Aggravated Assault Lawyer in South Jersey
New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Represents Clients Charged with Aggravated Assault in Camden, Gloucester, Burlington, Atlantic, Salem, Mercer, and Cape May County, NJ
If you are facing an aggravated assault charge in southern or central New Jersey, it is a very serious matter. Depending on the severity of the situation you found yourself in during the criminal act, you can pay up to $150,000 in fines and find yourself sitting in prison for up to 10 years. These kinds of penalties can be life-changing, and that isn’t even considering the permanent damage to future career opportunities and criminal record. With a quality defense lawyer by your side, extenuating circumstances can be considered and penalties reduced. Don’t wait! Contact the New Jersey aggravated assault attorney Jill R. Cohen, Esq. today for a free consultation.
Circumstances in Which a New Jersey Resident Can Be Charged with Aggravated Assault
In New Jersey, there are both simple assault and aggravated assault charges that one can face. The aggravated assault charges are naturally more severe as they tend to involve premeditated criminal acts, extreme disregard for human safety or life, or assault of especially fragile individuals. The N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b) Statute is long and complex due to the wide variety of factors and scenarios that are considered by law to make assault classified as an aggravated crime.
There are a total of eleven different scenarios in which you can be found guilty of aggravated assault in New Jersey:
- Attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another.
- If you cause or attempt to cause—either purposely or knowingly—bodily injury to another person using a deadly weapon.
- If you recklessly cause bodily injury to another person with a deadly weapon.
- If you knowingly (and under circumstances that manifest an extreme indifference to the value of human life) point a firearm at or in the direction of another individual, regardless of your knowledge on if the gun is loaded or not.
- If you commit simple assault against any of the following people during any time of their employment:
- Law Enforcement Officer
- EMT/EMS Responder
- School Board Member, Teacher, School Administrator, School Bus Driver, or Any Other Public or Private School Employee
- DYFS Employee
- Member of the Judiciary (i.e. Judges and Justices)
- Bus Driver, Train Conductor, or Other Employee of a Rail Passenger Service
- Department of Corrections Employee or Other Jail Employee
- Utility or Cable Company Employee
- Health Care Worker
- Direct Care Worker at a Psychiatric Hospital or Center
- If you cause bodily injury to another person while fleeing or attempting to escape from a police officer or while committing a theft-related crime.
- Attempts to cause significant bodily injury to another or causes significant bodily injury purposely or knowingly or, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life recklessly causes such significant bodily injury.
- If you cause bodily injury by knowingly or purposely starting a fire or an explosion that results in bodily injury to emergency services personnel
- If you knowingly—and under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life and safety—point or display a firearm at or in the direction of a police officer.
- If you knowingly point, display, or use an imitation firearm at or in the direction of a police officer with the purpose to intimidate, terrorize, threaten, put the officer in fear of bodily injury, or for any other unlawful reason.
- If you use or activate a laser sighting system or device (or a system or device that would cause a reasonable person to believe that it is a laser sighting system or device) against a police officer.
Fines and Prison Times for Those Convicted of Aggravated Assault in South Jersey
Penalties and fines for aggravated assault are more severe from those of simple assault due to the crime being more violent. Aggravated assault falls under a second, third, or fourth-degree crime and is categorized into one of the three depending on how serious the crime is, how seriously harmed the victim is, who the victim is, etc.
Penalties associated with each degree of aggravated assault in New Jersey are:
- Fourth Degree Crime: Up to 18 Months in Prison & Up to $10,000 Fine
- Third Degree Crime: 3-5 Years in Prison & Up to $15,000 Fine
- Second Degree Crime: 5-10 Years in Prison & Up to $150,000 Fine
How a South Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Can Make a Solid Case Against Your Aggravated Assault Charges
There are many situations in which a good criminal defense attorney can make a clear case regarding your involvement in violent criminal behavior or a violent altercation that resulted in your aggravated assault charges. If you got caught up in a violent situation you didn’t want to be or didn’t mean to be in, Jill R. Cohen can help defend you and possibly get the charges dropped.
The following are five routes a quality New Jersey criminal defense attorney can take to defend you against aggravated assault charges:
- Self Defense – Protecting oneself from the attack or assault of another by fighting back.
- Example: A man attempts to rape a woman so she kicks him violently in the stomach to get away.
- Mental Diseases or Condition – A plea of being mentally unwell and unable to make a sound logical decision.
- Example: An individual on medication withdrawal hallucinates and attacks someone they think is dangerous.
- Defense of Others – Protecting another from serious harm where the victim would have had the legal right to defend themselves with physical action.
- Example: You see a young woman being ganged up on by two men with knives and fight them off and knock them unconscious.
- Protection of Property – In order to assert a defense for the protection of property, you must announce to the aggressor to stop interfering with your property. You cannot use deadly force in such situations unless you have reason to believe the aggressor may use deadly force on you.
- Example: A thief enters the home and is actively attempting to steal from your partner’s lockbox. You warn the thief to desist, they don’t, and you hit them in the legs to incapacitate them.
- “Mistake of Fact” Defense – Being unaware that your physical actions would cause serious harm to another. This can only be used to negate intent.
- Example: You jump out and scare a relative on Halloween, unaware that they recently had heart surgery, and cause the individual to have a heart attack and do unintentional harm to the victim.
Two applicable New Jersey Statutes for permissible instances that would usually be classified as an aggravated assault:
- According to N.J.S.A. 2C:3-4:
- “The use of force or deadly force upon or toward an intruder who is unlawfully in a dwelling is justifiable when the actor reasonably believes that the force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself or other persons in the dwelling against the use of unlawful force by the intruder on the present occasion.”
- According to N.J.S.A 2C:3-6:
- “The use of force upon or toward the person of another is justifiable when the actor is in possession or control of premises or is licensed or privileged to be thereon and he reasonably believes such force necessary to prevent or terminate what he reasonably believes to be the commission or attempted commission of a criminal trespass by such other person in or upon such premises.”
Contact a Passionate and Skilled New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Regarding your Aggravated Assault Charges Today
Many individuals who end up with an aggravated assault charge did so under extenuating circumstances that can help them get the charges dropped in court when defended by a quality New Jersey defense attorney like Jill R. Cohen. Even in scenarios where there is no defense option such as self-defense or defense of property, Ms. Cohen can still legally negotiate with a court judge to get sentencing reduced or penalties lowered. Contact her New Jersey law office today for a free initial consultation regarding you aggravated assault charges. Jill Cohen has been representing criminal defendants throughout New Jersey in Camden, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township, Winslow, Pennsauken, Voorhees, Lindenwold, Haddon Township, Collingswood and Haddonfield.