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In New Jersey, when an adult is charged with a criminal offense, the degree of the offense in question will dictate where the charges are ultimately litigated. For example, all disorderly persons offenses, like simple assault, will be litigated in the local municipal court where the incident happened and all indictable offenses, like aggravated assault will be litigated in the Superior Court in the county where the incident happened. However, when a juvenile is arrested and charged with a criminal offense, their charges are automatically transferred to the family part of the Superior Court in the county where the juvenile resides. So, regardless of whether or not the juvenile is charged with an indictable or disorderly persons offenses, the case will be transferred to the Superior Court for disposition.
Juvenile Aggravated Assault on Police Office Lawyer
According to nj.com, a Hopewell Valley High School student was arrested and taken into custody by the Hopewell Police Department following a physical altercation that took place on school grounds. Apparently the police were called to the high school following a 911 call claiming that the juvenile, a fifteen year old student, had assaulted multiple employees. To make matters worse, when the officers responded, it is alleged that the juvenile assault them, by punching one of the officers in the face and spitting on another.
Based on the juvenile’s conduct, he was arrested and formally charged with several counts of aggravated assault, including aggravated assault on a police officer. It is unclear at this point in time whether or not the juvenile was detained or released into the custody of his parents. But, since the juvenile appears to live in Mercer County, the charges will be transferred to the family part of the Mercer County Superior Court, which is located in the City of Trenton for disposition. Furthermore, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office will be in charged of prosecuting the case for the State. For more information on the juvenile criminal justice system in Mercer County, please click the link.
Aggravated Assault vs. Simple Assault in New Jersey
It appears based on the reports that neither officer’s or the school employees suffered more than what amounts to “bodily injury”. However, from the incident above, it appears that the juvenile’s charges were elevated from what otherwise would have been considered a simple assault to aggravated assault because the school employee(s) and the police officer(s) are granted heightened protection under the law. Pursuant to NJSA 2C:12-1b(5), anyone who causes or attempts to cause “bodily injury” to one of the enumerated classes of individuals will have their charges elevated to aggravated assault. For more information on aggravated assault charges, please click the link.