Marlton Assault & Threat Crimes Lawyer
Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer John B. Brennan Fights for the Rights of Clients Accused of Assault and Threat Crimes in Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Throughout New Jersey
In an instant, you may find yourself in a fight, and before you know it you’re in handcuffs, charged with assault. You may have been in the wrong place, said the wrong thing to someone, or maybe you were honestly trying to defend yourself or someone else. Regardless of the circumstances leading to your arrest, when you are charged with assault in New Jersey, you need skilled legal representation to defend your rights and interests. As with all violent crimes, assaults are taken very seriously by prosecutors in the state, and a conviction may have you serving jail or prison time and paying thousands of dollars in fines.
When you are arrested, you have options for defending yourself. Let an experienced criminal defense attorney like me get to work in your case pursuing the best possible outcome from your charges. With decades of professional experience in the New Jersey criminal justice system, including 25 years spent as a prosecutor, I am very familiar with how criminal cases are built and pursued, so I know what it takes to build effective legal defense strategies. Contact me today to set up a free consultation, where I can give you an honest assessment of your case and discuss how I may be able to help you address your assault charges.
Types of Assault and Threat Crimes in New Jersey
In New Jersey, an assault occurs when someone threatens another person with or causes another person to fear imminent bodily injury.
The first type of assault crime under New Jersey is simple assault. Most assault crimes are charged as a simple assault, which is classified as a disorderly persons offense under New Jersey law. A disorderly persons offense carries a maximum sentence of up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1000. If an assault involves a fight in which both sides are considered to be the instigating party, the offense will be charged as a petty disorderly persons offense, which carries a maximum sentence of up to 30 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500. The court can also impose costs and assessments arising from the prosecution.
A more serious type of assault is an aggravated assault, which occurs when someone purposely causes or attempts to cause injury, or recklessly causes injury with a firearm or other deadly weapon. Aggravated assaults are charged in New Jersey as indictable crime or offense (also known as felonies); the grading of the offense depends on the circumstances of the crime:
- Fourth-degree crime: Recklessly injuring another person with a deadly weapon, pointing a firearm at another person, or causing non-serious to a police officer or other protected person
- Third-degree crime: Purposely injury or attempting to hurt another person with a deadly weapon, attempting to cause injury in a manner that shows extreme indifference to human life, pointing a firearm or imitation firearm at a law enforcement officer, causing serious injuries to law enforcement personnel or other protected workers, starting a fire that causes non-serious injury to emergency workers, or intentionally choking a person protected under domestic violence laws, or causing significant bodily injury
- Second-degree: Causing injury while fleeing police, starting a fire that causes serious injury to emergency workers, or any act not otherwise prohibited that causes serious injury and demonstrates a disregard for human life
A conviction for aggravated assault carries serious penalties ranging from 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, to up to 10 years in prison and a $150,000 fine.
Knowledgeable Criminal Defense Attorney John B. Brennan Will Develop a Strong, Effective Legal Defense Strategy in Your Case
Even though you may be in handcuffs in the back of a police car following a fight, you have legal options and defenses available to you when facing assault charges. Examples of defenses and legal strategies I may pursue on your behalf include:
- Mistaken identity — you were not the perpetrator of the assault
- Consent — the fight or other physical touching had been consented to by the purported victim
- Self-defense — you were fighting to defend yourself or someone else
I will also challenge the state’s evidence and the strength of their case, where possible, to seek a reduction or even outright dismissal of your charges and your case.
Contact The Law Offices of John B. Brennan to Speak with a Seasoned Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one have been arrested and charged with assault, contact my office today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your legal rights and options. Don’t leave your freedom and future to chance; allow me to fight to protect your interests and work to ensure you receive the best possible outcome in your case.
Frequently Asked Questions about Assault & Threat Crimes in New Jersey
Under New Jersey law, the crime of assault does not actually require you to injure someone. Instead, assault in New Jersey is defined as knowingly or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury to another, negligently causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon, or placing or attempting to place someone in fear of imminent bodily injury. Even pushing someone, though they don’t suffer any injury, may be sufficient to constitute assault, depending on the circumstances.
Most assault offenses are categorized as a simple assault; if the assault arises due to a fight in which both or all parties are mutual aggressors, the simple assault is often categorized as a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense. An assault may be upgraded to an aggravated assault when it involves recklessly causing injury to another person with a deadly weapon, purposely or attempting to purposely cause injury with a deadly weapon, or injury involving pointing a firearm at another person. Aggravated assaults may also be classified as such depending on the status of the victim of the assault (such as assaulting a police officer, first responder, or other public employee on duty).