Police officer arresting a young man at night

Simple Assault Attorney in Middlesex County

New Jersey simple assault laws are quite broad and encompass a wide range of actions. The acts committed that can be identified as simple assault include: injuring someone, attempting to injure someone, and physically menacing someone in a fight. If you or someone close to you was arrested for simple assault in New Brunswick or the Middlesex County area, you need an experienced, aggressive defense attorney fighting for you in court. The Law Offices of William Proetta Criminal Law is a Middlesex County criminal defense law firm that is exclusively committed to defending clients who have been charged with assault and other criminal offenses in the state of New Jersey. We often represent individuals charged with simple assault and other offenses such as terroristic threats and harassment throughout Middlesex County, including in East Brunswick, Sayreville, Dunellen, Edison, New Brunswick and South Plainfield. From the moment we become involved in your case, we worked tirelessly to reduce the penalties you face, have your charge downgraded to a lesser offense, or have your case dismissed entirely.

Experienced Defense for Your NJ Assault Charge

Simple assault is a criminal charge in New Jersey that can result in probation, mandatory community service, and incarceration. A simple assault offense may also lead to a permanent restraining order against you. When facing such serious consequences, it is truly vital that you avail yourself of the representation of an experienced assault defense lawyer. Our law firm’s founding attorney, William A. Proetta, Esq., has handled literally thousands of charges in Superior and Municipal Courts throughout his career. He and our team of legal professionals can provide you or your loved one with the help needed to end this matter in an efficient and professional way. The attention and care you find at our firm is based on our commitment to providing personalized service and the best possible defense customized to meet your needs. If you have questions about your simple assault charges, contact our Edison office today at (732) 659-9600 for a free initial consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney serving all of Middlesex County.

Simple Assault: A Disorderly Persons Offense in New Jersey

Simple assault is a criminal offense in New Jersey and is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1, which provides in pertinent part that:

A person is guilty of a simple assault if he or she:

(1) Attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or

(2) Negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or

(3) Attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

Simple Assault Punishments in NJ

Simple assault is defined as a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey. A disorderly persons offense is classified as a misdemeanor. A conviction for a disorderly persons offense carries up to 6 months in jail and $1,000 in fines. As you can see, these are serious penalties that warrant immediate action. If simple assault occurs in a fight entered into by mutual assault, then the charge may be reduced to a petty disorderly persons offense. In addition to the fines and possibility, you can be ordered to attend counseling, perform community service and pay restitution or medical bills. It is also important to note that the “victim” need not sustain any injury for simple assault to be proven under law. Mere threat of bodily injury is enough to warrant a conviction. Sometimes, if the injury is serious or if the victim is a government agent such as a police officer, simple assault will be upgraded to the indictable felony charge of Aggravated Assault. Aggravated assault is punishable by a state prison sentence.

When Simple Assault Leads to a Restraining Order

One of the potential collateral consequences of a simple assault charge in New Jersey is the issuance of a restraining order. Simple assault is recognized as a Predicate Act of Domestic Violence in NJ, which means it can be used as grounds for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and/or a final restraining order (FRO) when the victim and the plaintiff are married, divorced, dating or formerly dating, have a child in common, or are members of the same household. In addition to the criminal penalties associated with a simple assault offense, a restraining order can dramatically change the way you live your life.

Notably, a restraining order case is adjudicated in a different venue than a criminal simple assault case. If you are facing a criminal charge for simple assault, your case will be handled in the Municipal Court in the town where the charges were filed. On the other hand, your final restraining order hearing will be handled in the Superior Court, Family Division. It is important to note that these proceedings are not connected, meaning the outcome of your criminal case is entirely separate from the outcome of your restraining order matter. Our attorneys have extensive experience defending clients accused of simple assault in Criminal Court, as well as those facing permanent restraining orders in Family Court. We will work with you to develop the most effective strategy and aggressively pursue a dismissal in both matters.

How do You get Simple Assault Charges Dismissed?

When it comes to simple assault charges, there are multiple defenses and strategies that can be used to get the charges dropped. Each defense should be crafted based on the facts and circumstances surrounding the alleged assault, the evidence that can and cannot be used against you, and the key individuals involved. Having successfully represented countless people charged with simple assault in the past, we are often effective in combating the state’s case through interviewing witnesses and using contraindicating evidence against the other person’s assertions. Do not expect that law enforcement will collect all available evidence at the scene either. Some of this evidence can be lost if not collected swiftly and with careful consideration. For example, in bar fights, there are likely cameras that would tell more of the whole story of what happened. There may be video that could support your claim of self-defense or at the very least, mutual fighting. There may also be evidence to suggest that you too were injured in the altercation, along with other factors that prove crucial when giving context to your story. This is often the case in domestic violence scenarios.

Furthermore, while one type of defense approach may not be available, the information that we utilize can perhaps shed some light on the case for the prosecutor, who will be able to more clearly understand what transpired. With the “he said, she said” often relied upon in simple assault cases, it is highly valuable to have a well-versed criminal defense lawyer who can provide more concrete context. In some cases, filing a counter-complaint for assault can also be effective in reaching the best resolution.

Get Legal Help from a Middlesex County Simple Assault Attorney

If you or your loved one has been charged with simple assault in Middlesex County, including Perth AmboyOld BridgePiscatawayNorth BrunswickMonroeWoodbridge and Cranbury, then take advantage of this opportunity to contact an experienced simple assault lawyer at (732) 659-9600 for a free initial consultation. Our attorneys are ready to build a customized case strategy based upon your needs and the particular facts of your case. Rest-assured that we will keep you apprised of the process and “in the loop” through the entire process. It is our paramount goal to make sure that our clients receive best-in-class legal representation.