Our Former Prosecutors & Highly Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyers Have Over 200 Years of Combined Experience Defending New Jersey Aggravated Assault Charges
An assault charge is much more serious in New Jersey when it becomes aggravated based on the extent of injury, the involvement of a deadly weapon, or other circumstances, including the victim being a police officer or other public official. A primary reason for the escalation in severity is the fact that aggravated assault is an indictable offense that is punishable by lengthy prison time and significant fines under NJ law.
It is always advisable for someone charged with aggravated assault to immediately secure assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney so that every opportunity to escape a conviction is maintained. An attorney from the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has the qualifications so that you avoid a record for this violent crime. Our unique credentials include:
- Over 200 years of combined experience defending aggravated assault charges throughout NJ.
- One of the largest criminal defense teams in the state with ten (10) attorneys whose practice is dedicated exclusively to defense.
- Seven (7) former prosecutors who have handled the most complex of assault related offenses as former directors of the major crimes bureau, the trial team, drug task force, etc.
- Hundreds and possibly thousands of success stories representing clients arrested for aggravated assault in New Jersey.
If you face a charge of aggravated assault anywhere in the State of New Jersey, it is your best interests to discuss your case with a NJ aggravated assault defense attorney from the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall today. Your initial consultation with one of our lawyers is free so lets talk and you can learn how we can protect you against the potentially severe and long-lasting consequences of this offense.
Understanding Aggravated Assault Charges In New Jersey
N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1 of the New Jersey criminal code creates the offenses of simple assault and aggravated assault. There are numerous ways that the assault can become aggravated under this statute, including the victim sustaining serious or significant bodily injury, the accused exercising extreme indifference to the value of human life, or the there being involvement of a deadly weapon.
It is also aggravated assault to:
- Point a firearm at or fix a firearm’s laser sight on a law enforcement officer;
- Cause bodily injury to another person while fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer; and
- Start a fire or cause an explosion that injures an emergency responder.
Additionally, an aggravated assault charge can be filed for any alleged assault upon certain individuals while they are engaged in their occupational duties, including a:
- Law enforcement officer, police, sheriff, undersheriff, or sheriff’s officer
- Paid or volunteer firefighter
- Emergency responder engaged in emergency first-aid or medical services
- School board member, school administrator, teacher, school bus driver or other employee of a public or nonpublic school or school board
- Employee of the Division of Child Protection and Permanency
- Justice of the Supreme Court, judge of the Superior Court, judge of the Tax Court or municipal judge
- Operator of a motorbus or the operator’s supervisor
- Employee of a rail passenger service (train, subway, light rail, etc.)
- Employee of the Department of Corrections, county corrections officer, probation officer, juvenile corrections officer, state juvenile facility employee, juvenile detention staff member, juvenile detention officer
- Employee of a utility company or a cablevision company
- Health care worker employed by a licensed health care facility to provide direct patient care (except a direct care worker at a state or county psychiatric hospital, state developmental center, or veterans’ home — unless the alleged attacker is not a patient or resident of the facility)
Note that under N.J. law, a “deadly weapon” is defined as:
any firearm or other weapon, device, instrument, material or substance, whether animate or inanimate, which in the manner it is used or is intended to be used, is known to be 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.
“Serious bodily injury” means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
“Significant bodily injury” means bodily injury which creates a temporary loss of the function of any bodily member or organ or temporary loss of any one of the five senses.
Penalties If You Are Convicted Of Aggravated Assault
Depending on the circumstances, aggravated assault in New Jersey may be charged as a second, third, or fourth-degree crime. For example:
- Aggravated assault is a second-degree crime if it causes serious bodily injury or it occurs while fleeing a police officer. Second-degree aggravated assault is punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
- Pointing a gun at a law enforcement officer (without further harm) is a third-degree crime. There are also many other scenarios that were previously set forth where someone can face a third-degree aggravated assault in NJ. The punishment for this grade of aggravated assault includes 3 to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
- Pointing a gun at someone other than a law enforcement officer is a fourth-degree crime punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Regardless, if you plead guilty or are found guilty, your record will show a conviction for aggravated assault when a prospective employer, loan officer, college admissions officer or anyone else does a background check on you.
If you (or a loved one of yours) have been charged with aggravated assault in New Jersey, you need to remain calm and not make any statement to the police or the accuser unless an attorney is present. You could easily say or do something that will damage your case and have long-lasting consequences.
The quicker you engage a lawyer from the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall for an aggravated assault defense, the sooner we can protect your rights and begin to develop a defense for you.
We Help People Charged with Aggravated Assault in N.J.
It is not unusual for a charge that should be filed as a simple assault (if at all) to become an aggravated assault charge. For example, our defense attorneys have worked with many people charged with aggravated assault after a scuffle with a police officer that began with a questionable stop and search.
As your attorneys, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall will protect your rights, particularly your right to a robust defense against the charges you face, which includes doing everything allowed by law to obtain the most positive results for you.
Our first move will be to obtain your release from custody if you are being held. We can then begin to seek answers to questions that must be addressed to determine the legitimacy of an aggravated assault charge.
Two valid defenses to an aggravated assault charge are that the incident was a consensual fight or an act of self-defense. A person may also act in the defense of someone else, such as a spouse, family member, friend or even a stranger.
However, even if you can justify having harmed someone, it is not permissible to continue to inflict punishment on an individual who has become defenseless or is in a state of submission. You must have stopped before needlessly causing significant or serious bodily harm.
We will investigate the facts of your arrest and the case against you. We may find evidence to support a defense based on:
- Mistaken identity, such as because of a faulty suspect lineup
- False or unreliable witness testimony
- Faulty or fabricated evidence
- Racial, ethnic, socio-economic, or other bias
- Police and/or prosecutorial misconduct, such as illegal arrest and/or search and seizure.
Because our attorneys have relationships with prosecutors across the state, we can reach out and begin fruitful negotiations right away toward having charges dismissed or reduced as part of a plea bargain.
We can sometimes get charges reduced or dismissed based on our client’s remorse, willingness to pay restitution, such as for medical bills, time out of work, etc. and such circumstances as:
- An act resulting from the heat of passion, stress, duress, etc.
- Lack of intent to inflict significant or serious harm
- Being incapable of intent due to impairment
- Inability to understand the consequences of the individual’s actions
If a trial is necessary, our entire legal team will be available to prepare a strong and persuasive case to present to the judge and jury. If a conviction cannot be avoided, again, the professional relationships our attorneys have established over many years with prosecutors across the state will prove helpful as we argue for a minimum sentence and alternatives to jail time.
Keep in mind that an arrest in New Jersey starts a long process that does not necessarily end in a guilty verdict. There is reason to be optimistic if you have an experienced and dedicated aggravated assault defense attorney from the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall on your case.
Contact Our New Jersey Aggravated Assault Attorneys Today
If you have been arrested or face indictment for aggravated assault in New Jersey, exercise your right to remain silent and call our experienced criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible. Our team will work diligently to protect you from the consequences of the charges against you.
Don’t face the severe punishment and lasting harm of a guilty verdict or plea in an aggravated assault case without a proper legal defense. Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall now for a free initial consultation about how we can put our knowledge, skills and experience in New Jersey to work for you.