Understanding assault charges in New Jersey

Understanding assault charges in New Jersey

When accused of assault, many people think there must be an error, if no one was hurt. However, you do not have to injure someone to be charged with assault. You do not even have to touch them. New Jersey law divides assault into two categories: simple assault and aggravated assault. The charges are serious, and if convicted, you could face severe penalties. If accused, it is vital to understand the difference between the two types.

Simple assault is defined as follows:

  • Threatening someone with imminent physical harm.
  • Attempting to cause someone harm.
  • Injuring somebody through recklessness.
  • Injuring someone knowingly or on purpose.
  • Injuring someone with a deadly weapon through negligence.

Aggravated assault, which is the more serious of the two offenses, is defined as follows:

  • Attempting to cause serious injury.
  • Attempting to injure someone with a deadly weapon.
  • Injuring someone with a deadly weapon on purpose.
  • Injuring someone with a deadly weapon through recklessness.
  • Causing someone serious injury on purpose.
  • Causing a serious injury through negligence or recklessness.
  • Pointing a firearm at someone. It does not matter if it is loaded or if you thought it was.

To summarize:

  • The severity of the injury or intended injury matters.
  • Using a deadly weapon makes things worse.
  • Doing something on purpose is worse than doing it through recklessness, where you knew something is dangerous but carried on regardless of the consequences.
  • Recklessness is worse than negligence, where you probably should have known better but didn’t.

If charged with assault in New Jersey, it is vital to seek legal help from an experienced criminal defense attorney. They can look at the specific circumstances of the incident and work out an appropriate defense strategy. Self-defense could be an option as could consent.