If you or a loved one have been charged with aggravated assault, it can be scary. Penalties are strict and include long jail time and steep fines. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and alone, take the first step and find an attorney to represent you in court. An attorney such as Leon Matchin will provide you with court preparation services so that you fully understand your charge and are ready for your court day. With a good attorney by your side, the aggravated assault charge will seem much less overwhelming. The goal will always be to have charges dropped or at least downgraded so that the penalties are less severe.
Find a Good Attorney
The first step is finding a good attorney. Leon Matchin is a very experienced New Jersey attorney. He has almost two decades of experience working with clients on many different types of cases, including criminal charges, traffic violations, and personal injury lawsuits. Leon is an attorney who truly cares about each and every case he is involved with. He is a good, compassionate listener who is ready to help every client who comes his way. His vast experience helps him create successful defenses that often get charges dismissed or downgraded for his clients. Rest assured that you are in good hands when working with Leon Matchin.
Understand the Different Levels of Assault
Once you begin working with an attorney, it is important to understand what an aggravated assault charge means. Assault is defined by New Jersey law 2C:12-1. An assault charge is either considered “simple” or “aggravated.” According to the law, a charge is considered aggravated assault if one of the following things has happened:
- Purposeful attempts to cause serious injury to someone or demonstrating extreme indifference to the value of human life, which leads to an injury.
- Purposeful attempts to cause bodily injury to another person with a deadly weapon.
- Recklessly causing injury to someone else with a deadly weapon.
- Demonstrating indifference to the value of human life by pointing a firearm at someone.
Depending on the situation, the person committing aggravated assault will be charged with either a second-, third-, or fourth-degree crime. The degree will determine the jail time and fine amount. Aggravated assault charges come with harsh penalties. Defendants can face up to 5-10 years in jail and $150,000 in fines.
Once you understand the charge, the goal of your attorney will be to create a case. The goal is to get the charges dropped or at least downgraded. If the charges are dropped to simple assault, the penalties will be much less severe. This is considered a disorderly person’s offense. If it can be proven in court that there was mutual consent in this assault situation, the charge could potentially be lowered further to a petty disorderly person’s offense.
Give Your Attorney as Much Evidence as Possible
In order for an attorney to build a solid case and help you prepare for court, it is important that you are sharing as much information as possible. Tell your story and provide your attorney with any evidence that could help with the case. Whether this is pictures, text messages, letters, notes, etc., bring it all to the attorney. Anything could be helpful to the case!
Work With Your Attorney to Learn About Potential Defenses
When it comes to assault, there are several common defenses that can be used in court. Depending on your situation, your attorney will discuss one of the following with you:
- Self-Defense: This is a common defense for those charged with aggravated assault. It may be proven that you committed assault you because you felt like you were in danger. In this case it can often be classified as self-defense. This defense is common in domestic violence cases.
- Another common defense similar to self-defense is defense of others. This is most seen in cases where children are involved. A parent may be charged with aggravated assault when they were just trying to protect their child from an abusive situation.
- Mutual Combat: This charge is when two people get into a fight with each other. Since the assault is mutual, the charge can be knocked down to a petty disorderly person’s offense. This comes with reduced penalties, such as a maximum jail time of 30 days.
- Defense of Property: This defense isn’t used as frequently, but it does happen. If someone has broken into your home, causing you to commit assault in order to protect your property, your crime can fall under this defense.
Court Preparation Services: Behavior Tips and Tricks
Court preparation services from your attorney also include learning tips and tricks about how to act in court. For many people, this could be their first offense. They may have no idea what it looks like to spend a day in court. Leon Matchin will give you pointers on how to behave and act in court to further help your case. For example, dress professionally, arrive on time, and be respectful to everyone you meet. These are just a few tips that are important to learn before heading to court.
While an aggravated assault charge seems intense and scary, with the help of a well-regarded attorney, you have a chance at getting those charges dismissed or downgraded. An attorney like Leon Matchin will provide you with court preparation service so that you understand everything from what your charge means to what to wear in court. By the date of your trial, you will be more than ready. For more information about aggravated assault and how the charge can be fought in court, contact Leon Matchin via phone or email at 732-887-2479 or [email protected].