Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer Lawyers in Ocean County NJ
When we hear the word “aggravated assault”, we assume that the degree of injury must have been severe. Typically, that is the case. However, under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)(5)(a), you or someone your love may be charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer for simply causing “bodily injury” to the officer. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1(a), “bodily injury” means physical pain, illness or any impairment of physical condition. This is an incredibly low threshold for an aggravated assault charge. These charges will either be a third degree felony offense or fourth degree felony offense, depending on the severity of the injuries sustained. If you are facing charges for aggravated assault based on a lapse in judgment, you may require the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney to mitigate your exposure. If you have pending charges at the Ocean County Superior Court, contact our Point Pleasant office today at 848-238-2100. Our office has a plethora of experience representing clients charged with aggravated assault on a police officer in towns like Brick, Jackson, Manchester, Stafford, Manahawkin, and Point Pleasant.
Facing an Assault on Police Officer in Seaside Heights NJ
N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)(5)(a) states in pertinent part that: “A person is guilty of aggravated assault if he or she attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to any law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his or her duties while in uniform or exhibiting evidence of his authority or because of his status as a law enforcement officer.”
What if I Didn’t Know it was a Cop? Can I still be Charged with Aggravated Assault?
Pursuant to Appellate Division ruling in State v. Green, the State must prove that you, as the defendant, knew that the victim was a law enforcement officer. Therefore, in a scenario where you are approached by a plain clothes officer (who fails to identify himself as an officer) and he or she attempts to arrest but your resist and strike the officer, we can challenge the charge of aggravated assault. This may still qualify as simply assault but that is a far cry from the severity of an aggravated assault charge. This is just one of the many intricacies involved in assault charges. It is imperative that you consult with a criminal trial attorney regarding what defenses may apply to your case.
Is there Jail time for Aggravated Assault on a Cop in NJ?
If you are convicted of third degree aggravated assault on a police officer, you will be facing between 3-5 years in a New Jersey State Prison, a $15,000 fine, and possible restitution for the injuries sustained. Alternatively, if you are convicted of fourth degree aggravated assault on a police officer, you will be facing up to 18 months in jail, a $10,000 fine, and possible restitution for the injuries sustained. The severity of the injury and the individuals criminal history are probably the two main factors that drive up the likelihood of incarceration.
Why do I have to go to Toms River for Court for Assault on Officer Case?
As we discussed earlier, aggravated assault on a police officer is a third degree indictable offense, which is New Jersey’s version of a felony offense. All indictable offenses, whether it be aggravated assault on a police officer, burglary, aggravated assault, assault by auto, unlawful possession of a weapon or robbery must be sent to the Superior Court in the county where the incident occurred for disposition. For example, if an individual is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer for an incident that occurred in Jackson Township, the charges must be sent to the Ocean County Superior Court, which is located in Toms River for trial. In certain circumstances, depending the specific facts of the case, defense counsel could seek to convince the prosecution that the charges are better suited to be remanded back to the local municipal court for disposition. If this is to occur, the charges will also be downgraded from felony offenses to misdemeanors. As one would imagine, the potential penalties drastically decrease as well. A individual would go from facing up to 5 years in State Prison to up to six months in the local county jail.
Contact an Aggravated Assault on Police Officer Attorney in Toms River, NJ
Aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer is treated as criminal felony offense in Ocean County. This means that your case will be heard before the Criminal Division at the Ocean County Superior Court. It is especially important that you at least consult with an Ocean County criminal defense attorney so that you may learn how to protect your rights. Our attorneys have successfully and aggressively defended clients against thousands of criminal charges including aggravated assault of a police officer. You can contact our office at 848-238-2100 and learn exactly what we can offer you during this trying time. Our representatives are available 24/7 to answer your questions.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. All major credit cards are accepted.