judge with gavel

Manchester Simple Assault Attorney

Simple Assault Attorneys Defending Clients in Manchester Township

If you have ever been in a shoving match, fist fight, or been accused of nearly hurting someone, you could have been charged with simple assault under the law in New Jersey. There are countless scenarios that land people in jail and charged with a disorderly persons offense for simple assault. Believe it or not, a charge for NJSA 2C:12-1a in Manchester Township in Ocean County, New Jersey, although common, authorizes the court to lock you up for a maximum of 6 months if convicted. In addition to jail time, you face other consequences that can seriously complicate your life, including a criminal conviction on your record and a fine of up to $1,000. Despite the frequency with which people are arrested in Manchester for simple assault, you should avoid underestimating the seriousness of these accusations and seek the advice of legal counsel. Our local Manchester NJ criminal defense lawyers have been defending clients facing simple assault charges in Manchester Township Municipal Court for the last decade and we are here to help you. You can reach us online or by phone 24/7 by calling (848) 238-2100 for a free consultation.

Manchester NJ Simple Assault Offenses

The law seeks to curtail conduct that harms another person or could possibly harm another person. For this reason, simple assault has a fairly broad definition. The acts that simple assault encompasses under N.J.S.A 2C:12-1(a) include:

  • Making someone afraid that you might hurt them;
  • Intentionally hurting someone physically, however slight the injury may be;
  • Substantially deviating from an accepted standard of care by causing injury with a deadly weapon.

Types of conduct giving rise to charges of simple assault are perhaps too numerous to list. In fact, the statute is so broad that you can be charged with this offense even if no one was injured. Not all cases are as obvious as others, as behaviors involved in a simple assault case can range from egregious to minimal. However, we have seen the following common acts resulting in simple assault charges in Manchester Township:

  • Physical altercations: fist fight, shoving match, slap, throwing objects, holding someone down, pulling hair, scratching, pinching, etc.;
  • Threatening violence: holding up a bat, a knife, or other object that indicates or conveys potential harm to another;
  • Scratching someone or grazing their body with a knife;

What must the State Prove for Simple Assault in Manchester NJ?

For conduct to be considered criminal in nature, the state must prove that you did something or intended to do so, and that your conduct was committed with intent. In the practice of law, we refer to the act/conduct as the “actus reus” and the mental state as the “mens rea.” The Latin translation of actus reus is the “guilty act,” while for mens rea, it is “guilty mind.” Essentially, to be found guilty of simple assault, you must have committed an act that falls under the statute, N.J.S.A 2C:12-1(a), while possessing the required state of mind. For some offenses, such as simple assault, the law allows a person to be charged if they act “purposely, knowingly, or recklessly.” Accordingly, the state must prove that the actions involved in your case meet one of the following definitions:

(1) Purposely. Any person whose intention is to do something to cause a certain result is said to have acted purposely. The court will look at whether the person understood the context or circumstances of the event and whether he or she knew they existed or hoped they existed.
(2) Knowingly. Any person who is aware that his or her conduct will produce a certain result is said to have acted knowingly.
(3) Recklessly. Any person who ignores or disregards that there is a risk that a particular result can occur is said to have acted recklessly. Further, a person who acts recklessly is said to have acted differently than a reasonable person would have acted given the situation.

Charged with Simple Assault in Manchester, What am I Facing?

If you are charged with simple assault in Manchester Township, you will attend the Manchester & Lakehurst Municipal Court located at 1 Colonial Drive Manchester, NJ 08759-3898. If convicted of this disorderly persons offense, the court may sentence you to a variety of punishments in accordance with the law. Often, the sentence depends on the nature and context of the conduct. Sometimes, attorneys and prosecutors reach an agreement for a proposed sentence that is less than the potential scope of consequences. Nevertheless, there are certain penalties that the court may impose when a person is found guilty of simple assault, including: probation up to five years, county jail for 6 months, a $1,000 fine, and weapons and firearms ID card forfeiture in domestic violence cases (mandatory). While the penalties can vary, one constant remains: a conviction for a simple assault offense will appear on your criminal record. Despite the offense not being classified as a felony crime, having a violent crime on your record can still have considerable adverse effects.

Need a Lawyer for Manchester Simple Assault Case

If you have been charged with a disorderly persons offense for simple assault in Manchester Township, contact our local office today at (848) 238-2100 to discuss your case free of charge. Our Manchester simple assault defense lawyers can assist you with all aspects of your criminal case and aggressively defend your innocence.