Lacey Township is a beautiful place to live. Whether you are just popping in at the Forked River Rest Area on your way down the shore or you have been living here for years, virtually everyone agrees that Lacey is a great place to be. But what if your seemingly good day is interrupted by an arrest for simple assault? What does a simple assault charge mean for you and your future? If you have been charged with simple assault in Lacey, New Jersey, there are serious penalties that you may not see coming. Before you head to Lacey Township Municipal Court for a simple assault case, it is crucial that you understand the law, the potential consequences, and that you have options to achieve a positive resolution. Contact our local office in Ocean County at (848) 238-2100 to discuss your specific simple assault charges in Lacey and find out how we can help best represent your interests. Our local Lacey criminal defense lawyers are available anytime to provide you with a free consultation.
Charged with Simple Assault in Lacey Township NJ
The Lacey Police are active throughout the township and there are many who ultimately find themselves investigated and charged with simple assault in this area. New Jersey prohibits physical violence or the threat of violence in any form and thus, has enacted a statute to address various degrees of assault crimes. Accordingly, a person may be charged with simple assault under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1a if he or she attempts to, or does in fact, cause bodily injury to anyone else; negligently causes an injury with a deadly weapon; or makes another person fearful that an injury will soon occur. Simple assault is generally classified as a disorderly persons offense. However, there is a lesser offense of mutual fighting, a petty disorderly persons offense, also encompassed within this section of the statute.
If you have been charged with a disorderly persons offense for simple assault, or a petty disorderly persons offense for a mutual altercation in Lacey Township, your case will be heard and decided in Lacey Municipal Court.
What are the consequences if convicted of simple assault or mutual fighting in Lacey?
Anyone convicted of simple assault, as well as those who plead guilty to this offense in Lacey Township Municipal Court, face certain maximum penalties under the law. For a disorderly persons offense of simple assault, the New Jersey law permits a sentence to serve a maximum of 6 months in jail. You can also be assessed a fine of up to $1000, a $75 safe neighborhood fee, a $50 victims of crime compensation fund fee, additional court costs, a term of probation, as well as additional requirements such as anger management or mental health counseling.
For a petty disorderly persons offense for mutual fighting in Lacey, the punishments are a bit less severe but still consequential. Specifically, the maximum sentence you could receive is 30 days in jail, plus a maximum $500 fine, probation and/or restitution.
Lacey New Jersey Domestic Violence Simple Assault Case
Additional penalties can be imposed if you are proven to have committed simple assault in an act of domestic violence. In these cases, the court is required to assess another $100 fine in the form of a domestic violence surcharge. If convicted, the judge will also require you to forfeit your firearms ID card and any guns or weapons in your possession. Before you ever even get to court for a simple assault case involving domestic violence, you will be held in the Ocean County Jail upon initial arrest. You will remain in jail at least overnight and for up to 48 hours. The court will thereafter hold a hearing to determine if you should be released or held in detention pending the resolution of your case. It is essential to have a lawyer representing you at an upcoming detention hearing for simple assault in Lacey or elsewhere in Ocean County, as a negative outcome at this proceeding could jeopardize your job and your freedom for weeks or even months to come.
Aside from the criminal offense of simple assault, the alleged victim of domestic violence may elect to file a restraining order against you. If this occurs, a temporary restraining order will be issued and a final determination will be made after a hearing in the Ocean County Superior Court, Family Division. During the final restraining order hearing, the judge will hear testimony from both sides, review evidence submitted by the respective parties, and ultimately make a finding as to whether an act of domestic violence occurred, if a history of abuse exists, and if the alleged victim is in fear for their safety and in need of protection. If a final restraining order is issued, this can prohibit you from returning to your home, being anywhere near the alleged victim, contacting him or her, and even visiting with children or other family members. These repercussions come in addition to criminal consequences that may result from a simple assault conviction in municipal court.
How can an Attorney Help me with Simple Assault Allegations in Lacey Township?
If you are facing simple assault charges in Lacey, New Jersey, our criminal defense lawyers can assist you now. Prior to appearing with you in Lacey Municipal Court, we will thoroughly review the discovery in your case (police reports, statements, photographs, etc.) and discuss the legal issues with you. Depending on the circumstances, we can file motions on your behalf, broker a favorable deal with the prosecutor, or try the case before the municipal court judge presiding. Just as the facts of your case are individual to you, so too are the possible outcomes. Our experience has taught us that, aside from being knowledgeable, prepared, and ready to fight, there is no one way to handle a case and we will carefully listen to you and discuss all of the avenues that we can pursue toward the best outcome.
If you have been charged with simple assault in connection with domestic violence, our attorneys will aggressively pursue your release from jail and present your side of things during the detention hearing. We will further talk with you and your family, help you prepare for trial, and defend your innocence during a final restraining order hearing in Ocean County Family Court. For more information and a free consultation with a Lacey NJ simple assault lawyer near you, contact us at (848) 238-2100 today.
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.