Types of Assault Charges Our Firm Can Help With
Our seasoned criminal defense law firm has helped people charged with a wide range of assault crimes, including:
The crime of simple assault in New Jersey is defined as:
- Attempting to cause or intentionally, purposefully, or recklessly causing bodily harm
- Causing bodily harm with a deadly weapon
- Causing someone to fear that they will be harmed through physical menace
In New Jersey, simple assault is a disorderly persons offense. However, it can be charged as a petty disorderly persons offense if the assault occurred in a fight that both parties mutually consented to entering.
Aggravated assault is a more serious charge than simple assault. There are numerous acts that could be charged as aggravated assault in New Jersey. Some of the most common types of aggravated assault include:
- Intentionally or recklessly causing (or attempting to cause) severe bodily harm to another person
- Intentionally or knowingly causing bodily harm to another person using a deadly weapon
- Recklessly causing serious bodily harm to another person using a deadly weapon
- Recklessly pointing a firearm directly at or in the general direction of another person, whether or not the perpetrator believes the firearm is loaded
- Committing a simple assault against specific types of individuals such as law enforcement officers, first responders, medics, judges, healthcare workers, utility company employees, school officials or teachers, or other government employees
Aggravated assault is distinct from simple assault in numerous ways. Some frequent examples of aggravated assault include:
- A physical confrontation that causes severe bodily harm to the victim
- Displaying a complete disregard for human life
- Harming a member of law enforcement when resisting arrest
- Committing assault while committing other crimes such as rape or burglary
- Using a deadly weapon such as a gun in an assault
Unlike simple assault, which is categorized as a disorderly persons offense, aggravated assault is charged as an indictable crime, meaning the potential penalties are far more serious.
In New Jersey, sexual assault occurs when a perpetrator uses physical force or coercion to sexually penetrate a victim. Common types of sexual assault in New Jersey include:
- Statutory rape
- Fourth-degree criminal sexual contact
- Third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact
- Second-degree sexual assault
- First-degree aggravated sexual assault
First-degree aggravated sexual assault is the most serious of all sexual assault-related crimes in New Jersey. First-degree aggravated sexual assault can include sexual penetration of:
- A minor under age 13
- A minor age 13 to 16 who is in a familial relationship with the accused person (for instance, a parent or guardian of the victim or someone who supervised the victim)
First-degree sexual assault can also be charged if the prosecution claims that the sexual assault occurred:
- At the same time as another crime such as murder or theft
- Where a deadly weapon was used to threaten the victim
- With the help of another person or multiple people
- And the victim suffered serious physical injuries
- And involved a physically or mentally incapacitated person such as a person who is passed out after consuming alcohol
Most people convicted of sexual assault are required to register as a sex offender on the New Jersey Sex Offender Registry for life. As a result, a person’s ability to live in a certain area may be restricted.
Assault on an Officer
Police officers (and first responders, among others) are in a protected category of individuals. If a person commits a simple assault against a police officer in the course of their duties, the charge will most likely be upgraded to aggravated assault. Aggravated assault against an officer is an indictable offense (akin to a felony).
Although assault on an officer may involve severe bodily injury, it doesn’t necessarily have to for the crime to be considered an indictable offense. In addition, even if the perpetrator did not intend to cause the officer serious harm, they could still be charged with aggravated assault if they seriously injured an officer through negligence or recklessness.
Assault with an Auto
If a person caused injury to someone else by operating their vehicle in a reckless manner, they could face the criminal charge of assault by auto. Recklessness involves actions that display extreme indifference toward the well-being of others. Reckless actions may include speeding and drunk driving, for example. Assault by auto may be charged as a disorderly persons offense if the driver’s recklessness results in bodily injury or as an indictable offense if the driver causes serious bodily injury.