Assault and battery are two criminal offenses that often lead to confusion in defendants. In the New Jersey criminal code, the crime of battery is officially a form of assault.
When physical contact (battery) occurs during the incident, it typically elevates the offense, making your situation more severe. Knowing the assault charge you face in New Jersey is critical as it can help you find the right approach to your criminal defense.
Charges of simple assault may arise when a person knowingly attempts to hurt another or when they injure another negligently using a weapon. If no physical contact occurred, but the alleged victim feared bodily harm, it may also be a simple assault.
The authorities may charge this form of assault as a disorderly or petty offense (rather than simple assault). The consequences defendants could face upon conviction of simple assault include a fine and up to six months in jail.
A charge of aggravated assault can occur in several situations. Examples of circumstances that could lead to aggravated assault charges include:
- Recklessly harming another with a deadly weapon
- Purposely harming another with a deadly weapon
- Attempting to harm another with a deadly weapon
- Recklessly aiming at another with a firearm
Aggravated assault may also apply if the alleged victim is a member of law enforcement or a firefighter. The possible consequences if convicted of aggravated assault depend on the details of each unique situation. Factors courts may use to set a sentence include the following:
- The severity of the offense
- The severity of victim injuries
- Type of involved weapon
- Prior assault offenses or convictions
Once you know the exact charge filed against you, consider learning more about assault and its associated penalties. Such knowledge helps you take the ideal steps in defending against a conviction.