Juvenile delinquency proceedings in Ocean County most commonly stem from fights between minors. While these fights may be forgotten years down the road, in the immediate aftermath, you or your child may be facing serious charges. Simple assault under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1 is typically a disorderly persons offense. However, if the alleged assault stemmed from two individuals who mutually consented to fight, then it will be treated as a petty disorderly persons offense. Each of these scenarios carry serious penalties and the stain of a juvenile record as a delinquent. It is important to use the resources at your disposal to protect you or your child interests.
Penalties for Juvenile Simple Assault
The process of a delinquency hearing requires a formal hearing whereby the court would determine if delinquency exists. If so, this means that your child would be found guilty of the crime as if they were an adult. Pursuant to N.J.S. 2A:4A-44(d), a juvenile adjudication of delinquency will carry a 6 month term of incarceration at the Ocean County Youth Detention Center.
The statute which defines simple assault provides that:
A person commits a simple assault if he attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another.
In order for the Ocean County Prosecutor to convictyou of this offense, the State must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
That the defendant did cause bodily injury to the victim; and
That the defendant acted purposely or knowingly or recklessly in causing bodily injury to the victim.
What is Bodily Injury?
“Bodily injury” means physical pain, illness or any impairment of physical condition.
What Does it Mean to Act Purposely, Knowingly or Recklessly?
A person acts purposely with respect to causing bodily injury to another if it is a person’s conscious object to cause bodily injury to another. A person acts purposely with respect to attendant circumstances if a person is aware of the existence of such circumstances or a person believes or hopes that they exist. One can be deemed to be acting purposely if one acts with design, with a purpose, with a particular object, if one really means to do what he/she does.
A person acts knowingly with respect to causing bodily injury if a person is aware that his/her conduct is of that nature, or that such circumstances exist or a person is aware of a high probability of their existence. A person acts knowingly with respect to a result of his/her conduct if a person is aware that it is practically certain that his/her conduct will cause bodily injury. One is said to act knowingly if one acts with knowledge, if one acts consciously, if he/she comprehends his/her acts.
A person acts recklessly with respect to causing bodily injury when a person consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the material element exists or will result from his/her conduct. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that, considering the nature and purpose of the actor’s conduct and the circumstances known to the actor its disregard involves a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the actor’s situation. One is said to act recklessly if one acts with recklessness, with scorn for the consequences, heedlessly, foolhardily.
What is Transferred Intent?
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:2-3(d), A defendant shall not be relieved of responsibility for causing a result if the only difference between what actually occurred and what was designed, contemplated or risked is that a different person or property was injured or affected or that a less serious or less extensive injury or harm occurred. This means that if you are in a fight and throw a wild punch or a beer bottle that hit the wrong person, you can still be charged with simple assault.
Ocean County Juvenile Detention Center
Located at 165 Sunset Ave, Toms River, NJ, the Ocean County Juvenile Detention Center serves as a holding facility for juveniles either adjudicated delinquent or still pending a formal hearing on adjudication. Education is provided to the residents, as well as other services including anger management, creative writing, religious activities, substance abuse programs social services and behavioral management. Visiting times are weekends only and these rules are strictly enforced.