Experienced Assault Attorney Providing Guidance for Clients Facing Charges in Hoboken
In general terms, an assault is an offense in which one person takes action against another person to do bodily harm. There are two different categories of assault in New Jersey – simple assault and aggravated assault. While both are considered serious offenses, only an aggravated assault charge is classified as a felony.
The law defines simple assault as harming another individual on purpose or as a result of negligent actions. It also includes threatening to harm someone with the goal of intimidating that person. It is still considered a violent offense with penalties such as fines, jail time, and a criminal record. Still, it is the least serious of assault charges and thus classified as a disorderly person’s offense, known as a misdemeanor in other states. Offenders found guilty of simple assault may be required to spend up to 6 months in prison and pay a $1000 fine.
What are The Penalties for an Aggravated Assault Charge in Hoboken?
An individual can be charged with aggravated assault when he or she commits an act that may be regarded as disregard for human life, causing serious injury to another person, or employing a deadly weapon. Penalties for aggravated assault are dependant on the circumstances of the crime and the extent of resulting injuries and damages. Acts such as threatening a police officer or attacking a school teacher can cause a simple assault charge to be escalated as aggravated assault.
Aggravated assault is considered a serious violent offense classified as a second, third, or fourth-degree felony. Convictions for second-degree aggravated assault include 5 to 10 years in prison and a $150,000.00 fine (this being the most serious of convictions). Third-degree sentences require 3 to 5 years in prison and up to $15,000.00 in fines, and a fourth-degree charge results in up to 18 months in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.00. Besides jail time and fines, offenders sentenced for aggravated assault will receive a permanent criminal record that may not be eligible for expungement. They will not be allowed to get out on parole until at least 85% of the sentence has been served.
Can an Aggravated Assault Charge be Dismissed in New Jersey?
The New Jersey criminal laws provide very little leniency for those charged with violent offenses. However, a skilled criminal defense attorney in Jersey City may be able to apply his or her knowledge of the law to de-escalate aggravated assault charges, reversing them to simple assault and negotiating penalties and fines.
Dismissing charges is not always possible, but depending on the circumstances, an attorney may choose to build a defense strategy using a self-defense justification per N.J.S.A. 2C:3-4. This law states that it is justifiable to use a deadly weapon against an intruder to someone’s home if the accused party believes that the use of deadly force was necessary to protect the home occupants or defend the property.
Several factors might attenuate an aggravated assault sentence. A judge may look at whether the accused is a first-time offender, and when that is the case, an attorney might be able to persuade the judge to allow for probation. In cases where the root cause for the offense was substance abuse, an attorney might argue that it will be more beneficial to send the offender to counseling or to a mandatory substance abuse treatment program instead of doing prison time.
How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Me?
Our Hoboken, NJ firm has an excellent record of securing favorable outcomes for assault cases. If you have been arrested for assault, it is important to cooperate with police and know your Miranda rights that allow you to remain silent and secure representation.
Call our office as soon as possible so we can begin working on your case, analyzing the evidence presented against you, and forming a strong legal defense strategy. Our firm is well-versed in all aspects of New Jersey assault laws and can help you navigate troubling times and protect your rights during the investigation and your case. Contact us at 201-798-4024 to learn about your options.