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ABOUT NEW JERSEY AGGRAVATED ASSAULT

Aggravate Assault involves situations where an individual causes or attempts to cause bodily injury on another.   Aggravated Assault is more serious than Simple Assault.  An assault can be deemed “aggravated” depending upon the nature of the attack, injury or identity of the alleged victim.  Aggravated Assault is a very serious, indictable criminal offense.  As such, Aggravated Assault cases are heard in the Superior Court of the county in which the crime allegedly occurred.  Simple Assault is a less serious disorderly persons offense, which is heard in the local municipal court.  If you are charged with Aggravated Assault, you should immediately contact an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney.

New Jersey law provides that a defendant is guilty of Aggravated Assault if he or she:

(1) Attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causes such injury purposely or knowingly or under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life recklessly causes such injury; or

(2) Attempts to cause or purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or

(3) Recklessly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or

(4) Knowingly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life points a firearm, as defined in section 2C:39-1f., at or in the direction of another, whether or not the actor believes it to be loaded; or

(5) Commits a simple assault as defined in subsection a. (1), (2) or (3) of this section upon:

(a) Any law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his duties…; or

(b) Any paid or volunteer fireman acting in the performance of his duties…; or

(c) Any person engaged in emergency first-aid or medical services acting in the performance of his duties…; or

(d) Any school board member, school administrator, teacher, school bus driver or other employee…; or

(e) Any employee of the Division of Youth and Family Services…; or

(f) Any justice of the Supreme Court, judge of the Superior Court, judge of the Tax Court or municipal judge…

(6) Causes bodily injury to another person while fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer in violation of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-2 or while operating a motor vehicle in violation of subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:20-10. or

(7) Attempts to cause significant bodily injury to another or causes significant bodily injury purposely or knowingly or, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life recklessly causes such significant bodily injury; or

(8) Causes bodily injury by knowingly or purposely starting a fire or causing an explosion in violation of N.J.S.2C:17-1…; or

(9) Knowingly, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, points or displays a firearm, as defined in subsection f. of N.J.S.2C:39-1, at or in the direction of a law enforcement officer; or

(10) Knowingly points, displays or uses an imitation firearm, as defined in subsection f. of N.J.S.2C:39-1, at or in the direction of a law enforcement officer with the purpose to intimidate, threaten or attempt to put the officer in fear of bodily injury or for any unlawful purpose.

The penalties for Aggravated Assault depend upon the nature of the incident and identity of the victim.  For instance, violations of Section (b)(1) and b(6) are considered Second Degree Aggravated Assault, violations of Sections (b)(2), (b)(7), (b)(9), and (b)(10) are considered Third Degree Aggravated Assault, violations of Sections (b)(3) and (b)(4) are considered Fourth Degree Aggravated Assault, violations of Section (b)(5) is a crime of the Third Degree if the victim suffers bodily injury, if not it is brought as a Fourth Degree Offense.  Section (b)(8) is a Third Degree crime if the alleged victim suffers bodily injury.  However, if the alleged victim suffers significant or serious bodily injury, it is a crime of the Second Degree.  Finally, Section (b)(11) is considered Third Degree Aggravated Assault. These are just some general sentencing guidelines, which may vary depending upon the particular facts of your case.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help establishes viable legal defenses to Aggravated Assault.  For instance, injuries resulting from fights between two willing parties may not constitute Aggravated Assault.  Additionally, self-defense may be a valid defense to the charges.  Every case, like every fight, is different.  The facts of the particular case will determine the manner in which a criminal defense lawyer will proceed.  This law firm has extensive experience defending individuals charged with Aggravated Assault.  We would be pleased to offer a complimentary consultation at a time of your convenience.

 

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