Assault And Battery Defense In Atlantic City
A strong defense against assault crimes and battery charges lies in the circumstances of the case. The firm’s criminal law attorneys thoroughly investigate the circumstances of our clients’ assault charges, including the intent behind the incident and if it occurred in self-defense. They have successfully represented clients throughout New Jersey in a broad range of assault matters, including bar fights, street fights, alleged domestic violence, accusations of malicious attacks and other situations where force was used.
We want to provide you with the information you need to make the right choices about your defense.
What Is Criminal Assault?
New Jersey law defines simple assault as an attempt to cause bodily injury to another person. Many states link assault with battery, which is the act of physically harming another person. A key thing to remember about assault is that a person can face an assault charge without ever causing an injury.
To that end, assault can cover reckless acts or even threats of violence under many circumstances. Assault is a complicated charge with complex penalties and classifications. We want you to understand the situation for what is ahead of you.
Types Of Assault And Battery Offenses
Because assault and battery can be such basic acts, they have many iterations that can vastly change your legal outlook. Understanding the ways these charges differ can vastly decrease the stress you feel if you face charges.
- Aggravated assault: An assault is considered aggravated if it involves use of a deadly weapon or causes serious injury.
- Aggravated battery: Any action that could enhance a battery charge could also be considered a form of aggravated assault.
- Assault or battery using a firearm: The act of pointing a firearm, regardless of whether or not it is loaded, also counts as aggravated assault.
- Simple assault: As defined above, any act that intends to cause harm is a simple assault.
- Simple battery: The state may pursue battery as an assault charge under the disorderly persons laws of New Jersey.
- Robbery: Robbery is the theft of property using threats of violence or weapons. This makes every robbery an assault, but typically robbery can be second or first degree depending on circumstances.
Understanding the way that these charges interact is vital. Any single act may bring on several counts of assault from the prosecution.
Our team of attorneys can take on the stress of your assault case and provide you with a plan of action. You will understand the issues ahead of you and know how you should act when in conversation with the police.
Penalties For An Assault
Because assault has so many different types, there are just as many penalties. Let’s take a closer look at each type of charge and the maximum penalty:
- Simple assault: Simple assault carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Criminal battery: Battery’s maximum penalty is 10 years in prison and a $150,000 fine.
- Aggravated assault: Aggravated assault carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
- Robbery: A second-degree robbery without the use of a weapon carries a penalty of 10 years and maximum fine of $150,000. Use of a weapon in a robbery has a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $200,000 fine.
There is obviously a great deal at stake when you are facing an assault charge in New Jersey, and your individual circumstances vastly change depending on variables outside of your control. However, you can still have a full and experienced defense of your rights.
Assault As A Felony Or Misdemeanor
The state can charge assault as a felony or a misdemeanor. Technically, under New Jersey law, simple assault is a disorderly persons charge. This is analogous to misdemeanors in other jurisdictions. This can cover such actions as fights and threats.
However, things change once serious harm comes to a person, once a deadly weapon or firearm becomes involved. The “disorderly persons” charges upgrade to a felony, and the penalties and consequences of a conviction vastly increase. You will face fines and lose significant amounts of time in prison. These are serious charges that demand serious representation.
Assault Stats In The State Of New Jersey
According to public data from the attorney general’s office, in 2020, assault – at 68.27% – is the most often-cleared crime committed in the state. The data showed that there were 3,935 arrests for assault across the state. Interestingly, robbery crimes were cleared less often, at 52.63%.
The state police compiled the data with local police departments across New Jersey. These facts indicate that assault is one of the more aggressively investigated crimes. This means that you are more likely to face an assault charge than almost any other type of crime in New Jersey.
Defenses Are Available To Those Accused Of Criminal Assault To Justify Actions
The most important part of facing criminal charges is building a real, actionable, successful defense. Your defense has many working aspects, but your attorney will handle most of your defense. The two common defenses for an assault charge are:
- Self-defense: If you took actions to protect yourself or others, and the result was an assault charge, you can use this defense.
- Consent: If the circumstances that led to the assault charge were a mutually agreed upon action, then you may use this as your defense.
The only problems with these defenses above are that they are what is known as “affirmative” defenses. An affirmative defense is risky because if the authorities do not accept your reasons, you cannot then argue you did not commit the crime. You accept the facts that you did the acts that caused the injury.
However, an affirmative defense is not the only option you have. With a skilled attorney who understands the process and can advocate for you at all stages of an investigation, you do not have to face even that issue. We can build an offense you can rely on.