In New Jersey, charges of lesser offenses are heard by the Municipal Court in the municipality, city, or township where the offense allegedly took place. If you are charged with a petty disorderly offense, disorderly persons offense, or other disorderly conduct your case will be heard by the Municipal Court. (Also see Simple “Assault vs. Aggravated Assault”)
If you are convicted of simple assault you may be sentenced to serve up to 6 months in jail, be required to perform community services, and be subject to fine of up to $1,000, restitution, and probation.
Simple assault is generally charged in one of two ways:
- As a disorderly persons offense; or
- As a petty disorderly offense if a fight was by mutual consent.
Possible Penalties for Assault Convictions
- Fines and court costs
- Jail time
- Loss of the right to own or possess a firearm or weapon
- Mandatory anger management classes
- Probation and electronic monitoring
- Restitution to the victim
New Jersey laws (N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1) allows the charges of simple assault to be filed under the following conditions:
- If a person attempts to cause bodily injury to another person, or who recklessly, knowingly, or purposely causes bodily injury to someone else
- If bodily injury is negligently caused with a deadly weapon
- If someone threatens another person or puts them in fear of serious bodily injury through physical menace (i.e., pointing a gun or waiving a knife)
For a physical act to be considered assault the victim does not need to have sustained lasting injuries; the assault may simply cause temporary pain or discomfort or present a physical threat, and any unwanted or offensive physical contact can be considered assault.
Factors That Can Affect Charges and Penalties
- The unique circumstances of your crime
- Where the assault took place
- If the assaulted person was a minor or on school property
- If there was bodily injury
- The skill and experience of your defense attorney
- If you have a prior history of convictions, or, if other charges are being brought against you at the same time
Situations Where You Can Be Charged with Aggravated Assault
Aggravated assault, a more serious charge than simple assault, and can be charged as a 2nd degree offense, a 3rd degree offense, or as a 4th degree offense. How you are charged will depend upon many things; however, if any of the following conditions exist, you can be charged with the more severe crime of aggravated assault:
- The assault was against an officer, security guard, fireman, or any public official including judges, teachers, certain employees, etc.
- The assault was against a family member
- There was serious bodily injury to the victim
- A deadly weapon was used in the assault
- You threaten someone with a gun or point it at someone
- The assault occurred while eluding or attempting to elude an officer or while resisting arrest
Violent Crimes FAQs – Simple Assault and Aggravated Assault Charges & Penalties
- New Jersey Criminal Statutes – N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.a. Assault (Simple Assault)
- New Jersey Criminal Statutes – N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.b. Aggravated Assault
- New Jersey Criminal Statutes – 2C:43-1.Degrees of crimes
- Aggravated assault jail times: What are the prison terms for aggravated assault?
Attorneys at our Jersey City, NJ criminal defense law firm have handled hundred of trials and more than 100 felony jury trials and have experience defending individuals against serious criminal cases involving municipal, state and federal crimes.
We operate on a “trial first, negotiations second,” premise.
The stakes in every criminal case are high. No matter how the evidence seems to stack up, we believe there is ALWAYS a defense worth pursuing. You owe it to yourself to contact our firm online today for a free consultation, or call us at 732-303-7857 . Our clients can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via our office.