In New Jersey law, assault is identified as a person threatening another person with imminent bodily harm. Assault charges are broken out into simple and aggravated categories based on the scenario. Because of this, the penalty depends on the assault’s categorization. However, don’t feel hopeless if you have been charged with assault. A New Jersey attorney, such as Leon Matchin, can often help to get charges downgraded or dropped. In addition, here’s more information about assault charges, the associated penalties, and how an attorney can help.
Battery vs. Assault
Assault is when a person threatens another person with imminent bodily harm, while battery is when there is unlawful reckless or intentional harm to another. Battery requires an offensive physical contact with another person. In some states, assault and battery are classified as two different crimes. In New Jersey, they are considered to be in the same category. Even if a person commits battery, they will still be charged with an assault.
Assault is broken into two categories. Simple assault is knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person. It also includes negligent injury with a deadly weapon and physical menace to the point someone fears injury. Simple assault is considered a disorderly person’s offense and comes with at least six months in jail and a maximum of a $1,000 fine.
The second category is aggravated assault. This occurs when someone recklessly causes injury with a deadly weapon, an attempt or purposeful cause of injury from a deadly weapon, purposeful or negligent attempts to cause serious bodily injury, and recklessly pointing a firearm at another person. Aggravated assault comes with a penalty of 5-10 years in jail and fines up to $150,000.
How a New Jersey Attorney Can Help Fight Assault Charges
A New Jersey attorney will closely analyze your case and determine how to proceed. Common defenses for assault cases are self-defense and consent. For example, if someone felt threatened, this could be considered self-defense instead of assault. Consent is a common defense in sexual assault cases. If the client says that consent was given by the victim, this can be used as a defense.
Contact Leon Matchin Today
Assault charges are difficult to navigate without an attorney. A New Jersey attorney like Leon Matchin will walk you through the process and defend you in court. He will attempt to get charges downgraded or dismissed based on the situation. Leon is very experienced in cases involving assault. Call him at 732-887-2479 or contact him via email at [email protected] for more information about the services he can provide.