Simple Assault Lawyer in Seaside Heights, NJ
If you are charged with Simple Assault in Seaside Heights, NJ you are facing potentially serious criminal consequences. The terms “simple assault” may sound insignificant but, in New Jersey, simple assault is a criminal offense. If convicted by the Seaside Heights Municipal Court Judge you could receive up to 6 months in the Ocean County jail and fined over 1000 dollars.
Additionally, if the Simple Assault is considered an act of domestic violence, you could be required to forfeit any firearm you own and forfeit your purchaser’s identification cards. You may also be prohibited from obtaining a firearm in the future. In other words, a conviction for simple assault in Seaside Heights, New Jersey can have a major impact on your Constitutional rights, your previously clean criminal record, your current or future employment and your education.
Stop Worrying – We Can Help – Call Clark, Clark & Noonan today at 732-303-7857
At Clark, Clark & Noonan we specialize in Simple Assault cases in and around Seaside Heights, NJ. Our certified criminal trial attorney and former prosecutors have handled thousands of these types of cases and we are located just down the road in Wall, NJ.
We consistently have simple assault cases dismissed, amended to lesser non-criminal offenses or have successfully obtained ‘not guilty” verdicts after a trial. Unlike other alleged criminal defense firms our experience includes going to trial on hundreds of felony and misdemeanor (disorderly persons offenses) cases just like your Seaside Heights Simple Assault case. We will never force you into a plea.
If you aren’t satisfied with the proposed outcome during plea negotiations then we will take the case to trial. We never get taken advantage of in plea negotiations and we will always go to trial if our client doesn’t get a favorable plea offer.
Any firm can claim they have experience. But not every firm can claim they have experience in the courtroom. Our Seaside Heights Lawyers will make sure any Seaside Heights police misconduct is challenged and we will make sure your Constitutional rights were not violated.
We have the knowledge necessary to exploit factual mistakes in the police report, establish defenses that can lead to your acquittal and reach a result that will leave you feeling relieved. Do not try and do this alone.
If you are charged with Simple assault in Seaside Heights, you need the best representation available. At Clark, Clark & Noonan, we will protect your rights and your record. Call for a free consultation and case assessment today at 732-303-7857.
Simple Assault in New Jersey : NJSA 2C: 12-1a
Simple Assault in Seaside Heights, NJ is only “simple” in name. In New Jersey a Simple Assault charge is a disorderly persons offense (other State’s refer to it as a misdemeanor offense) and covers a wide range of conduct including acts which are “on purpose” as well as acts which are considered reckless.
As already stated above, a conviction can be punishable by up to 6 months in the County Jail. Believe it or not, a charge called Fighting is also covered under the assault statute and is a petty disorderly persons offense with the maximum penalty of 30 days in jail. Whether it is a disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons the charges are considered criminal offense and could have a profound effect on your future and your rights.
As stated above, the attorneys at Clark, Clark and Noonan have over 30 years of experience handling assault charges both as prosecutors and defense attorneys and we can help you get the best possible outcome in your Seaside Heights Assault case which is, many times, a dismissal of the charges.
Simple Assault – Definition
The formal definition of Simple Assault in New Jersey is located in the New Jersey Criminal Code at NJSA 2C:12-1a and states as follows:
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.
Bodily injury is defined in a separate statute as physical pain, illness or any impairment of physical condition. NJSA 2C: 11-1
Charged with Simple Assault – You May Have a Defense
The Warrant or Summons the police have signed against you for simple assault is not evidence. In fact, it is nothing more than a charging document that requires you to go to court. In short, the Seaside Heights Summons or Warrant proves nothing.
Whether you’ve been charged or arrested in Seaside Heights with Simple Assault or Fighting, you may have a number of valid defenses in your case which could lead to your charges being dismissed. Contact our experienced attorneys and former prosecutors to discuss your case at 732-303-7857 for a free consultation with an attorney at Clark, Clark, and Noonan.
Self Defense – You Are Allowed to Defend Yourself
In Seaside Heights or any other town in New Jersey you have the right to defend yourself. No one has the right to assault, punch, hit, kick, shove or use any other type of physical violence against you, your family members or significant others. Are you expected to sit back and watch as some intoxicated person on the boardwalk threatens and then attacks you? Of course not.
You are not obligated to stand by and just let someone attack you. You have the right to defend yourself and use force upon the other person to protect yourself. At Clark, Clark & Noonan, LLC, we have become experts in asserting self-defense in many of our cases where our clients were either protecting themselves, friends or family members from actual or imminent physical injury.
In most Seaside Heights assault cases, (not including cases of assault on an officer), the police did not see a thing because they were not present when the assault took place. The police are stuck with relying on eyewitnesses and “alleged victims” who will have numerous reasons to lie about what actually happened or may have a poor memory of the actual event.
Under New Jersey law, if the police see signs of any physical injury to someone who claims they are a victim then they are obligated to make an arrest even if you acted in self-defense and even if no one was really hurt. Do not worry, as stated above, the Summons, Warrant or Complaint is not evidence. Your day in court will come and the attorneys at Clark, Clark and Noonan will establish your claim of self-defense. If you acted in self-defense, there is a good chance your case will be dismissed after trial or during plea negotiations.
Once we establish your claim of self-defense the prosecutor may just dismiss your case, downgrade your charge to a non-criminal offense or allow you to enter a diversionary program on a lesser charge which ultimately will lead to a dismissal of your Seaside Heights New Jersey assault charge. Call Clark, Clark & Noonan today to discuss all your case, and potential defenses in our free consultation and case assessment at 732-303-7857.
Use of Force in Self-Protection – Seaside Heights Assault
The technical name for self-defense in New Jersey is “Use of Force in Self-Protection” and is located at NJSA 2C: 3-4. The law reads as follows:
- Use of force justifiable for protection of the person. Subject to the provisions of this section and of section 2C:3-9, the use of force upon or towards another person is justifiable when the actor reasonably believes that such force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself against the use of unlawful force by such other person on the present occasion.
The New Jersey legislature has created a statute that specifically allows you to defend yourself against physical force when immediately necessary. Obviously, there are limitation to the use of force in self-protection. For example, self-defense may not be available to you when you use a weapon to defend yourself against an unarmed person depending on the circumstances.
Also, you cannot use force against a police officer in order to resist an arrest regardless of whether or not you think he has lawful grounds to arrest you. Additionally, a person using force in self-defense cannot use more force than that which he reasonably believes is necessary to repel the attack. At Clark, Clark & Noonan, we have handled thousands of criminal and municipal cases.
We know when your self-defense claim is legitimate and we know how to use it your advantage in both plea negotiations and at trial if necessary. Call Clark, Clark & Noonan today to discuss your case with us, your potential defenses and all of your options. The consultation and case assessment is free so dial 732-303-7857 now.
What if I Don’t Have a Defense? – Do Not Worry the State Has the Burden of Proof
You may have been charged with Simple assault in Seaside Heights, NJ and be worried because you’re not sure you even have a defense. I hear from many clients that they don’t remember the events and are not sure what happened. After all, sometimes confrontations happen, alcohol may affect your judgment and you may act in a way you normally would not have acted.
You may initially think, “I don’t have a great defense” and are now extremely worried. You may ask “does that mean I have to just plead guilty?” The answer is “no”. As a defendant in a criminal case, you do not have the burden to prove anything. In fact, you walk into that Seaside Heights Municipal courtroom presumed innocent and it is the State – the prosecutor – who has to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The prosecutor has to subpoena these so called witnesses and the alleged victim and they will have to provide testimonial evidence before the judge to prove each and every element of the offense against you beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor presents insufficient evidence, or the witness testimony is inaccurate, incredible or unbelievable, the Judge may have “reasonable doubt” as to your guilt. If the Judge has reasonable doubt as to your guilt then he must find you “not guilty.”
At Clark, Clark & Noonan, we know when the Seaside Heights prosecutor’s witnesses lack credibility and when the case against you is weak regardless of whether you actually committed the offense or not. Simply put, we know when the State will have difficulty meeting its burden to prove you are guilty. As already stated above, we know when the State’s witnesses lack credibility because they are inconsistent, have a poor memory or have a motive to lie.
We are always able to exploit the witnesses’ credibility issues at trial. Many times, in a Seaside Heights assault trial, it is enough to argue that the State has not met its burden of proof even if you, possibly, committed the criminal offense of simple assault. We have repeatedly been successful in getting our clients cases dismissed or amended to a non-criminal offense just by arguing to the prosecutor and the Court that the evidence against you is weak or the witnesses relied upon by the prosecutor are not credible.
At Clark, Clark, and Noonan, we have the meaningful experience and defense strategies that will put you in the best possible position to win your case or reach a resolution that leaves you relieved. We will always look to safeguard your rights and protect your future from a criminal record. Call us today for a free consultation and case assessment at 732-303-7857.