Jersey City Law Firm Comprised Of Former Prosecutors & Highly Accomplished Criminal Litigators Who Have Over 150 Years Experience Appearing In Hoboken, Weehawken, West New York, North Bergen, Bayonne And Other Local Towns
Simple assault is probably one of the most common municipal court offenses in Hoboken, Jersey City, Weehawken, West New York, Kearny and the rest of Hudson County. The charge can arise as the result of a physical encounter with a neighbor, a bar fight or as is most often the case, in an incident of purported domestic violence. Keep in mind that while simple assault is misdemeanor in nature as a disorderly persons offense, a conviction still results in a criminal record and penalties that can severely impact your life. Selecting an attorney that knows the local court system and has experience defending simple assault charges is your best option for avoiding the pitfalls of a conviction.
Unlike many criminal offenses in New Jersey, you can be charged with simple assault even though the assault was unintended. This is because N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1 (“simple assault”) can be triggered as the result of purposeful, knowing, reckless or even negligent conduct. Moreover, an individual may be found guilty of simple assault where no injury was sustained such as where there was solely an unsuccessful attempt to commit the offense. Given the broad reach of this charge, not to mention that these cases are decided by a municipally appointed judge rather than a jury, hiring the right lawyer to defend you is of paramount importance.
We are the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, a team of ten (10) criminal lawyers, that have over 150 years in practice combined. Most of the attorneys on our staff have also served as prosecutors in the past, having handled literally thousands of simple assault charges over the years. If you were charged with simple assault in North Bergen, Union City, Secaucus, Harrison or another local municipality, we have the experience and commitment to results needed to maximize your chances of an acquittal. To obtain a free consultation with a simple assault attorney at our firm immediately, contact our Jersey City or Hoboken Office by calling 201-309-0500.
Hudson County NJ Simple Assault Lawyers: N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a)
The governing statute in New Jersey for the offense of simple assault is, as previously stated, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a). An individual may be convicted of this charge if he/she:
- “Attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another”
- “Negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon”
- “Attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury”
The elements for proving a simple assault are different depending on which of the three species of offense apply so we will explain each individually. Attempting to cause bodily injury results in a conviction if the accused possesses an intent or purpose to cause bodily injury and engages in conduct to carryout this result. When the charge is based on knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury, the conduct must cause physical pain or impairment of function. Someone acts recklessly if they consciously disregard a substantial and unjustifiable risk that bodily injury will result from their actions. If someone a conviction is pursued based on negligent conduct with a deadly weapon, the prosecution must prove that the defendant disregarded a substantial and unjustifiable risk that a bodily injury would result from his/her use of the deadly weapon. A deadly weapon is any object “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.” The last pedigree of simple assault involves physical menacing. In order to commit the type of simple assault, the actor must have a conscious object to place his/her victim in fear of serious bodily injury. It is not enough that they are in fear of contact — it must be fear that there is a substantial risk of death or “serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any body part or organ.”
Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, 574 Newark Avenue, Suite 204A, Jersey City, New Jersey, if you have been charged with simple assault in Union City, North Bergen, Jersey City, Hoboken, West New York, Bayonne, Weehawken, Secaucus, Kearny, Harrison, Guttenberg or East Newark.
What Are The Penalties For Simple Assault?
As stated previously, simple assault is a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey. However, if the offense is considered a mutual assault then it will be considered a petty disorderly persons offense. A disorderly persons offense is punishable by up to six (6) months in the Hudson County Jail and up to a $1,000 fine. Conversely, a petty disorderly persons offense is punishable by up to thirty (30) days in the Hudson County Jail and up to a $500 fine. In addition, a defendant may also be forced to take and complete anger management, be placed on probation and issued community service as a result of a conviction for simple assault.
Traditionally, their was no diversionary program available for anyone charged with simple assault in New Jersey, however, in January of 2014, that changed. The New Jersey legislature created a program known as conditional dismissal, which allows a defendant to be placed on a probationary term and provided they complete the term without violating any of the terms, there criminal charges will be dismissed.
Can A Conviction Effect My Immigration Status?
Yes. The immigration laws are very strict and prohibit an individual from committing acts involving moral turpitude. An assault, especially one involving domestic violence, can be viewed as such a criminal act. It is therefore very important that you do everything in your power to avoid a conviction if you are not a citizen (e.g. permanent resident, H1/H4 visa, etc.).
Will I Be Arrested And/or Detained?
Where you are arrested is essentially in the discretion of the police officer involved. If you are arrested and a warrant complaint is issued, like what is often the case in the context of domestic violence, you will be processed and taken to the Hudson County Jail until your initial appearance at Central Judicial Processing is completed.
How Does A Restraining Order Effect My Simple Assault Case?
A restraining order is a form of civil relief. A temporary restraining order is granted to provide immediate relief by barring any contact by the defendant until a final restraining order hearing is concluded or, alternatively, there is a voluntary dismissal of the temporary restraining order by the victim.
Jersey City NJ Simple Assault Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one received a criminal complaint or summons for simple assault in Jersey City or anywhere else in Hudson County, you should take advantage of the opportunity to speak to an attorney at our firm. The team of criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have vast experience representing clients accused of simple assault and, more importantly, possess a long track record of acquittals. We fully understand how a conviction can effect your future and have the commitment and skill to ensure that this does not occur. Whether your case is pending in Secaucus, Bayonne, West New York, North Bergen, Hoboken or another local municipal court, we are high familiar with the terrain and how to get you the result you need. Call us at 201-309-0500 to speak to lawyer about your case now.