What Happens if You Are Charged with Assault in New Jersey?

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If you face charges for assault, please read on, then contact an experienced Mercer County assault defense lawyer to learn what happens when you are charged with assault in New Jersey.

What constitutes assault in New Jersey?

Under Garden State statute, a person commits assault if he or she attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person. It can be as relatively mild as spitting in someone’s face to as serious as trying to hit someone with your car. It should be noted that one does not need to actually strike a person to sustain a conviction for assault. New Jersey breaks down assault into two major categories: “simple” and “aggravated.” The former is prosecuted as a disorderly person offense, i.e. a misdemeanor. On the other hand, aggravated assault is a felony offense. If the defendant inflicted, or attempted to inflict, serious bodily harm, used a deadly weapon or allegedly assaulted a police officer, firefighter, EMT or other specified class, that constitutes aggravated assault.

What are the penalties for assault in New Jersey?

The penalties break down as follows:

Simple assault:

  • Up to six months in jail
  • A maximum fine of $1,000
  • Restitution to the victim, if ordered by the court
  • Probation, if ordered by the court
  • Electronic monitoring, if ordered by the court

Aggravated assault:

  • 18 months to 10 years of incarceration, depending on the degree
  • Fines and penalties of up to $150,000
  • Probation, if ordered by the court
  • Restitution payments to the victim, if the court orders it
  • Prohibition from possessing a firearm
  • Permanent criminal record

You should reach out to a skilled Mercer County criminal defense lawyer to discuss the particulars of your case and develop a tailored strategy.

How can a Mercer County criminal defense attorney help you?

Your seasoned criminal defense attorney may make use of any or all of the following legal defenses:

  • Defense of property: You feared that your personal property was at risk.
  • Mistake of fact: At the time, you thought your actions were legally justified.
  • Self-defense: You feared for your safety.
  • Defense of another: You feared for the safety of another, who would have had the right to defend themselves.
  • Alibi: You were not present at the time of the assault.
  • Insanity: You do not, or did not, understand that your actions were wrong.
  • Consent: You and the alleged victim consented to a boxing match or sports competition.
  • Lack of intent: Your actions were purely accidental and/or there was no criminal intent.

These charges are serious, so please do not hesitate to give us a call today.


Here at the Law Office of Douglas Herring, we believe that everyone accused of a crime is entitled to due process. No one facing a criminal matter should proceed without a competent attorney on their side. We are here to listen to your case, determine the best strategy going forward, and fight for your rights. Contact us today so we can get started.

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