Travis Tormey, founding partner of the Tormey Law Firm, recently represented a client facing charges for third degree aggravated assault with a weapon stemming from an alleged domestic violence incident in Florham Park, New Jersey.
Aggravated assault charges like those faced by the client are usually classified as an indictable, felony-level offense in NJ. As a result, the case was transferred from Florham Park Municipal Court to Morris County Superior Court in Morristown, New Jersey. If the client had gone to trial in superior court and been convicted on the aggravated assault charges, she would have been subject to significant penalties that included a sentence of 3-5 years in NJ State Prison. Beyond that, the client would have been required to serve 85 percent of any sentence before becoming eligible for parole because the No Early Release Act (NERA) typically applies to violent criminal offenses in New Jersey.
Our client, a 70-year-old woman with no prior criminal history, was happily married to her husband for more than forty years. Moreover, the couple had two adult children together. The client was placed under arrest by Florham Park police after a minor disagreement with her husband escalated into something slightly more serious. The client was cooking in the couple’s home when her husband began to call her names. She responded by bopping him on the forehead with the butt end of a kitchen knife, which she had in her hands because she was cooking at the time.
Shortly after the client was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, Travis J. Tormey got to work representing her. Mr. Tormey spoke with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and convinced them that the charges did not warrant being elevated from a disorderly persons offense to a felony. Mr. Tormey told the Morris County prosecutor that what happened with the client was not an aggravated assault with a knife; it was more akin to a caring grandmother lightly tapping her grandchild on the head with a wooden spoon in response to misbehavior. The prosecutor ultimately agreed with Mr. Tormey and elected to downgrade the charge to simple assault. The case was then remanded back to the Florham Park Municipal Court for resolution.
The case never actually went to trial in municipal court. That’s because the client’s husband informed the prosecutor that he wanted the charges to be dropped. Since there were no other witnesses in the case, the Florham Park NJ prosecutor dismissed the complaint against our client.
Thanks to Travis Tormey, the client avoided potentially severe criminal penalties and kept her record clear of an embarrassing criminal conviction. This was a fantastic result for our client and a huge success story for the Tormey Law Firm.