Harrison Simple Assault Attorney
If you are a resident of Harrison or someone frequenting the town for employment purposes or any other reason, and you receive a charge of simple assault, you should contact an attorney. A criminal charge for N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a) can quickly take on a life of its own, as the court will likely demand frequent court appearances, disruptions in your daily routine, and unanticipated collateral consequences like a loss of wages due to missed work. A conviction’s sentence can even see you strapped with a term in jail. While simple assault is a frequently charged offense in Harrison and throughout Hudson County due to the all-encompassing behavior outlined in the assault statute, there are ways to get the charges dismissed or minimize the overall impacts that a conviction can bring upon you and your family.
Need a Local Lawyer for Harrison Simple Assault Charge
When faced with a simple assault charge and the uncertainty of what happens when a case like this goes wrong in Harrison Municipal Court, you can trust the law firm of William Proetta Criminal Law to provide the meticulous, perseverant defense you need. Our attorneys can cut to the chase by diligently reviewing the case and often uncovering evidence to dismiss the charges or get a better deal in a shorter amount of time. We make strategic decisions backed by years of experience to minimize the potential repercussions for you and your loved ones. Depending on the facts and the strength of the state’s arguments, these decisions can sometimes lead to dismissal of the charges entirely. Contact our local Hudson County office at (201) 793-8018 for a free consultation. Our criminal defense lawyers are here to discuss your case 24/7.
What if I’m Charged With Simple Assault in Harrison NJ?
Harrison is a relatively small town made up of only 1.32 square miles and roughly between 13,000 and 14,000 residents. While seemingly small, the population swells during work days when thousands of people bustle to and from jobs in the industrial area’s operating plants such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Henkel, Harrison Banking Company, Campbell Foundry, or even Red Bull Arena. Aside from work, the town can bring visitors from nearby Newark, Secaucus, and Kearny, or those staying as a result of overflow from Newark International Airport.
People’s reasons for being in Harrison are different from day to day but the one constant is this: anyone charged with simple assault in the town is required to attend Harrison Municipal Court found at 318 Harrison Avenue. Under normal circumstances, you attend court in person with your attorney. Sometimes a case can be resolved in one court appearance, while other cases command 2, 3, 4 or more appearances to resolve. The finality of the case comes to a head in the form of an agreement, a dismissal, or a trial.
Can Simple Assault Charges in Harrison Be Dropped?
We are often asked how we can get simple assault charges thrown out or dismissed. The facts of each case are different and there is no singular answer that will suffice when it comes to criminal charges with such variability. However, generally, there are actions that a skillful defense lawyer can take to get a jumpstart on the case with the ultimate goal being a dismissal.
For example, we will begin the analysis of the case by reviewing the discovery and determining the nature of the relationship between you and the alleged victim. Was the victim a stranger, a loved one, a person just passing by, a neighbor, or someone identified by police in the complaint? Who the alleged victim is can sometimes control the situation. We repeatedly see cases where the subject of the simple assault is someone you know. In these cases, we may act as the go-between to coordinate necessary issues like retrieving your belongings. In cases where you are facing a restraining order in addition to a simple assault charge, we will zealously defend you in both court cases should you choose.
The victim’s wishes can help in some situations, as the prosecutor must take into account their wishes. Alleged victims often express their desire to forego prosecution and will agree to a waiver of prosecution. Other times, the alleged victim fails to continuously show up in court and much time is wasted attempting to prosecute a case. In such cases, our attorneys motion to the court to direct that the prosecutor either try or dismiss the case at the next court hearing. This means that if the witness fails to appear again, there is a good chance the judge will order a dismissal. This can also be accomplished by our careful guidance and recommendation that you demonstrate that you have been “reformed” and are not at risk for re-offending. For instance, perhaps you have obtained counseling, attended anger management, or shown that you have a full-time job and can pay restitution for any losses.
Not all cases involve dismissals based on witness no-shows or desires to forego prosecution. Sometimes, the complaint appears baseless on its face and we can file a motion to dismiss the charges based on the law. Additionally, we can file a motion to dismiss if the state fails to provide discovery despite several requests for the information. Our lawyers can also try the case, artfully cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses, and move to dismiss the claim at the end of the state’s presentation of witnesses at a trial. Also, there may be certain defenses that can be presented, such as self-defense or an alibi to show that you weren’t even there at the time of the incident.
What Are the Elements of Simple Assault if I’m Accused in Harrison Municipal Court?
Anyone can bring simple assault charges against you but it does not mean that you will be found guilty. Not all improper conduct is considered simple assault. There are requirements and elements of the offense that must be met to sustain a conviction.
Simple assault is committed when a person injures someone, threatens to injure anyone, or negligently causes an injury with a deadly weapon. The state of mind needed to convict you is “purposely, knowingly, or recklessly” which is broadly applied. Essentially, it means that you hurt someone on purpose, knowing that your conduct could cause such a result, or rather that it was an accident. Really, the state need only prove an injury or threat of bodily harm, and that you did it. Some common forms of conduct that we see involve:
- Threats of harm during an argument such as domestic violence or otherwise;
- Hitting someone in any way such as slapping, pushing, kicking, scratching, punching
- Taking extreme measures in defense of yourself (i.e. you are punched and then you pick up a bat and swing). In these situations, the basis for the charge is that your reaction does not meet the conduct of the other party;
- Engaging in conduct that unintentionally harms another like lighting fireworks and hitting someone, playing a prank that hurts someone accidentally, or engaging in general horseplay that causes bodily injury.
The above explanations may appear overly broad, but such is the nature of the simple assault statute. It is an all-encompassing section of the NJ Criminal Code designed to ensnare a vast array of individuals for the purposes of making arrests.
Sentences for Simple Assault if Convicted in Harrison NJ
If you have been arrested for a simple assault offense, you face penalties. Simple assault is a disorderly persons offense and it is not a felony. Nonetheless, the charge does allow the court to put you in jail. In fact, you can be sent to the Hudson County Jail for as much as 6 months upon conviction. The court can also order you to pay $1,000 in fines, to pay restitution, and to shoulder other mandatory court costs. You can also be placed on probation for a term not exceeding 5 years or be ordered to go to jail for a limited time together with probation. For example, the judge could sentence you to 90 days in jail as a condition of probation. This means that you serve 90 days and then come out only to begin your probationary term. To make matters worse, if you violate probation, the judge could send you back to county jail for the balance of the permissible jail term.
Can a Defense Attorney Beat a Simple Assault Case in Harrison, New Jersey?
If you have been arrested in a simple assault case in Harrison, it is better to get in control of the case by hiring the right criminal attorney. Doing so will minimize your risk and can assist with not only controlling the direction of your case, but also the potential outcome. The more experience your lawyer has representing clients charged with simple assault in Harrison Municipal Court, the greater your position when it comes to beating the charges and avoiding the damaging effects. Call (201) 793-8018 to go over how we can help navigate your case during the critical beginning stages and at every point thereafter as we work toward the best possible resolution.