Simple Assault Charges 2C:12-1(a)

Simple Assault Lawyers in Hamilton

Local Simple Assault Lawyer Near Hamilton NJAlthough simple assault is the lowest level assault charge under the New Jersey criminal code, the ramifications if convicted are still serious. They include the potential for incarceration, high fines, community service, anger management and probation. On top of that, under the new bail guidelines which came into effect in January of 2017, a Defendant charged with domestic violence simple assault may end up spending a few nights in the Mercer County Jail pending a detention hearing.  In addition to these charges, a Defendant may also find themselves being served with a temporary restraining order as well. As you can tell, these charges should not be taken lightly. They require the assistance of an experienced Mercer County NJ assault defense attorney.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Simple Assault Charge?

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with simple assault, stalking, terroristic threats, harassment, aggravated assault, disorderly conduct or trespassing the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver can help. Our firm has been representing clients charged with simple assault in the Hamilton Municipal Court, the Princeton Municipal Court, the Lawrence Municipal Court, the Ewing Municipal Court, the Robbinsville Municipal Court, the Trenton Municipal Court and the Hopewell Municipal Court for years. Both Mr. Oliver’s and Mr. Proetta’s careers have been dedicated to defending those accused of crimes. If you would like to come into our office so that you can have an initial face to face consultation with one of the members of our firm please contact us at (609) 789-0779. We are available around the clock and as always our initial consultations are free. For more information on the offense of simple assault, please see below.

Here is a review from one of the many happy clients of Proetta & Oliver’s who was facing an assault charge

Not only is Keith hardworking, persistent, and dedicated, but he is also personable. In other words, Keith is not just doing his job; he sincerely cares for his clients and strives to do what is in their best interests. In my case, I was involved in a situation that I shouldn’t have been involved with. It turns out thereafter that I commenced the pursuit of a career in an industry with very stringent requirements as far as the law is concerned. To come to the realization that I could be barred from the industry if the outcome of my case didn’t go well was as much as an eye-opener as it was upsetting. The whole process of my case was lengthy and burdensome but Keith stuck with me and my case. He was always available to address my questions and concerns. As it turns out I got an outcome better much than I had expected. The judge even conceded herself that Keith had done a remarkable job. One mistake can not only impede your progress but can ruin your life. That could have been the case with me but it wasn’t. In other words, Keith saved my life 🙂

What You Should Know About Simple Assault Charges in Mercer County

Although simple assault is the technically the lowest level “assault” charge in New Jersey, the potential ramifications if convicted can be harsh, especially if the offense is classified as act of domestic violence. The legislature has chosen to break this offense down into three different subsections, each one requiring the prosecution to prove separate and distinct elements from one another. In order to be able to mount a successful defense, it is crucial to understand what the prosecution must prove in order to obtain a conviction for each subsection. Here is a breakdown of each subsection:  

  • NJSA 2C:12-1(a)(1) Attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another:
    • In order to be convicted of this offense it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:
      • That the defendant did cause bodily injury to another; and
      • That the defendant acted purposely or knowingly or recklessly in causing bodily injury
    • Bodily injury has been defined as causing “physical pain, illness or any impairment of the physical condition”.
  • NJSA 2C:12-1a(2) Negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon;
    • In order to be convicted of this offense it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:
      • That the defendant caused bodily injury to another;
      • The bodily injury was caused by the use of a deadly weapon;
      • That the defendant acted negligently.
  • NJSA 2C:12-1a(3) Attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

    • In order to be convicted of this offense it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:
      • That the defendant purposely attempted to put in fear of imminent serious bodily injury;
      • That the defendant did so by physical menace.
    • Serious bodily injury has been defined as bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

As you can tell, this offense does not require much. A simple push could be enough to convict someone of simple assault in New Jersey. However, this is where an experienced Mercer County criminal defense attorney can make a drastic difference. They can exploit the weaknesses in the State’s case and even attempt to proof the Defendant was acting in self defense. A successful self defense argument can completely eliminate the charges.

What is the Sentence for Simple Assault New Jersey?

Simple Assault is ALWAYS a Misdemeanor in NJ

Simple assault is considered a disorderly persons offense unless it proven that the conduct was as a result of what is known as “mutual combat” and then would be a petty disorderly persons offense. Both a disorderly persons offense and a petty disorderly persons offenses are also known as misdemeanor offenses. Anyone convicted of a disorderly persons offense would be facing up to six months in the Mercer County Jail, a fine up to $1,000, community service, probation, anger management and a criminal record. Conversely, anyone convicted of a petty disorderly persons offense would be facing up to thirty (30) days in the Mercer County Jail, a fine up to $500, community service, probation, anger management and a criminal record.

Conditional Dismissal Program for Simple Assault Charge in NJ

With that being said, provided the offense is not considered an act of domestic violence, a Defendant may be eligible for a diversionary program known as the Conditional Dismissal Program. This a diversionary program in New Jersey whereby a Defendant will be placed on a probationary period for one year and if they successfully complete the program, without violating any of the terms, the criminal charges will be outright dismissed. 

Denied Bail on a Simple Assault Charge in Mercer County

As touched upon earlier, as of 2017, it is now more realistic for an individual who is charged with simple assault, especially if is considered an act of domestic violence to be denied bail. If the charge is issued on a Complaint-Warrant the individual would be subject to New Jersey’s Bail Reform Act. That means that instead of being released from the local police station, the individual must be taken to the Mercer County Jail for at least 24 hours so that Pretrial Service can conduct their risk assessment. That risk assessment will be used by the prosecution to determine whether they will be consenting to release the individual on bail. If the prosecution declines to release the individual they must file a formal detention motion. If that occurs, a hearing will be conducted and it will be up to the Judge to decide whether the individual will be granted bail or detained without bail, pending trial. For more information on how detention hearings work in Mercer County, please click the link.

Speak to a Simple Assault Attorney in Robbinsville Today

As you can see from reading above the applicable penalties if convicted of simple assault in New Jersey can be life changing. If you have been charged with simple assault, disorderly conduct, aggravated assault, marijuana possession, terroristic threats, false imprisonment or harassment in Mercer County it is imperative that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorneys about your options. Our office serves all of Mercer County including towns like Hamilton, Lawrenceville, Pennington, West Windsor, Ewing, Robbinsville, Hightstown, Trenton and East Windsor. If you would like to come into our office and have a free initial consultation then please contact us at (609) 789-0779. We fully understand that being charged with a criminal offense can be extremely nerve wracking and as such we make ourselves available 24/7 to help assist in any way possible. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.