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How Assault and Aggravated Assault Differ

Assault Charges in New Jersey

It is important to understand if you are being charged with criminal assault of any kind that there are key differences between regular and aggravated assault. There are differences in deciding whether assault is categorized as aggravated and there are also penalty differences as well. Having a quality lawyer on your side can help in situations where you are being charged with assault by having it reduced from aggravated to regular.

The Difference Between Aggravated and Regular Assault

There are three types of criminal charges for offense and unwanted physical contact. Battery is much more minor than either type of assault and usually involves more gentle physical contact and less harmful such as a slap, a single light punch, or a shove. Assault, on the other hand, involves illegal threat by word or act to inflict violence on someone. There, surprisingly, doesn’t have to be actual physical contact. The difference between aggravated and regular assault lies with potential aggravating factors. This can include such things as threat with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, sexual assault, or other serious factors. Deadly weapons can include firearms, knives, or even toxic chemicals like bleach or poison. Assault can also be elevated to aggravated if there is intent to commit a felony of any kind. There are many other unique factors that can raise an assault charge to the aggravated level as well. If the assault was against a child, a family member, a security guard, a public official, an officer, teacher, judge, government employee, or a fireman, these charges can be elevated. Serious bodily injury also raises it to aggravate. If you attempt to flee from an officer or resist arrest after assaulting someone this is another way simple assault can be raised to aggravated assault.

Penalty Differences Between the Two Types of Assault

Penalties for assault depend on if it is aggravated or not. Simple or regular assault in New Jersey involves up to 6 months in jail, up to $1000 in fines, probation, and often mandatory community service. This crime is usually considered to be a disorderly persons offense. When someone gets into a minor bar fight, the law doesn’t believe they should be punished anywhere on the same level as a man threatening the life of another with a gun and beating someone to near death. Penalties for aggravated assault are naturally much more severe and are charged as either a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th-degree offense. 4th-degree offenses can have up to 18 months in prison and carry up to $10,000 in fines. 3rd-degree offenses can have anywhere from 3-5 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. 2nd-degree offenses can have anywhere from 5-10 years in prison and up to $150,000 fines. With a quality attorney on your side, if you can’t get out of a conviction, they can at least help get an assault charge lowered to a less severe degree.

Contact an Experienced Princeton Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Assault Charges in New Jersey

Were you arrested or charged with assault or aggravated assault in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at The Davis Law Firm, LLC have successfully represented clients charged with assault in Hamilton, Trenton, Ewing, Lawrence, and throughout New Jersey. Call 609-587-9100 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 2653 Nottingham Way, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619. The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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