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Juvenile Aggravated Assault

Our law firm has successfully handled thousands of criminal, DWI, and municipal court charges throughout Ocean County and New Jersey.

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Ocean County Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorneys

Whether a juvenile or an adult, the statute for aggravated assault remains the same. The three main differences between adult charges and juvenile charges are: (1) juveniles are “adjudicated delinquent” while adults are “convicted and found guilty”; (2) Juveniles typically have their matter heard before a Family Division Judge while adults will appear before Criminal Division Judge; and (3) the extent of detention or incarceration. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b), a juvenile is adjudicated delinquent of aggravated assault if he or she attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causes such injury purposely or knowingly or under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life reckless causes such injury.

Types of Aggravated Assault Lacey NJ

The most common form of aggravated assault involves the attempt to cause serious bodily injury. What matters for the purpose of this offense of attempt is not that the person actually succeed in causing serious bodily injury but that the juvenile had the requisite intent to cause serious bodily injury. If they can show that the juvenile had the intent to cause serious bodily injury and took a substantial step towards the consummation of that act, then the Family Division Judge will adjudicate the juvenile delinquent.

A second type of aggravated assault is where the person actually succeeds in causing serious bodily injury to the intended victim. When this occurs, the state need not prove that the juvenile purposely caused the serious bodily injury. It is sufficient to prove that juvenile acted knowingly or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life. The recklessness standard for this offense is different from the ordinary recklessness standard. For this offense, the recklessness must be so extreme in its conscious disregard of the risk under the circumstances that it manifested extreme indifference to the value of human life.

It is important to note, however, that these are not the only circumstances under which aggravated assault charges may be brought. The following situations also constitute aggravated assault:

  1. Attempts to cause or purposely or knowingly causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon is a form of aggravated assault.
  2. Recklessly causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon is aggravated assault. Knowingly or recklessly pointing a firearm at someone whether or not the actor believes it is loaded will be an aggravated assault.
  3. Commiting a simple assault against a law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his duties while in uniform or exhibiting evidence of his authority or because of his status as a law enforcement officer.
  4. Committing a simple assault against a paid or volunteer fireman acting in the performance of their duties.
  5. Committing a simple assault against any person engaged in emergency first-aid or medical services, any school board member, school administrator, teacher, school bus driver, any employee of the Division of Youth and Family Services, any justice of the Supreme Court, judge of the Superior Court, judge of the Tax Court, municipal judge, any operator of a motorbus, any department of corrections employee, any utility company employee, any healthcare worker employed by a licensed health care facility to provide direct patient care, and any direct care worker at a state or county psychiatric hospital.

These offenses range anywhere from second degree to fourth degree depending upon the result of the assault and whom it was committed against.

What is Serious Bodily Injury Assault Charges?

“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.

What is a Deadly Weapon?

“Deadly weapon” means any firearm or other weapon, device, instrument, material or substance, whether animate or inanimate, which in the manner it is used or is intended to be used, is known to be capable of producing death or serious bodily injury or which in the manner it is fashioned would lead the victim reasonably to believe it to be capable of producing death or serious bodily injury.

What are the Penalties for Juvenile Aggravated Assault?

For juvenile offenders, a second degree offense will carry up to 3 years of confinement at the Ocean County Detention Center, a third degree offense will carry up to two (2) years of confinement at the Ocean County Detention Center and a fourth degree offense will carry up to one (1) year of confinement at the Ocean County Detention Center. For first-time juvenile offenders, the court may be more inclined to allow alternative means of punishment. However, where the criminal offense in question is a serious matter, the court may treat the juvenile as an adult. If that happens, a second degree offense has the potential to open you up to ten (10) years in prison, which by virtue of the No Early Release Act (NERA) means that 85% of 10 years must be served. A third degree offense typically leads to incarceration of between three (3) and five (5) years, while a fourth degree offense can lead to jail time of up to eighteen (18) months.

Contact our Point Pleasant office today to discuss your case at 848-238-2100.

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