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Simple Assault

Criminal Defense Attorney in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Charges for simple assault are issued with astounding frequency in Monmouth County and throughout New Jersey. In fact, according to the most recent data accrued by the New Jersey State Police, there were 1,550 arrests for simple assault in Monmouth County alone in the last year reported. The relatively commonplace occurrence of simple assault charges is, in part, due to the vast array of circumstances under which these incidents can occur. For example, those involved in domestic violence incidents often find themselves charged with simple assault after law enforcement officials respond to the scene. Simple assault charges also regularly arise in environments where alcohol is being consumed, including in bars, stadiums, and event venues. As such, simple assault charges are often accompanied by other charges for crimes such as disorderly conduct or resisting arrest. Regardless of the circumstances that preceded your arrest for simple assault, charges for an offense of this kind leave you exposed to significant penalties.

In order to protect your rights and your innocence, it is critical to enlist an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney. Tara Breslow has dedicated the last decade to vigorously defending the rights of the accused. As a seasoned criminal defense attorney and former public defender in Union and Monmouth counties, as well as New Jersey Federal Court, Ms. Breslow has a passion for protecting the rights of her clients. When presented with your case, she will conduct an extensive independent investigation and develop the most effective defense strategy. Whether the best possible outcome is a negotiated plea to a lesser charge, enrollment in a diversionary program such as Drug Court or Pre-Trial Intervention, or an outright dismissal at trial, Ms. Breslow will serve as your unwavering advocate until your case is resolved. For additional information and the answers you need to move forward, contact Ms. Breslow’s Monmouth County offices today.

Simple Assault Lawyer in Howell NJ

According to New Jersey law, there are several distinct types of simple assault offenses, which are outlined in section N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1 of the New Jersey Criminal Code. First and foremost, you can commit simple assault by attempting to cause or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person. Second, you can commit simple assault by negligently causing the injury of another person while using a deadly weapon. Lastly, you can commit simple assault by placing another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. There are several significant terms that must be defined in order to fully grasp what constitutes simple assault in the eyes of the law, each of which is described in greater detail below.

Types of Action: Purposely, Knowingly, Recklessly, Negligently

The type of action involved in a simple assault offense is incredibly important, as it directly correlates with your alleged intention during the commission of the offense. New Jersey law addresses these types of actions in section N.J.S.A. 2C:2-2 of the New Jersey Criminal Code, referred to as the “General Requirements of Culpability.” According to this statute:

  • Purposely: A person acts purposely if he or she commits such conduct with the intention of achieving the desired result. In other words, the person commits an act “with purpose” or “with design.”
  • Knowingly: A person acts knowingly if he or she commits such conduct while aware that the conduct is likely to cause a certain result.
  • Recklessly: A person acts recklessly if he or she commits such conduct with disregard for the substantial risk that such conduct will cause a certain result. This disregard involves a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the actor’s situation.
  • Negligently: A person acts negligently if he or she commits such conduct while he or she should have been aware of the risk that such conduct would produce a certain outcome. This failure to perceive such risk involves a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the actor’s situation.
Extent of Injuries: Bodily Injury, Serious Bodily Injury, Significant Bodily Injury

In New Jersey, the extent of the alleged victim’s injuries in a specific case is extremely significant, as it is a primary determinant of the degree of the charges against the defendant, and thus, the potential penalties associated with a conviction. The various degrees of injury are delineated in section N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1 of the New Jersey Criminal Code, which states the following:

  • Bodily injury: means physical pain, illness or any impairment of physical condition;
  • Serious bodily injury: means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ; and
  • Significant bodily injury: means bodily injury which creates a temporary loss of the function of any bodily member or organ or temporary loss of any one of the five senses.

The simple assault statute involves two distinct forms of injury. First, a charge for simple assault applies in cases wherein the defendant causes or attempts to cause bodily injury. Second, simple assault can occur when the defendant places the alleged victim in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. It is important to note that under certain circumstances, an offense that would otherwise constitute simple assault can be elevated to a more serious charge for aggravated assault, specifically, when the alleged victim is a law enforcement officer, public servant, or another individual operating in an official capacity.

Penalties for Simple Assault in New Jersey

Typically, simple assault is considered a disorderly persons offense, which is adjudicated in the local municipal court associated with the town in which the alleged offense occurred. Disorderly persons offenses are punishable by a sentence to serve up to 6 months in the county jail, a maximum fine of $1,000, and a charge on your criminal record. If simple assault arises in the context of a mutual fight or scuffle, it is considered a petty disorderly persons offense, punishable by a sentence to serve up to 90 days in the county jail, a maximum fine of $500, and a charge on your criminal record. Lastly, there are certain cases in which charges for simple assault are enhanced to fourth degree crimes; specifically, if the alleged victim is an elderly person and the defendant is an employee at an elder care facility, or if the simple assault occurs at a school or youth athletic activity and children under the age of 16 are present. Fourth degree crimes are punishable by a sentence to serve up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison, a maximum fine of $10,000, and a felony charge on your criminal record.

Contact a Red Bank NJ Simple Assault Lawyer for a Free Consultation

If you or someone you love has been charged with simple assault or another violent or threat crime such as aggravated assault, terroristic threats, or harassment, contact the Law Offices of Tara Breslow for a free initial consultation. Ms. Breslow regularly represents clients in Middletown, Howell, Red Bank, and throughout Monmouth County and she is thoroughly prepared to begin building your best defense.