Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer

Mercer County NJ Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer Lawyer

Aggravated assault is a very serious charge no matter what the factual circumstances surrounding the incident are. However, when the incident involves an altercation between law enforcement the charges can quickly escalate. What would normally be considered a simple assault (misdemeanor) will simply get upgraded to an aggravated assault simply because the “victim” in the case is a police officer. If you or a loved one has been charged with aggravated assault on a police officer in Mercer County, it is imperative that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The criminal attorneys at Proetta & Oliver are ready and willing to fight to protect your rights.

These types of offense normally stem from the police responding to some other altercation. So, most clients charged with this offense are also facing other charges like aggravated assault, terroristic threats, unlawful possession of a weapon, resisting arrest and obstruction. Our attorneys appear in courts throughout Mercer County, including courts like the Hamilton Municipal Court, the Ewing Municipal Court, the Lawrenceville Municipal Court, the Trenton Municipal Court, the East Windsor Municipal Court, the West Windsor Municipal Court, the Hopewell Municipal Court and the Robbinsville Municipal Court. Our attorneys are available immediately to help assist in anyway that we can. If you would like to sit down with one of our attorneys we can discuss the facts of your case and give you our honest feedback on how we think we can be of assistance. To schedule one today please contact us at (609) 789-0779.

Assault on a Police Officer Attorney in Hamilton NJ

Aggravated assault on a police officer is just like every other assault crime in New Jersey. The degree of the offense will revolve around what the type of “injury” suffered is classified as. (i.e. bodily injury, significant bodily injury, serious bodily injury) So this offense in essence covers a situation that would ordinarily be classified as an assault but do to the fact that the “victim” is a police officer the charges are upgraded. It basically takes what would normally be considered a simple assault an elevates the charges to aggravated assault. The offense is governed by NJSA 2C:12-1b(5) and it states in pertinent part that:

A person is guilty of aggravated assault if he attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to any law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his duties while in uniform or exhibiting evidence of his authority or because of his status as a law enforcement officer.

So, in order to be convicted of this offense, the State must prove the following elements:

  • That the Defendant purposely attempted to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly did cause bodily injury to the victim;
  • That the victim was a police officer; &
    • That the Defendant knew that the victim was a police officer and they were on the job; or
    • That the Defendant knew that the victim was a police officer and that they purposely committed the act against them because they were a police officer.

It is important to note here that the State must prove that the Defendant knew the the Defendant was a police officer at the time of the assault. Also, the courts have defined “bodily injury” as any injury that causes physical pain, illness or any impairment of physical condition. This is the lowest level of potential “injury” under the New Jersey Criminal Code. It is the type of “injury” required for a simple assault charge.

Can I avoid Jail on an Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer Charge?

If the police officers suffers “bodily injury” as a result of the altercation then the Defendant will be charged with a third degree felony offense. Otherwise the Defendant will be charged with a fourth degree felony offense. A Defendant facing a third degree felony in New Jersey could be subject to the following penalties: three to five years in prison, a fine up to $15,000, community service, court ordered anger management, probation and a felony criminal record. Conversely, a Defendant facing a fourth degree felony could be subject to the following penalties: up to eighteen months in a prison, a fine up to $10,000, community service, court ordered anger management, probation and a felony criminal record.

Anyone charged with aggravated assault on a police officer may be eligible for the Pretrial Intervention Program. This is a diversionary program in New Jersey whereby if a Defendant is fortunate enough to gain entry, they would in essence be given the opportunity to walk away from these charges without a criminal record and without serving a day in jail.  For more information on this program, please contact our office at 609-789-0779.

Assault on a Police Office Defense Attorneys in Lawrenceville NJ

Being charged with a criminal charge can be extremely stressful. However hiring the right attorney can go a long way to alleviating the stress. If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense like simple assault, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose or robbery, the attorneys at Proetta & Oliver can help. Our attorneys have dedicated their entire careers to defending those accused of crimes in courts throughout New Jersey including Mercer County. If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Mercer County, in towns like Lawrence, Robbinsville, Hamilton, East Windsor, West Windsor or Hopewell and you would like a free consultation then please contact us at 609-789-0779.