Criminal Defense Lawyers for Simple Assault in Point Pleasant NJ
Point Pleasant is popular beach town for both families and single people in Ocean County and throughout New Jersey. During the summer months, the daily population skyrockets due to popular attractions such as the beach, boardwalk, and amusement rides. While the warm weather brings ample revenue, it also brings a host of potentially criminal behavior, including simple assault. Because conduct that may constitute simple assault can be prevalent in this otherwise quiet family neighborhood, the town has many police officers ready, willing, and able to arrest you for this criminal offense. If you have been charged with simple assault in Point Pleasant, it is important to understand the degree of the offense, possible elevation of assault charges filed by police, how simple assault can be downgraded in cases of mutual fighting, and potential defenses that may apply to your case. At Proetta & Oliver, our local Point Pleasant criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience handling simple assault cases and we are here to advise and assist you. Simply contact our office in Point Pleasant for a free consultation regarding your assault case today. You can reach us 24/7 online or by calling (848) 238-2100.
Facing Point Pleasant Simple Assault Charges
Simply put, to be guilty of simple assault, the law merely requires the prosecutor to prove that you purposely, knowingly, or recklessly, caused an injury to another person. The injury does not have to be anything more than a little pain, a bump, bruise, or a scrape. Aside from this form of simple assault, you can be deemed to have committed simple assault if you: 1) caused an injury negligently with a deadly weapon or, 2) or put someone in fear of imminent injury by acting in a menacing manner. Even an attempt to cause bodily injury in which no actual injury occurs can be considered simple assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a).
Simple assault is generally classified as a disorderly persons offense. In New Jersey, the legislature classifies offenses as indictable crimes, disorderly persons offenses, or petty disorderly persons offenses. A disorderly persons offense is considered less serious than an indictable crime. Thus, if you have been charged with a disorderly persons offense in Point Pleasant, your case will be heard in the Point Pleasant Municipal Court located at 2233 Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant, rather than the Ocean County Superior Court, as with indictable crimes. Another distinction between an indictable crime and disorderly offense is that the court cannot send you to state prison for a conviction for a DP. However, for simple assault the court can in fact, send you to county jail for 6 months, place you on probation, and order you to pay as much as $1,000 in fines.
It is important to note that not all conduct is considered disorderly persons simple assault under the statute. For example, a lesser included offense under 2C:12-1(a) is known as mutual fighting. This happens when two people engage in a physical altercation willingly. Mutual fighting is a lower offense than a typical DP, known as it is a petty disorderly persons offense. If convicted, the judge can order you to spend time in jail for up to 30 days. In addition, you can be ordered to pay a fine up to $500 and be placed on probation.
Can Simple Assault be Elevated to Aggravated Assault in Point Pleasant, New Jersey?
The offenses of simple assault and mutual fighting are typically disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly persons offenses, respectively. In other words, these are not indictable (felony) crimes under NJ law. Unfortunately, under some circumstances, your case can be elevated to a felony crime if the simple assault is committed against law enforcement or another public servant. Specifically, the crime of simple assault rises to a third degree aggravated assault if it is committed on a police officer. If convicted of a third degree indictable crime for aggravated assault, you face up to 5 years in prison, a $15,000 fine, and a felony conviction on your criminal record. These cases are heard in the Ocean County Superior Court located at 120 Hooper Avenue in Toms River.
Charged with Simple Assault in a Point Pleasant Domestic Violence Case
Often, the facts of a case give rise to a simple assault complaint being filed, together with an application for a temporary restraining order (TRO). In addition to aggravated assault being heard in the Superior Court, so too are restraining orders based on assault allegations. These cases are civil in nature, and handled in the Family Division of the Ocean County Superior Court. Your significant other, family member, former fling, or another person meeting the criteria for a victim of domestic violence, can obtain a Final Restraining Order (FRO) in the Ocean County Family Court if it is proven that you committed an act of simple assault, that a history of domestic violence exists between the parties, and the person is in fear for their physical safety. If this happens, you can be permanently prohibited from the person’s work, home, and from coming within so many feet of the complainant. Moreover, you cannot contact the individual (also known as the plaintiff) without risking a charge for violation of a restraining order. Beyond these implications, if there are children involved, an FRO could limit your parenting time and lead to changes in child custody orders.
Speak with a Point Pleasant NJ Simple Assault Defense Attorney Now
Because the degrees of assault crimes and consequences thereof can vary greatly, it is important to seek legal representation if you have been charged with assault in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. If the alleged assault happened in the summer, perhaps you are already back in school or at work full time. Perhaps you are not even from Point Pleasant and are now at a complete loss in deciding what to do. Our attorneys know and understand how you feel, as we have seen scenarios like these time and time again in our criminal law practice. We can help reduce the stress of assault charges, handle your case for you, and seek the best possible results. When you need answers, we are here to help. Contact us today at (848) 238-2100 for a free consultation with a Point Pleasant criminal defense lawyer near you.
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.