New Jersey Aggravated Assault Attorney
Have you been charged or indicted for aggravated assault or a violent crime in New Jersey?
My name is Anthony N. Palumbo, and in my thirty-five (35) years as a criminal defense attorney, I have successfully defended charges of aggravated assault resulting from many different circumstances including bar fights, street fights, domestic quarrels, encounters with public officials, eluding the police, actions involving weapons, and all other aggravated assault complaints. aggravated assault is a serious crime and a conviction could result in up to ten years in prison. If you’ve been accused of aggravated assault, I can help. Not only am I a criminal defense attorney and partner at The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo, but I am also a former prosecutor and current public defender, and I know how to argue the defenses necessary to win your case.
If you need of a criminal defense lawyer to represent your aggravated assault charge please contact me today at 908-643-6801 for a free initial consultation. Our firm defends individuals accused of aggravated assault throughout New Jersey including Somerset County, Essex County, Ocean County, Union County, Monmouth County, Middlesex County, and Hudson County. While it is no substitution for the valuable role an attorney can play in your case, the information below should help answer some of your immediate questions about aggravated assault by providing an overview of the crime, the attaching penalties, and some possible defenses.
New Jersey Aggravated Assault
There are many circumstances that may lead to a charge or indictment of aggravated assault. The list below lays out the possible ways a person can be guilty of aggravated assault in New Jersey, according to New Jersey statute 2C:12-1(b). There are three terms that are used frequently throughout the statute that you should be familiar with: (1) serious bodily injury; (2) significant bodily injury; and (3) bodily injury.
- Serious bodily injury: Injury that creates a big risk of death or causes serious, permanent disfigurement or harm to a person’s bodily function.
- Significant bodily injury: Injury which leads to bodily injury which creates a short-term loss of the function of any bodily part or organ or of the five senses.
- Bodily Injury: Physical pain, sickness, or any harm to a person’s physical condition.
Now that you are familiar with these terms, let’s review the list. In New Jersey, a person is guilty of aggravated assault if he commits any of the following acts:
- Attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causes such injury purposely or knowingly, or under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life recklessly causes such injury; or
- Attempts to cause, or purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
- Recklessly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
- Knowingly, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life points a firearm at or in the direction of another, whether or not the actor believes it to be loaded; or
- Commits a simple assault upon any law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his duties, any paid or volunteer fireman acting in the performance of his duties, any person engaged in emergency first-aid or medical services acting in the performance of his duties, any school board member, school administrator, teacher, school bus driver or other employee, any employee of the Division of Youth and Family Services, any justice of the Supreme Court, judge of the Superior Court, judge of the Tax Court or municipal judge; or
- Causes bodily injury to another person while fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer or while operating a motor vehicle in violation of N.J.S.2C:20-10(c); or
- Attempts to cause significant bodily injury to another, or causes significant bodily injury purposely or knowingly or, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life recklessly causes such significant bodily injury; or
- Causes bodily injury by knowingly or purposely starting a fire or causing an explosion; or
- Knowingly, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, points or displays a firearm at or in the direction of a law enforcement officer; or
- Knowingly points, displays, or uses an imitation firearm at or in the direction of a law enforcement officer with the purpose to intimidate, threaten or attempt to put the officer in fear of bodily injury, or for any unlawful purpose.
Penalties For Aggravated Assault If Convicted
The penalties that attach to a conviction of aggravated assault in New Jersey depend on how the crime was committed. aggravated assault will result in a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th degree crime depending on which number in the above list your conduct fits into, according to state law. Take a look at the following breakdown of the numbered list above and the attaching penalties.
If you violate numbers 1 or 6, it is a 2nd degree crime which carries penalties of:
- 5 to 10 years in prison
- Generally a violation of Number 8 is a 3rd degree crime, but if the victim suffers significant or serious bodily injury, it will be a 2nd degree crime.
If you violate numbers 2, 7, 8 or 9 it is a 3rd degree crime which carries penalties of:
- 3 to 5 years in prison
- Generally, a violation of number 5 is a 4th degree crime, but if the victim suffers bodily injury it is a 3rd Degree Crime.
If you violate numbers 3, 4, 5 it is a 4th degree crime which carries penalties of:
- Up to 18 months in prison
In addition to the penalties above, the No Early Release Act (“NERA”) is applied in aggravated assault cases. Under NERA, any person convicted of aggravated assault must serve 85% of their sentence before becoming eligible for parole. For example, if you are sentenced to 10 years in prison, you must serve 85% of the 10 year sentence before becoming eligible for parole. 85% of 10 years is 8.5 years.
There are several defenses that may be successfully used on your behalf when charged with aggravated assault. An experienced defense attorney will be able to immediately identify which defenses are viable in your case. Common defenses for aggravated assault include asserting that the fight was consensual or that the accused was acting in self defense when he committed the crime. However, there are limits to these defenses. For example, neither of these defenses will apply where the accused caused bodily injury to a defenseless person. Additionally, if the accused was engaged in a consensual fight, the defenses will not apply if the accused continued to hurt the other actor once that person was already backing down.
To view the entire New Jersey Statute on aggravated assault see N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b) .
NJ Former Prosecutor Fighting Your Aggravated Assault Charges
Contact me today at 908-643-6801 for a free initial consultation at my law office in Cranford or Elizabeth N.J. As a former prosecutor, I am familiar with both sides of the law and my experience has helped me obtain thousands of dismissals and downgraded charges for individuals accused of aggravated assault. While each case is unique, I will review your case and give you an honest assessment of the penalties you are facing, and the viable defenses that can be asserted on your behalf. I defend aggravated assault charges throughout New Jersey including Union County, Hudson County, Essex County, Middlesex County, Somerset County, Monmouth County, Morris County and Ocean County.