the following related violent crimes:
- Aggravated Assault
- Simple Assault
- Assault on a Police Officer
- Disorderly Conduct
- Resisting Arrest
- Terroristic Threats
- Criminal Mischief
- Criminal Restraint
- Assault by Auto
- Obstruction of Law
- Cyber Harassment
- Vehicular Homicide
Our law firm regularly defends clients against all types of assault charges throughout Middlesex County. We know how the court system works and what it takes to successfully defend an assault charge and win.
Two Main Types of Assault Charges in Woodbridge and Edison NJ
The least serious type of assault that can be committed in New Jersey is simple assault. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a), a person is guilty of simple assault if they purposely, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to another person, or even if they merely attempt to cause bodily injury to another person. Basically, any type of physical altercation could result in you being charged with simple assault. Since simple assault is usually a misdemeanor and not a felony, the charge is typically classified as a disorderly persons offense and the case is heard in the local municipal court. The possible penalties for a conviction on simple assault charges include jail, fines, and community service. However, since there is not a presumption of incarceration for simple assault in New Jersey, many simple assault cases are pleaded out and the defendant is able to avoid jail time.
When an assault against another person causes extreme injury to the victim, or when the assault involves the use of a deadly weapon such as a knife or handgun, a simple assault charge can be elevated to an aggravated assault charge. Depending on the nature of the assault and the degree of injury sustained by the victim, an aggravated assault charge can be classified as a second degree felony, a third degree felony, or a fourth degree felony. Importantly, all aggravated assault charges are graded as felony-level offenses. This means that the case will be heard in the county superior court, and a conviction carries the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence. Additionally, some aggravated assault charges have a presumption of incarceration, which means that a conviction will automatically result in prison time for the defendant.
Understanding Degrees of Bodily Injury in NJ Assault Cases
One of the critical factors that determines the type and degree of an assault charge in New Jersey is the extent of injury sustained by the victim. New Jersey law recognizes three distinct levels of injury, as defined in Section 2C:11-1 of the Criminal Code. As you may expect, the more severe the injuries in a given case, the more serious the assault charges and penalties you face if convicted. The lowest level of injury is referred to as “bodily injury,” which essentially means the victim suffered some type of physical pain, illness, or impairment resulting from the assault. An example of bodily injury would be a black-eye. Bodily injury often gives rise to charges for simple assault, which is a disorderly persons offense similar to a misdemeanor, as mentioned above.
The second level of injury is known as “significant bodily injury,” which refers to any type of injury that leads to temporary loss of function of a body part, organ, or one of the five senses. For example, significant bodily injury occurs when a person suffers a broken arm or leg. When this level of injury occurs, the accused will likely be charged with third degree aggravated assault. This is an indictable offense, or felony, punishable by up to 5 years in NJ State Prison.
The most extreme level of injury in an assault case is called “serious bodily injury,” which creates a substantial risk of death, causes permanent disfigurement, or results in long-term loss of function or impairment of any body part or organ. When a person is accused of causing or attempting to cause serious bodily injury, they may be charged with second degree aggravated assault. This is an extremely serious crime with a presumption of incarceration, meaning even a defendant with no prior criminal record is facing mandatory time in prison.
Contact a New Brunswick NJ Assault Attorney for Answers
If you have been charged with a violent crime in Middlesex County such as simple assault, aggravated assault, or terroristic threats, Proetta & Oliver can help defend you and protect your rights. Our assault attorneys have successfully defended literally thousands of criminal and municipal court charges, including all types of assault cases throughout New Jersey. If you would like to learn more information about how we can help you, contract us today at (732) 659-9600 for a free initial consultation, with an assault defense lawyer. We have representatives available 24/7 to answer your call.