In New Jersey, there are two forms of assault charges: simple and aggravated. Understanding the difference between these two can be difficult because they branch off each other.

The main difference between simple and aggravated assault is the severity. Anyone convicted of aggravated assault could face prison time. However, anyone convicted of simple assault will likely face lesser consequences.

What are some differences between simple and aggravated assault?

Simple assault occurs when a person attempts or threatens to cause bodily harm to another, leaving them fearful of bodily injury. Typically, there isn’t any physical damage done to the victim at this point. This form of assault is a misdemeanor.

Aggravated assault is a more serious offense. Degree classification and the severity of charges varies depending on the circumstances of the assault. How one is charged can depend on many things. If the assault was against a family member, an officer or a public official, law enforcement may charge you with aggravated assault. Using a deadly weapon also increases the severity of the charge to aggravated assault.

What are the penalties of simple assault?

If convicted of simple assault, penalties could include up to six months in a county jail and fines up to $1,000. This charge could also lead to other consequences, such as a restraining order against you. This would affect your ability to own a firearm in New Jersey. Depending on the offense, you may also have to take anger management classes.

What are the penalties of aggravated assault?

Lengthy incarceration sentences often follow an aggravated assault conviction. For a fourth-degree offense, there is a possibility of 18 months in prison with a $10,000 fine. For a third-degree offense, you could spend three to five years in prison and pay a $15,000 fine. With a second-degree offense, you could spend five to ten years in prison. This offense requires a $150,000 fine. It’s important to note that if convicted of aggravated assault, you must serve at least 85% of your sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

Don’t face complex charges alone

Assault charges under New Jersey law are complex. It’s difficult to know what level of penalty you would receive if arrested for assault. Getting in contact with an experienced attorney can help you understand the law and the gravity of the varying degrees of assault. If you or anyone you know has been arrested for assault, call 908-316-8671 or contact The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo via our online contact form for a free initial consultation.