New Jersey Assault Charges

Assault Charges lawyer nj

Assault Charges

Assault charges can take many forms. For example, you can be charged with simple assault, aggravated assault, aggravated sexual assault, terroristic threats, assault by auto, and stalking. Most assault charges in New Jersey are not Indictable (felony) offenses.  Simple Assault charges are Disorderly Persons Offenses (misdemeanors).

Our law firm is located in Hackensack, NJ. We offer free consultations to help you understand the legal challenges before you. If you are facing assault charges in Northern New Jersey, come meet with our team today!

Our clients hire us when facing New Jersey assault charges in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Passaic counties. Whether your case is in Hackensack, Jersey City, Newark, Paterson, or a nearby city, we will help you with your New Jersey assault charges.

NJ Simple Assault - 2C:12-1

Simple assault is by far the most common of all New Jersey assault charges. Hundreds of simple assault complaints are generated daily. These cases are resolved in New Jersey municipal courts. If you plead guilty or are found guilty, you face up to 6 months in jail & a $1,000- fine. You will get a criminal record and this may affect employment & education opportunities.

If your charges stem from a domestic violence situation, you may have been issued a temporary restraining order. Violating a restraining order has serious consequences. If you are in this situation, our team of lawyers is here to help you.

If you have a clean record & are facing this type of New Jersey assault charges, you may be eligible for the conditional dismissal program. When you successfully complete this type of diversionary program, your simple assault charges will get dismissed. 

Simple Assault - 3 Real Cases

We represented a client in Hackensack, NJ charged with simple assault. They accused him of pushing another man in a bar.  During our client’s free consultation he explained that he did not push anyone. He insisted that he was the victim. At our first NJ court appearance, we met with the prosecutor & explained our side of the story. As expected, the prosecutor requested proof of our self-defense claim. We appeared before the judge & requested a brief 30-day adjournment to conduct our own investigation. Through our investigation, we got video surveillance from the bar & our client was telling the truth. He was not the aggressor. We went back to court & after meeting with the prosecutor he agreed to dismiss the criminal charges.

In another case, our client was facing simple assault charges in Newark. Our client had been having trouble with his neighbor for years & one-day things escalated. They exchanged insults & our client slapped his neighbor. The whole incident was captured on a smartphone video. This time we could not assert self-defense. The case against was strong & our client was in the wrong. We successfully admitted our client into the conditional dismissal program. We kept him out of jail & his criminal charges were dismissed.

In our last example, one of our Jersey City clients lost his temper with a co-worker. His co-worker had been making fun of our client’s weight issues & our client lost it. He punched his co-worker in the chest. Since he did not act in self-defense, we could not get his criminal charges dismissed. However, we showed the prosecutor evidence that our client was provoked & we reached a plea deal where the simple assault charges would be downgraded. Again, we kept our client of jail & kept his record clean.

Aggravated Assault

The word “Aggravated” includes the following behavior.

A person acted purposely, knowingly, or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.

Basically, this means that you knew what you were doing when you did and that you didn’t care about any consequences.

Aggravated Assault charges in New Jersey are indictable offenses.
If you’re facing Aggravated Assault charges, it’s important to understand two things:
1. The extent of your victim’s injuries; and
2. Identifying whether the victim in your case is a member of a “protected class”.

Depending on the degree of your criminal charge, you will not be eligible for Pretrial Intervention. But don’t lose hope! As criminal lawyers, it is our job to negotiate the prosecutor in your county to get your New Jersey assault charges reduced from a more severe charge to a less severe charge.

Aggravated Assault By Auto

You are guilty of assault by auto if you cause someone injury by driving in an aggressive manner. If you cause someone serious bodily injury while driving drunk, you will be facing a 2nd-degree crime. However, if you injure someone (even if you are not driving drunk), you will face either 3rd or 4th-degree charges.

Leaving The Scene Of An Accident

It may come as a surprise but we can add another type of assault to our list of New Jersey assault charges. Yes, it involves situations where you leave the scene of an accident.

If you are driving and are involved in a car accident (where serious bodily injury occurred) you will be charged with a felony offense if you leave the scene of the accident. Your lack of knowledge that someone got hurt is irrelevant. If you plead guilty or are found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident, you face 3-5 years in prison.

Terroristic Threats

New Jersey assault charges also include something we call terroristic threats.

A terroristic threat in NJ can fall into one of the following:

(1) You threatened somebody.

(2) You threatened to commit a violent act.

(3) You threatened to commit a violent act to

Terroristic threat charges usually come in “bundles”.

If you get these charges, you’re probably facing other offenses like Harassment, Resisting Arrest, Obstruction of Justice, Eluding, and Simple Assault. If you plead guilty or are found guilty of a Disorderly Persons offense, you face up to six months in jail and up to a one thousand dollar fine.

You must wait for five years from the date you completed your sentence before you can get an expungement. If you plead guilty or are found guilty of a felony, you must wait ten years to get your records expunged.

Aggravated Assault With A Deadly Weapon

If you cause injury to someone with a “deadly weapon”, you will be facing aggravated assault charges. Simply pointing a gun at someone is aggravated assault. Even if the gun is unloaded or it is a toy gun, it does not matter.

The simple act of pointing a firearm at or in the direction of another person means that you are manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life. It does not matter that you did not intend to harm anyone.

Deadly weapon means:

  • any firearm or other weapon,
  • device, instrument, material or substance, whether animate or inanimate, which in the manner it is used or is intended to be used, is known to be capable of producing death or serious bodily injury;
  • or which in the manner it is fashioned would lead the victim reasonably to believe it to be capable of producing death or serious bodily injury;

One of our Newark clients faced these charges in Essex county. He carried a paintball gun into a public place and the authorities were called. Within minutes it seemed like the entire Newark police department surrounded him. Luckily no one was hurt but he faced serious prison time for a stupid mistake. His case took a year to resolve & we are glad to say that we resolved it through a plea bargain. He never spent a day in jail & only had to pay a fine. Needless to say, he was very grateful.

Aggravated Assault With A Bodily Fluid

You are guilty of Aggravated Assault with a Bodily Fluid if you:

  • throws a bodily fluid at a Department of Corrections employee,
  • county corrections officer,
  • juvenile corrections officer,
  • State juvenile facility employee,
  • juvenile detention staff member,
  • probation officer,
  • any sheriff, undersheriff or sheriff’s officer or any municipal,
  • county or State law enforcement officer while in the performance of his duties or otherwise purposely subjects such employee to contact with a bodily fluid commits aggravated assault.

Note: If the victim suffers bodily injury, this shall be a crime of the third-degree.
Otherwise, this shall be a crime of the fourth-degree.

Aggravated Assault By Auto

You are guilty of assault by auto if you cause injury by driving in an aggressive manner:

Driving a vehicle in an aggressive manner includes, but is not limited to:
  • unexpectedly altering the speed of the vehicle;
  • making improper or erratic traffic lane changes;
  • disregarding traffic control devices;
  • failing to yield the right of way, or following another vehicle too closely.

*You commit simple assault against certain persons given special protection by New Jersey law due to their occupations (third-degree crime or fourth-degree crime, depending on injury).

Assault by auto or vessel is a crime of the second degree if:
you cause serious bodily injury while you are operating the auto or vessel while driving drunk:
  • on any school property used for school purposes which is owned by or leased to any elementary or secondary school or school board, or within 1,000 feet of such school property;
  • driving through a school crossing if the municipality, by ordinance or resolution, has designated the school crossing as such; or
  • driving through a school crossing knowing that juveniles are present if the municipality has not designated the school crossing as such by ordinance or resolution.

See the Jessica Rogers “Road Rage Law”

Stalking

Of all New Jersey assault charges, stalking is the least common.

You are guilty of stalking, a 4th-degree crime, if you:

‘purposefully or knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his safety or the safety of a third person or suffer other emotional distress.”

New Jersey defines “course of conduct” as maintaining visual or physical proximity to a person through any of a number of methods. These methods include using friends, neighbors, and social media platforms.

See our stalking page for more information.

Assault Penalties & Consequences

2nd-degree

If you are convicted of a second-degree assault in New Jersey, you face:

  • a potential fine of up to $150,000;
  • a prison term of five to 10 years; and
  • under the No Early Release Act (NERA), you must serve at least 85 percent of your sentence before you can be eligible for parole.

3rd-degree

If you are convicted of a third-degree assault in New Jersey, you face:

  • a prison sentence of three to five years; and
  • a fine up to $15,000, or both.

4th-degree

If you are convicted of a fourth-degree assault in New Jersey, you face:

  • a prison sentence up to 18 months: and
  • a fine up to $10,000, or both.

Our Experience

You or a loved one have been arrested. Understandably, you are terrified & have a lot of questions. You’ve heard about plea bargains & probation, but the process is overwhelming. You want a local attorney near you to represent you.

Mr. Peyrouton is from Ridgewood & handles all types of criminal matters in New Jersey The New Jersey Law Journal recently published one of his articles on the subject of criminal law.

How We Can Help

Regardless of the criminal charges you are facing, we are here to defend & protect you. Whether you are facing a restraining order, drug charge, theft charge, or aggravated assault charge, we are here to help you. Even a DWI case can really complicate your life.

If we can’t get your charges dismissed, we can either get them downgraded or place you in a diversionary program. The point is, our criminal defense lawyers will fight tirelessly to get you the best result possible. Take advantage of our free consultation to see how we can help.

Our Practice Areas

Below, you will find a few of our practice areas.

Areas We Serve

Our Hackensack criminal lawyers represent clients in Bergen County & nearby counties & cities. 

Get Help With Your Case

How Do Your Free Consultations Work?

There are plenty of excellent Hackensack criminal lawyers in our area. Most, if not all of them, offer free, 20-minute, consultations. However, our free consultations do not have a time limit. You will never feel rushed.

The best way for us to help you is to patiently listen to your side of the story. Your version of events will serve as the basis for your legal defense. It is during these initial meetings that your memory of the event is fresh in your mind. Why we would rush you during such an important aspect of your case.

We understand that your choice of attorney could mean the difference between your freedom and spending years behind bars. 

When you hire an attorney, you are entering a long-term relationship. For this reason, it is important that you feel comfortable with the team of Hackensack criminal lawyers that will represent you.

What our clients say about us

Peyrouton Law
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00:36 01 Aug 20
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01:43 25 Jul 20
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Initially, I thought our case was very minor. Come to find out that our situation was actually more complicated and would have had serious consequences had Peyrouton Law not taken our case. From beginning to end, we had peace of mind working with Samera and that we were in good hands and we were taken care of every step of the way. I cannot recommend this firm highly enough. Their professionalism, competency, responsiveness and integrity clearly set them apart from other firms. If you need legal counsel, you must contact Peyrouten Law first!
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15:24 25 Jun 20
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21:52 18 Apr 20
The office of Peyrouton Law Helped my family so much, I can't put it into words how much. The day we walked into the office we explained our situation to Alan and his associates and they took on our situation like we were family.
Edward Estupinan
Edward Estupinan
18:04 09 Mar 20
The Peyrouton Law firm is the place to go to if you need great representation. Extremely knowledgeable, honest and prompt. Alan and Kevin got our family through a very difficult and emotional matter quickly and with ease. The office was highly professional, responsive and compassionate. They kept us informed and advised us wisely throughout the entire process. I highly recommend this firm. Karen & Ed E.
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A person extorts if he purposely threatens to:

a. Inflict bodily injury on or physically confine or restrain anyone or commit any other criminal offense;
b. Accuse anyone of an offense or cause charges of an offense to be instituted against any person;
c. Expose or publicize any secret or any asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to impair his credit or business repute;
d. Take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action;
e. Bring about or continue a strike, boycott or other collective action, if the property is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act;
f. Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another’s legal claim or defense; or
g. Inflict any other harm which would not substantially benefit the actor but which is calculated to materially harm another person.

***It is an affirmative defense to prosecution based on paragraphs b, c, d or f that the property obtained was honestly claimed as restitution or indemnification for harm done in the circumstances or as lawful compensation for property or services.

Reasonable Articulable Suspicion

Reasonable suspicion is a “search” standard that applies in criminal law.

When a police officer conducts a warrantless search, and does not have probable cause to justify the search, the courts look to see if the police had
a “reasonable & articulable suspicion” for the search.

A mere “hunch” is not enough.

In other words, a police officer has to provide an acceptable explanation for the search.

United States Constitution

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

NJSA - 2C:43-7.2.
Eligibility for parole;
persons convicted of certain violent crimes

a. A court imposing a sentence of incarceration for a crime of the first or second degree enumerated in subsection d. of this section shall fix a minimum term of 85% of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant shall not be eligible for parole.


b. The minimum term required by subsection a. of this section shall be fixed as a part of every sentence of incarceration imposed upon every conviction of a crime enumerated in subsection d. of this section, whether the sentence of incarceration is determined pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-6, N.J.S.2C:43-7, N.J.S.2C:11-3 or any other provision of law, and shall be calculated based upon the sentence of incarceration actually imposed. The provisions of subsection a. of this section shall not be construed or applied to reduce the time that must be served before eligibility for parole by an inmate sentenced to a mandatory minimum period of incarceration. Solely for the purpose of calculating the minimum term of parole ineligibility pursuant to subsection a. of this section, a sentence of life imprisonment shall be deemed to be 75 years.


c. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary and in addition to any other sentence imposed, a court imposing a minimum period of parole ineligibility of 85 percent of the sentence pursuant to this section shall also impose a five-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the first degree, or a three-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the second degree. The term of parole supervision shall commence upon the completion of the sentence of incarceration imposed by the court pursuant to subsection a. of this section unless the defendant is serving a sentence of incarceration for another crime at the time he completes the sentence of incarceration imposed pursuant to subsection a., in which case the term of parole supervision shall commence immediately upon the defendant’s release from incarceration. During the term of parole supervision the defendant shall remain in release status in the community in the legal custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections and shall be supervised by the State Parole Board as if on parole and shall be subject to the provisions and conditions

Felony Degree

Prison & Fines

Examples

First-Degree

1st-degree felony charges in NJ are reserved for the most serious criminal offenses. Prison terms start at a minimum of 10 years in prison.

Second-Degree

2nd-degree felony charges carry 5-10 yrs in prison.
These charges can often be “downgraded” to 3rd or 4th-degree crimes.

Third-Degree

3rd-degree felony charges carry 3-5 years.
You have a good shot at PTI if you are charged with a 3rd-degree.

Fourth-Degree

4th-degree felony charges carry up to 18 months in jail. These cases can get “remanded” to a lower court. In this way, you will be out of “felony” danger.