Threat and assault charges are serious matters under New Jersey law. If you have been charged with assault or making a terroristic threat, the result could be jail and other penalties, plus a lasting criminal record. You need the help of a strong defense lawyer to have the best chance of avoiding a conviction and punishment.
A simple assault charge in New Jersey can become a more serious charge of aggravated assault based on the extent of injury, the use of a deadly weapon, or other circumstances. Even a simple assault charge filed as a disorderly persons offense can result in a Morris County Municipal Court handing down a sentence of up to six months in jail. An angry comment or careless statement can lead to you being accused of making terroristic threats, which is a felony that carries severe penalties.
If you have been charged with assault or making threats in Morris County, N.J., you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney from the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can work to defend your rights and keep a criminal conviction off of your record.
Most of our lawyers are former prosecutors or public defenders who have dealt with criminal cases from both sides of the courtroom. We use our insider’s knowledge of the N.J. criminal justice system to stand up for you. Call our Morristown office at 973-309-7050 to set up a consultation with a Morris County criminal defense attorney. An initial case review at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is free.
Speak To A Criminal Defense Attorney First
You can make a criminal case against you worse by talking to police, prosecutors, your accuser, or anyone else, without a criminal defense attorney present. After being arrested or once you realize you are going to be charged with assault or a threat crime, exercise your legal right to remain silent except to inform the police that you wish to talk with an attorney. Our seasoned attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall represent individuals charged with assault, communicating threats and other violent crimes throughout Morris County. Contact us as soon as you can.
What Is Considered Assault and Threats Under New Jersey Law?
Under New Jersey law, simple assault is defined as a crime when someone suffers bodily injury as a result of an intentional or reckless act, when bodily injury is caused as a result of a deadly weapon, and/or when someone physically threatens someone else and puts him or her in fear of serious bodily injury.
Aggravated assault, which is the more serious offense, occurs in six different circumstances. These six circumstances are:
- When significant bodily injury to another person is intentional or results from reckless conduct undertaken with extreme indifference for the value of human life.
- When bodily injury results from intentional or reckless conduct involving a deadly weapon.
- When an individual points a firearm at another person.
- When a simple assault is committed upon a police officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, judge or other public officials.
- When bodily injury is a consequence of fleeing or eluding a police officer.
- When an individual starts a fire or causes an explosion that injures an emergency responder.
Under New Jersey law, it is a terrorist threat if you make a statement that:
- Threatens to kill another person and puts that person in imminent fear of death and under the belief of the likelihood of the threat being carried out.
- Threatens to commit any crime of violence to terrorize another person, to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation, or to cause serious public inconvenience, or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience.
These are not the only crimes that fall under the heading of assault and threat charges. The types of assault and threat cases we handle also include:
- Criminal Mischief
- Criminal Restraint
- Disarming a Police Officer
- Disorderly Conduct
- False Imprisonment
- Obstruction of Justice
- Resisting Arrest
All of these crimes involve direct harm to another individual or the creation of fear of harm. Almost all of them can lead to a felony indictment.
Penalties for Assault & Threat Charges in New Jersey
Assault crimes in New Jersey may be charged as a second, third, or fourth-degree offense or a disorderly persons offense.
Simple assault charges that arise from a fight or altercation are typically filed as a disorderly persons offense. The penalties for a disorderly persons conviction of simple assault are:
- Jail for up to six months (30 days maximum for fighting).
- Probation as ordered by the Court.
- Fine of up to $1,000.
- Victim of Crime Compensation Board (VCCB) Assessment of $50.
- Safe Neighborhood Assessment of $75.
- Court Costs of $33.
- Domestic Violence Surcharge (if applicable) of $100.
Depending on the circumstances, aggravated assault in New Jersey may be charged as a:
- Second-degree offense if it involves serious injury, including serious injury inflicted while fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer or while driving a stolen vehicle.
- Third-degree offense if it involves attempting or inflicting serious bodily injury with a deadly weapon or pointing or displaying a firearm or an imitation firearm toward a law enforcement officer.
- Third-degree offense if it causes bodily injury to a law enforcement officer, firefighter or person engaged in emergency first-aid or medical services while doing their job; or a school board member or school employee, employee of the Division of Youth and Family Services, or a judge or justice; and a fourth-degree offense if it is directed against such persons but does not cause bodily injury.
- Fourth-degree offense if it involves recklessly causing bodily injury to another person with a deadly weapon or pointing a firearm at or in the direction of another person.
Depending on the charge, penalties for aggravated assault may include court costs and assessments as discussed above, as well as:
- Second-degree offense: 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
- Third-degree offense: 3 to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
- Fourth-degree offense: up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Terrorist threat charges may be filed as third-degree or second-degree offenses, though a second-degree offense would only be charged if the violation was committed during a period of national, state or county emergency.
Penalties available for a terroristic threat conviction include:
- Third-degree offense: up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
- Second-degree offense: 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
How Our Attorneys Can Help You
As a defendant charged with a criminal offense, you have a legal right to a robust legal defense that seeks the most favorable outcome for you.
An experienced criminal attorney from the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall will protect your rights and fight to resolve the case in a manner that is as favorable to you as possible. The sooner our law firm is involved in your case, the better our chances are to rebut the charges against you and have them dropped or reduced.
When you are represented by the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall in Morris County:
- An experienced N.J. assault crimes defense lawyer from our team will negotiate your release under the lowest bond available.
- Our team will investigate the charges against you, including evidence the prosecution has used to have you indicted, and move to have disputable evidence excluded from further proceedings.
- Our investigators will work to identify misconduct or other flaws in the prosecution’s case, such as:
- Illegal arrest
- Improper search and seizure
- Mistaken identity or faulty suspect lineup
- False witness testimony
- Faulty or fabricated evidence
- Faulty forensic testing (particularly regarding DNA evidence)
- Racial, ethnic, socio-economic, or other bias.
Potential defenses against assault or terrorist threat charges include:
- Acting in self-defense
- Acting in the heat of passion
- Lack of intent to harm, or being incapable of forming the requisite intent due to impairment
- Mental illness at the time of the alleged crime that prevented understanding of right vs. wrong or the consequences of the individual’s actions.
Because of our attorneys’ experience in Morris County courts, local prosecutors know us and will listen to and consider the case we present for reducing charges against you as part of a plea bargain.
Our attorneys have the experience and resources to prepare a strong and persuasive case to present to a jury if a trial is necessary. If a conviction cannot be avoided, the professional relationships our attorneys enjoy with local prosecutors will help us argue for alternatives to jail time or a minimum sentence and fine.
Contact Our Morris County, NJ, Criminal Defense Firm
If you or a loved one has been charged with one or more offenses that fall under the broad heading of assault and threat crimes, the attorney you select to defend you may be one of the most important decisions of your life. You should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows the criminal justice system.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have more than 100 years of collective experience defending clients against serious criminal charges. We have the experience, determination, and resources required to get you the best result possible.
Contact us in Morristown, NJ, today for a free initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys about the particulars of your case.