In New Jersey, you can be charged with assault if you intentionally or recklessly cause or attempt to cause harm (bodily injury) to another person. Whether or not you will be charged with simple assault or with aggravated assault will be based on a variety of circumstances, such as whether or not you used a firearm or other weapon to cause injury, whether the victim was afforded special protection under the law, and the nature and extent of the victim’s injuries, among other factors.
The New Jersey criminal code identifies three situations that constitute simple assault:
- Attempting or causing actual injury to another person
- Hurting someone else while using a deadly weapon, even if the injury was not intentional
- Threatening another person or putting that person in reasonable apprehension of fear of an immediate of imminent serious bodily injury
Simple assault is a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey and is tried in the municipal court system. If convicted, you can anticipate a fine of up to $1,000 and be ordered to pay restitution. In two specific instances, you can also face jail/prison time of up to 18 months:
- If you were an employee of a nursing home, assisted living or other care facility and caused harm to a patient or resident there
- You committed the assault at a school or community youth sports event where there were children under the age of 16
The more serious charge of aggravated assault, an indictable offense, can take a variety of forms under New Jersey law. You can be charged with aggravated assault if you injure someone intentionally, knowingly or recklessly, and it can be shown that your conduct was “under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.” It can also be aggravated assault to cause injury with a deadly weapon. In fact, it can be aggravated assault to simply point a deadly weapon at someone, even if you didn’t believe it was loaded at the time.
Because aggravated assault is considered a more serious offense, the penalties are more severe. Depending on the degree of the crime, you could face anywhere from 18 months to 10 years in prison, and up to $150,000 in fines.
Contact Attorney Gregg A. Wisotsky
I offer a free phone consultation to every prospective client. For a complimentary evaluation of your case, contact my office online or call me at 973-241-7468. I will come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary. All major credit cards are accepted.