What is Aggravated Assault?
In the state of New Jersey, aggravated assault occurs when a person unjustifiably injures or attempts to injure another person. A person is considered to have committed aggravated assault if one of five major factors applies:
- They acted purposefully, meaning they wanted to injure the other person.
- They acted recklessly, meaning they didn’t consider or care whether their actions would cause the injury.
- They acted knowingly, meaning they knew their actions would cause the injury.
- They acted “under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life,” meaning their actions were likely to injure or kill someone regardless of their state of mind.
- They used a deadly weapon, which in this case can be a normal weapon such as a gun or knife, or an ordinary object that can cause injury or death, such as a bottle.
What Constitutes Aggravated Assault?
Aggravated assault can take many forms in New Jersey, including but not limited to:
- Any assault committed against law enforcement officers for any reason, regardless of severity.
- Any injury caused while evading arrest or unlawfully driving a vehicle.
- Any injury caused by aggressive driving.
- Pointing a firearm at someone, even if the firearm is unloaded or fake.
- Assaulting someone with any bodily fluid.
- Any assault committed against someone with special protection because of their job, including:
- Any healthcare workers such as First Aid, Emergency Medical Service, or any hospital employees
- Volunteer or paid firefighters
- A judge or other member of the judiciary branch.
- An operator of a bus or train
- An employee of the Division of Child Protection and Permanency
- An employee of the Department of Corrections
What are the Penalties for Aggravated Assault in New Jersey?
The penalties for aggravated assault range from a Fourth Degree crime to a Second Degree crime depending on the circumstances, such as the type and severity of injury and who was injured. Aggravated assault is subject to the New Jersey No Early Release Act (NERA), which means that if you are convicted to a State Prison sentence, you must serve 85% of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole. Also note that aggravated assault can be considered a type of domestic violence depending on the circumstances.
- Fourth Degree Aggravated Assault
- Fines of up to $10,000
- Up to 18 months in prison
- Third Degree Aggravated Assault
- Fines of up to $15,000
- Between 3 and 5 years in prison
- Second Degree Aggravated Assault
- Fines of up to $150,000
- Between 5 and 10 years in prison
Assault charges in New Jersey are taken very seriously. It is crucial to have an experienced defense attorney who understands the NJ legal system and can limit the damage these charges can cause to your and your family. Contact Schneider Freiberger, P.C. today to discuss your options.