Assault charges are criminal charges, accompanied by a myriad of complicated and serious penalties if convicted. If you are currently facing a simple assault charge or other more serious type of assault charge, the time to fight back is now. A conviction is never your only option, but you must respond with a strong defense.
Whether you were involved in a fight or believe that you rightfully defended yourself against the aggressive advances of another person, it is important to take quick action to protect your rights and interests. As with most criminal cases, the sooner you secure qualified legal assistance, the better it will be for the ultimate outcome of your assault case.
An effective defense strategy
New Jersey defines simple assault as the attempt to injure another person without legal justification. If convicted, you could face fines, be required to pay restitution to the other party or both. Fines can range from $500 to $1,000, but the assault charge could be more serious, possibly resulting in jail time, if the incident involved an institutionalized individual or took place in the presence of a minor.
In order to defend yourself against this type of charge, it is important to challenge the evidence. In order to get a conviction, the prosecution must present clear evidence that you are guilty of at least one of the following:
- Inflicting fear of bodily harm on someone else
- Verbal threats or abuse
- Causing bodily harm
- Acting with intent
- Knowingly and recklessly endangered another person
- Threatened with any item that may be a deadly weapon
If there are problems with the case against you or the prosecution is unable to definitively prove that you intended to harm another person, it may be possible to secure lesser charges or have the charges dismissed entirely.
Why it is important to protect yourself
The particular penalties and laws that are applicable to your case depend on the details of your unique situation. It is important not to make assumptions about your case or assume that it is best to plead guilty in an attempt to move on with your life.
A thorough investigation of the facts will determine the most appropriate defense strategy for you. When facing criminal charges of any kind, your future options and personal freedom are at risk. Do not take a chance with so much at stake, but take steps to ensure that you are aware of all of your rights and options.