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Mercer County Simple Assault Lawyers
Dedicated Simple Assault Lawyers Fight for Clients’ Rights Throughout Trenton and Hamilton New Jersey
To obtain a conviction for assault, at the most basic level the prosecution must prove that the accused individual caused or attempted to cause bodily injury to another person. New Jersey divides the crime of assault into two distinct categories—simple assault and aggravated assault. The range and severity of potential punishments that may apply upon conviction varies depending upon this basic initial categorization, as well as a number of other factors, such as the severity of the injury caused. Although “simple assault” is the lesser of the two crimes, if you have been arrested or investigated for simple assault in Mercer County, it is important to remember that this is still a violent crime that requires the advice of experienced legal counsel as early as possible.
At the Davis Law Firm, LLC, our experienced criminal defense lawyers take allegations of simple assault seriously. We understand that circumstances can often be misunderstood by the prosecution, and are ready to go to work to prepare a forceful and persuasive defense to obtain the best possible results in your case.
Degrees of Assault Under New Jersey Law
Simple assault is typically the crime charged if an individual is accused of causing or attempting to cause bodily injury to another in cases where the injuries or potential injuries were not severe. The prosecution in New Jersey can prove simple assault in three ways under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1, including by proving that the accused person:
- Purposefully, knowingly or recklessly caused or attempted to cause bodily injury to another person,
- Negligently caused bodily injury to another person by using a deadly weapon, or
- Put another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury, such as by threatening that person with a deadly weapon.
The prosecution can show that the bodily injury involved was, or would have been, “serious” if the injury would have created a substantial risk of long-term or permanent disfigurement, or loss or impairment of an organ.
Penalties for Simple Assault in Mercer County
Simple assault is a disorderly persons offense under New Jersey law unless the injury involved occurred because of a fight that both parties entered into willingly, in which case the degree is reduced to a petty disorderly persons offense. Disorderly persons offenses are generally punishable by:
- A fine of up to $1,000 for disorderly persons offenses,
- A fine of up to $500 for petty disorderly persons offenses,
- A court-ordered fine that does not exceed twice the amount of the victim’s losses,
- Up to six months in jail.
Simple assault is elevated to a fourth degree criminal offense, punishable by a fine and up to 18 months in jail, if the assault occurred:
- While the accused was working in a care facility for the elderly and the victim was an institutionalized elderly person, or
- While a child under age 16 was present, and the assault occurred at a school or community-sponsored youth sports event, regardless of whether the accused person knew that a child under age 16 was present.
Experienced Simple Assault Lawyers Effectively Defend Clients Accused of Crimes in Mercer County
The advice of a seasoned Mercer County simple assault lawyer can be especially valuable in simple assault cases because of the low standard of proof that the prosecution faces in these cases. For example, although intent is an important element of any crime, in the case of a simple assault charge, it is sufficient that the prosecution prove that the accused person acted negligently in causing the injury. This means that if you did not actually want the weapon used to make contact with the alleged victim, if it was reasonable to assume that you should have been aware of the possibility of contact and injury under the circumstances, negligent simple assault can be proven.
The potential vagaries present in these types of cases give an experienced criminal defense window substantial opportunities to create a strong argument that the requisite intent element was not present in some cases. At the Davis Law Firm, LLC, our team of lawyers leave no stone unturned in investigating your case as we fight to obtain reduced charges or even an outright dismissal if possible.
Arrested for Simple Assault? Contact an Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer in Hamilton, NJ Today
If you have been accused of simple assault in Mercer County, you need a reputable and skilled criminal defense lawyer to advocate on your behalf throughout the entire criminal process. Call our offices at (609) 498-7722, or by filling out this secure online form, to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys today. Our offices are conveniently located at 2653 Nottingham Way, Hamilton, NJ 08619, and we accept Visa, Mastercard and Discover.
FAQ: What is a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey? Under New Jersey law, crimes are divided into indictable criminal offenses and disorderly persons offenses depending upon the severity attributed to the crime by the state legislature. Disorderly persons offenses are similar to misdemeanor offenses in other states, and are generally perceived as less severe crimes. Despite this, disorderly persons offenses still appear on your criminal record, making it important to retain skilled legal counsel to take steps that can avoid conviction in some cases, or ensure that the offense is expunged from your record at a later date if possible in your case.
FAQ: What is a deadly weapon for purposes of the New Jersey simple assault statute? The term “deadly weapon” is interpreted broadly to include almost any item capable of causing serious bodily injury to another person. Obviously, weapons such as guns and knives are included in this category. However, less obvious weapons are also included, such as baseball bats or a brick that is thrown toward another person. Remember that simple assault charges can result even if you did not really want to hurt the other person involved if you reasonably should have known that your actions could have caused injury.