When an individual physically harms or attempts to physically harm another person without legal justification, that is assault. In the state of New Jersey, assault is either simple or aggravated. Each offense carries its own set of penalties, depending upon the specific details of the incident in question. Assault is a serious crime with ramifications that can impact every aspect of your future, from getting a job to possible incarceration. The following is helpful information about assault charges and why it is important to seek the counsel of a Haddonfield criminal lawyer if you are accused of simple or aggravated assault in New Jersey.

    Simple Assault Offense in New Jersey

    Simple assault is the most basic assault charge possible in New Jersey. Simple assault occurs when an individual:

    • Knowingly or recklessly causes or attempts to cause bodily injury to another
    • Knowingly causes bodily injury to another person with a deadly weapon
    • Attempts to or places someone in fear of imminent injury by way of menacing

    Without elevated circumstances, assault is classified as a disorderly persons offense, which is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail. Assault that occurs in the course of a mutual fight is a petty disorderly person’s offense; a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail. Simple assault can also bring additional penalties, including:

    • Probation
    • Restitution to the victim
    • Revocation of driving privileges

    Aggravated Assault Offense in New Jersey

    In New Jersey, aggravated assault is a more complex and serious offense bringing severe penalties, depending on what occurred and who was involved. Aggravated assault is classified by degrees based on the circumstances surrounding the incident and severity of the victim’s injuries. Some circumstances that might elevate simple assault to aggravated assault include:

    • Purposely, knowingly, or recklessly causing or attempting to cause an injury
    • Knowingly pointing a firearm in the direction of another person
    • Causing bodily injury while fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer
    • Purposely operating a vehicle in an aggressive manner at another vehicle
    • Commit simple assault against individuals in certain professions or afforded certain protections under New Jersey law, including police officers, firemen, judges, health care workers, and school employees

    Penalties for aggravated assault in New Jersey vary depending on the degree of the offense. For a fourth-degree assault offense, a convicted defendant faces up to 18 months in jail and fines of up to $10,000. A third- degree assault charge carries three to five years in jail and/or fines of up to $15,000. A second-degree assault charge brings fines of up to $150,000 and/or five to 10 years in jail. A first-degree offense is the most serious, resulting in 10 to 20 years in jail and fines of up to $200,000.

    Possible Defenses for Assault in New Jersey

    Because any assault charge is a serious offense, your lawyer does all they can to contest them. The first step to preparing your defense is reviewing the details of the incident in question to establish exactly what occurred and why. An attorney might ask:

    • Were there any witnesses?
    • Was anyone hospitalized?
    • Who initiated the fight?
    • Were you protecting yourself or your property?
    • Were you protecting another person?
    • Did anyone have a weapon?
    • Did police follow proper procedures during your arrest?

    Understanding exactly what transpired helps your lawyer prepare your defense. With skilled legal counsel and supporting evidence, some assault charges can be contested, downgraded to lesser charges, or dismissed altogether. 

    Haddonfield Criminal Lawyers at Aita Law, LLC Protect the Rights of Clients Charged with Assault in New Jersey

    If you were accused of assault in New Jersey, the right defense can impact your case and your future. Trust your defense to a skilled Haddonfield criminal lawyer at Aita Law, LLC. Call us at 856-287-7800 or use the online contact form to schedule a free initial case review today. With offices conveniently located in Haddonfield and Marlton, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Cherry Hill and Camden County.


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    Mr. Aita has successfully defended thousands of criminal cases. When you or a loved one is charged with a crime, it is an extremely daunting and frightening time. Criminal charges and convictions can have devastating effects on your life. You can be fired from your job, you can hurt your ability to get employment in the future, and most importantly could lose your precious freedom. Mr. Aita not only has the experience and expertise to represent you, but the compassion and understanding to help you through this difficult and confusing process. In a criminal case, everyone is against you; the police, the judge, and certainly the prosecutor, whose job is to get convictions. Mr. Aita is not only your skilled legal advocate, but is in your corner to protect you against the vast government resources that are against you. Make no mistake, fighting a criminal case is a war. You need an attorney willing to go to battle. Mr. Aita is in the trenches every single day tirelessly fighting for justice for his clients.

    Attorney aggregator rates Ken Aita at over a 9 for his criminal defense work.

    “We could not possibly have had better representation than Mr. Aita”

    5 of 5 rating

    Posted by anonymous on

    “Our son was facing very serious felony charges that could have impacted him for the rest of his life. Although the crime was a non-violent offence it was being taken very seriously by the police and the district attorney. After months of investigation we were notified that there would be an arrest and felony charges. Ken was with us through the investigation and arranged for our son to turn himself in for booking to avoid a public arrest. He was on the phone with us constantly and took our calls at all hours of the day and night. More importantly he was constantly on the phone with the investigators and district attorney pointing out facts that were favorable to our side of the story. In the end Ken arranged for a plea deal that wound up with a probation that will end with the charges being dropped upon successful completion of the probation terms. We didn’t even know that was possible. We will use Mr. Aita to expunge the arrest record when the time comes and now our son has his future back. We could not be more pleased. The process is so stressful and traumatic that you need an attorney like Mr. Aita to guide you through it.”


    (856) 287-7800


    35 Kings Highway East Suite 200 Haddonfield, NJ 08033


    34 S. Maple Ave Marlton, NJ 08053

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