Yes, any person under 18 years old that has been involved in an incident that resulted in someone else getting injured due to the minor’s actions can be subject to an assault charge. In New Jersey, a minor can be charged with simple or aggravated assault, depending on the severity of injuries involved.
Simple assault is the least serious of all assault charges, but it should not be taken lightly. A juvenile can end up facing assault charges for something common like a schoolyard fight, or for something major like threatening a school teacher or causing severe bodily injury to another person. In the second instance, a simple assault charge is escalated to aggravated assault when the victim belongs to a protected class such as government employees or public servants.
In general terms, in a simple assault charge, the prosecution must prove that the juvenile acted on purpose (knowingly making the decision to cause bodily harm or intending to do so) or recklessly (knowing that his or her actions could cause harm and doing them anyway, causing injuries by being negligent). The prosecution must also prove that the victim suffered a bodily injury and that said injury was inflicted by the juvenile.
Simple assault is considered a disorderly person’s offense. While it is not classified as a felony, it still results in the juvenile being required to pay a $1000 fine. In most cases, this type of offense does not result in jail time – but there are exceptions. A juvenile can then be subject to up to 6 months in Jamesburg.
Aggravated assault, on the other hand, is an indictable crime with more severe sentences. For a juvenile charged with aggravated assault for the first time, courts will base their decisions on the minor’s age and whether there are any past offenses or charges. Punishments may include community service, parent supervision and/or monitoring, and registering to and attending a juvenile detention facility.
For more serious aggravated assault charges, such as a juvenile’s second or third offense, or cases involving the use of a deadly weapon, courts may not be so lenient. Courts may sentence the minor to up to one year in a juvenile detention center for a fourth-degree assault charge. A third-degree charge can result in up to two years in Jamesburg, and a second-degree charge results in up to three years in detention.
An assault charge is a serious matter with consequences that will affect a juvenile for years to come. A criminal record makes it harder to find employment, housing, and get into college. If your child has been charged with assault, it is essential to contact a seasoned juvenile assault lawyer as soon as possible to increase the chances of a positive outcome for your case. Contact the Law Offices of Keith Hirschorn, P.C. by calling 201-798-4024 to learn your options.