Simple Assault vs. Aggravated Assault

March 14, 2018

Monmouth County NJ Aggravated and Simple Assault AttorneysNew Jersey statutes break “assault” charges into two categories: aggravated assault and simple assault. These refer to physically violent assaults and are separate from other types of felony charges including sexual assault. Aggravated assault may result in maximum second-degree felony charges, potentially leading to ten (10) years in state prison. Simple assault charges are not considered felonies and may result in significantly lessened penalties. Today, our criminal defense attorneys will discuss the key differences between aggravated assault and simple assault and the impact that may have on your case.

N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1 – Assault: Monmouth County, NJ Aggravated and Simple Assault Attorneys

Pursuant to New Jersey Revised Statutes Section 2C:12-1 – Assault, the following are the legal definitions of simple assault and aggravated assault.

Simple Assault charges may stem from:

  • Recklessly, knowingly, or purposefully causing bodily harm to another
  • Causing bodily harm to another through the negligent use of a deadly weapon
  • Physically intimidating another through threats of imminent bodily harm

Aggravated Assault charges may stem from:

  • Causing or attempting to inflict bodily harm upon another purposefully, knowingly, or with extreme indifference to human life
  • Knowingly and purposely causing bodily harm to another with a deadly weapon
  • Pointing a firearm at another regardless of whether the firearm was loaded at the time
  • Committing an act of simple assault upon a law enforcement officer, volunteer, first responder, or other qualified individual
  • More

Freehold Assault Defense Attorneys Discuss Penalties of Simple and Aggravated Assault

Simple assault crimes may result in disorderly persons charges. This is a significant distinction, as disorderly persons charges are not considered felonies in New Jersey. Our Freehold assault defense attorneys understand that while these charges are less severe than aggravated assault charges, they still can carry significant penalties. Simple assault convictions may lead to jail sentences between 90 days and six (6) months, and fines up to $1,000.

Aggravated assault crimes are considered either second or third-degree felonies in New Jersey. Sentences for second-degree convictions may result in prison time between five (5) and ten (10) years and fines up to $150,000. Convictions will also result in a permanent felony on the offender’s permanent record which will not be eligible for expungement.

Beyond the obvious differences in sentencing, aggravated assault convictions are also considered violent offenses which are governed by the New Jersey No Early Release Act. Convicted offenders will be ineligible for parole until serving a minimum of 85 percent of their sentences. Additionally, second degree aggravated assault carries a presumption of incarceration, meaning that even first time offenders must serve a hard time.

Red Bank Aggravated and Simple Assault Defense Lawyers Offer Defenses for Clients

The differences between a disorderly persons simple assault charge and a second-degree felony aggravated assault charge can sometimes be quite nuanced. For example, the distinction between the “negligent” use of a deadly weapon and the “purposeful” use of a deadly weapon can mean the difference between probation and ten years in prison.

A qualified Red Bank aggravated and simple assault defense lawyer will work with the details of your case, examine how the evidence was gathered, and build a strong legal defense. There are a huge number of available legal defenses which may lead to your charges to be reduced or outright dismissed. No matter what your situation, you do not need to fight these charges alone.

Contact our West Long Branch Simple and Aggravated Assault Defense Attorneys Today

The simple assault and aggravated assault defense attorneys of Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington have extensive experience defending clients charged with assault from Monmouth County towns including Red Bank, Asbury Park, Freehold, West Long Branch, Howell, Middletown, and across Northeast New Jersey. Our legal team is led by Charles Uliano, one of only a handful of in-state attorneys to be dual certified as both a Certified Criminal and Civil Trial attorney by the New Jersey Supreme Court. Lean on our experience and intimate knowledge of criminal law to offer a dynamic and effective legal defense to your assault charges.

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges stemming from a simple assault or aggravated assault, please contact us online or through our West Long Branch offices today by calling (732) 440-3950 for a free and confidential consultation.