The Tormey Law Firm recently represented a client who had been charged with simple assault.
This was the first time the client had ever been arrested. However, due to the fact that he is not an American citizen, he still faced serious immigration consequences if convicted of this charge.
The New Jersey Criminal Code classifies simple assault as either a disorderly persons offense or a petty disorderly persons offense. More serious aggravated assault charges are classified as felonies.
The potential penalties for a simple assault charge are determined by the circumstances of the offense. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a), a person may be charged with simple assault if they:
- Purposely, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to someone else
- Negligently cause bodily injury while using a deadly weapon
- Use physical menace to put another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury
In most cases, simple assault is classified as a disorderly persons offense. The main exception to this is if the simple assault charge arises from a fight that was entered into by mutual consent, in which case the charge is classified as a petty disorderly persons offense. Disorderly persons offenses are punishable by a sentence of up to 6 months in county jail; petty disorderly persons offenses are punishable by a sentence of up to 30 days in county jail.
In this case, our client was able to avoid jail time altogether. The alleged victim, the State’s only witness, did not wish to proceed with the charges. Moreover, our client enrolled himself in anger management counseling, which reflected well on his character. As a result, we were able to convince the prosecutor in the case to dismiss the charges entirely. This was a fantastic result for both our client and the Tormey Law Firm.
If you are facing simple assault or aggravated assault charges in New Jersey, contact Morristown NJ criminal defense attorney Travis J. Tormey for a free consultation about your case.