What is Simple Assault?
Simple assault is a common assault charge in New Jersey which occurs when a person injures or attempts to injure another person without any valid legal justification.
There are three main ways simple assault can be committed:
- A person causes bodily harm or attempts to cause bodily harm to another person purposefully, knowingly, or recklessly.
- A person negligently injures another person with a deadly weapon.
- ‘Negligently’ here means that the person should have reasonably known that his action would cause injury, even if he didn’t intend it to.
- A ‘Deadly Weapon’ here means any object that can cause serious injury or death, from a gun to a baseball bat to a rock.
- A person physically threatens another person, or otherwise gives them reason to expect immediate physical harm.
Simple assault is not to be confused with aggravated assault, a more serious charge that applies to cases where serious bodily injury is inflicted and/or a weapon is used.
What are the Penalties for Simple Assault in New Jersey?
Although not as serious as aggravated assault, simple assault charges can incur harsh penalties and appear on your permanent criminal record.
- Disorderly Persons Offense – Most simple assault charges fall under this category.
- A fine of up to $1,000 plus additional fees
- Up to 6 months in jail
- Petty Disorderly Persons Offense – Simple assault charges can be downgraded to this if the assault occurred during a mutual fight, as long as no serious bodily injury was incurred.
- A fine of up to $500 plus additional fees
- Up to 90 days in jail
- Fourth Degree Crime – There are certain circumstances in which simple assault can be charged as a fourth degree crime:
- Committing simple assault in the presence of someone under the age of 16 at a school or community event.
- Committing simple assault against an institutionalized elderly person while working at a care facility.
- A fine of up to $10,000 plus additional fees
- Up to 18 months in prison
Contact Us Today
A simple assault charge can have severe negative impacts on your life, from fines to the consequences of a criminal record, such as difficulty getting a job. A knowledgeable New Jersey criminal defense attorney may be able to reduce your charge, or have it dismissed entirely. If you are facing a simple assault charge, contact Schneider Freiberger today to discuss your options.