New Jersey Assault Defense Lawyers
In New Jersey, assault charges carry a range of penalties. Simple assault, governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a), is a disorderly persons offense. A person is guilty of the offense if the person knowingly or recklessly causes injury to another person, or if they attempt to injure another person. It is only a petty disorderly persons offense if the two people involved agree that they are going to fight each other. The charge will become a felony (usually a third degree crime) if the victim is a police officer, judge, school board member, or other public official.
A simple assault becomes an aggravated assault under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b) if the person uses a gun or other deadly weapon to commit an assault or attempt to commit an assault, or if the person causes or attempts to cause serious bodily injury (whether or not a weapon is used). It is important to understand that the terms “serious bodily injury” and “deadly weapon” are very broad. This is why it is especially important to hire a skilled criminal defense attorney if you are charged with aggravated assault. The police and prosecutor may consider almost anything a “deadly weapon” – things like household and kitchen tools, a piece of wood, things around the house, etc. Also, the police and prosecutor may consider almost anything to be a serious bodily injury – choking, repeated punching or kicking, even certain serious scratching. Without legal representation by a skilled defense lawyer, the police and prosecutor may get away with convicting a person of charges that are much more serious than appropriate.
Defenses for Assault Charges
Many people charged with assault claim that they are not at fault because they acted in self defense, were intoxicated, did not intend to hurt the victim, etc. These are all called affirmative defenses. Generally, it is highly unlikely that the prosecutor will listen to “your side of the story” and drop the case against you. The prosecutor must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, but the defendant has the burden of proving that they have a valid affirmative defense. And often it is difficult to prove these defenses. For example, if a person commits an assault while drunk, high, or otherwise intoxicate, they are still responsible if they voluntarily drank alcohol, used drugs, or even used prescription medication that they should have known would cause intoxication. Self defense is only available if the defendant reasonable believes that the use of force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the unlawful force of another. If the use of force is not immediately necessary or the defendant is not reasonable to believe that they need to fight back, then the defense will fail.
Assault Defense Lawyer Approach (Why Us?)
A person charged with assault could be facing a sentence of years in prison along with high fines and other penalties. If you are charged with such a crime you will need a lawyer to protect your rights. Even if the assault charge is a simple assault, we advise our clients to still consider the case serious because a conviction or guilty plea could seriously affect a person for years into the future. Our firm will fight vigorously for you and help you achieve the best results for your assault case. We are skilled at analyzing the evidence that the state intends to use against you and we fight to exploit any holes in the prosecutor’s case. We also spend a considerable amount of time in negotiating with the prosecutor so that our client’s get the best plea offers possible. Once a plea offer is made, we counsel our clients about whether it makes sense to accept a plea offer or take their case to trial, where the prosecutor would have to prove all of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
Assault Defense Lawyer Free Consultation
If you are charged with any crime, please call us right away for a 100% FREE CONSULTATION, on the phone or in our office. We will review the court documents with you and advise you on what we can do to help you. Remember, the prosecutor’s job is to put people charged with crimes in jail. The prosecutor will not simply listen to your side of the story and drop the case against you. It is important to be represented by a skilled criminal defense attorney.
Please contact us today!
Raff & Raff, LLP
Attorneys at Law
30 Church Street
Paterson, NJ 07505
Tel: (973) 742-1917
Fax: (973) 742-2454