Assault with a deadly weapon is a type of aggravated assault in New Jersey. It occurs when someone acts intentionally with a deadly weapon and causes apprehension or fear in another of personal injury.
A “deadly weapon” is any weapon capable of killing or causing death. Firearms and blades clearly fall into this category, but everyday objects used in a dangerous way can also constitute deadly weapons. A small garden statue isn’t ordinarily thought of as a deadly weapon, though it would be classified that way if someone used it as a club. A bottle, a pen, a rock, a hockey stick, or a car can all be classified as deadly weapons if used in a way that could have, or did, cause serious bodily harm.
Some courts have even deemed hands and feet to be deadly weapons in certain cases. For example, if an assailant was twice the size of the victim and attacked him, striking with hands and feet in an attempt to beat the victim to death, then this could be classified as assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.
A Felony Charge
There is a wide range of possible penalties for assault with a deadly weapon. The initial charge will most likely be a felony, though assault with a deadly weapon can be reduced to a misdemeanor if there was no intent to kill and no bodily harm occurred. The severity of penalties for assault with a deadly weapon depends on the harm inflicted or potential that existed for harm to be inflicted. In some jurisdictions, the use of force causing bodily harm is equivalent to assault with a deadly weapon. But most cases involving assault with a deadly weapon include the use of that weapon to cause harm, adding a battery charge and often elevating charges to felony status.
Pointing a gun at someone (but without firing or causing them harm) may garner fewer or weaker penalties than attacking and striking someone with a metal teapot. Even though a gun is more likely to be considered a deadly weapon, the offense involving the teapot includes physical contact and personal injury. The assailant with the teapot also may have been closer to intent to kill than the person who pointed the firearm.
Prior assaults or violent crimes also play a major factor in potential penalties and sentencing. In New Jersey, a first offense of assault with a deadly weapon may be eligible for a pre-trial intervention program. If the program is completed without any additional offenses, the charges may be dropped or dismissed.
Experienced Weapons Charges Attorneys
Clark & Clark defense attorneys offer the rare qualifications of nearly 30 combined years of criminal law trial experience and board certified criminal trial certification.
Our lawyers have handled hundreds of violent crimes cases involving firearm offenses including:
- Murder and homicide
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Armed robbery
- Domestic violence
- Unlawful possession of a firearm
- Unlawful possession of a weapon
- Possession of a firearm or weapon for an unlawful purpose
- Certain persons not to have firearms or weapons
Yes, you do have someone on your side and, yes, we will guide you on how best to defend your case. Contact the criminal defense lawyers of Clark & Clark 24/7 by calling 732-303-7857 or filling out the form on this page for a free consultation with an experienced criminal jury trial attorney. We offer aggressive advocacy focused on obtaining positive results in your case.