Simple Assault: A Disorderly Persons Offense Under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a)
N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a), the New Jersey Simple Assault Law, outlines those circumstances when an individual may be convicted of Simple Assault. In this regard, the law generally sets forth three (3) situations where a simple assault has occurred: (1) where someone suffers bodily injury as a result of an intentional or reckless act; (2) where bodily injury is negligently caused as a result of a deadly weapon; and (3) where someone physically menaces someone such that they are in fear of serious bodily injury. Simple assault is graded under NJ law as a disorderly persons offense except where it is the result of a consensual fight, in which case it is a petty disorderly persons offense.
Penalties for Simple Assault in Union County
Simple Assault charges carry the same potential penalties as many other disorderly persons offenses. If you are convicted of committing a simple assault, you could be ordered to serve up to a maximum of six (6) months in jail, as well as be required to pay a fine (up to $1000) and/or perform community service. Additionally, you may be required to attend anger management classes, or lose the right to own, carry, or possess a firearm. All of this is of course in addition to the fact that persons convicted of simple assault will have a violent crime on their criminal record, which may not be expunged for at least five years. Needless to say, the penalties for simple assault could impact a person’s life significantly if convicted of such an offense.
Enhanced Charges for Simple Assault on a Police Officer
Simple Assault Police Officer Exception: where a simple assault is committed upon a police officer, it is rendered an indictable felony offense referred to as Aggravated Assault. A simple assault resulting in bodily injury to a police officer is enhanced to a 3rd Degree Felony. Similarly, a simple assault on a police officer that does not result in injury is a 4th degree indictable charge which is also heard at the Superior Court.
Police officers aren’t the only exception. Assault of a security guard, fire fighters, teachers, judges, and any kind of public official could also elevate a simple assault charge from a disorderly persons offense to an indictable aggravated assault charge.
Assault Lawyers Near Plainfield, NJ
It is abuntently important that an individual charged with an assault offense in Union County NJ to retain an attorney as early as possible. The reason for swift action lies in the fact that our lawyers can often temper a situation before it escalates, including convincing police and/or prosecutors to downgrade a charge. If you would like to speak to an attorney in Union County who is knowledgeable in Simple Assault, please do not hesitate to contact our office. We defend simple assault charges in every Union County municipal court, including Cranford, Roselle, Roselle Park, Union Township, Westfield, Rahway, Linden, Elizabeth, Plainfield, and Springfield.
Our defense staff includes three former prosecutors who collectively possess over twenty (20) years of experience, as well as a seasoned attorney who has been defending individuals in Union County and elsewhere in New Jersey for almost thirty (30) years. We believe there are few firms in the state, let alone Union County, that possess this compliment of expertise. One of our attorneys would be happy to assist you and can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-289-3178.