What Are the Penalties for Simple and Aggravated Assault?

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Even though they have their differences, simple assault and aggravated assault are both considered crimes in the state of New Jersey and thereby taken very seriously. Read on to discover the different penalties for simple assault and aggravated assault and how one of the experienced New Jersey & Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers at The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. can help you fight off either accusation.

What is the difference between simple assault and aggravated assault?

New Jersey statute defines simple assault as one person’s unwanted or offensive physical contact with another person. More specific circumstances that may apply to this type of assault read as follows:

  • A person threatens to cause serious bodily injury to another person.
  • A person intentionally attempts to cause bodily injury to another person.
  • A person negligently causes bodily injury to another person with a deadly weapon.

With that being said, a simple assault charge can easily be upgraded to an aggravated assault charge under any of the following circumstances:

  • A person causes serious or significant bodily injury rather than simply bodily injury.
    • Serious bodily injury is considered permanent disfigurement, life-threatening impairment, etc.
    • Significant bodily injury is considered temporary loss of bodily function, temporary loss of any one of five senses, etc.
  • A person attempts to cause bodily injury with the use of a deadly weapon.
  • A person points a firearm at another person, whether it be loaded or unloaded.
  • A person causes or attempts to injure a person in a public-facing occupation (i.e., a law enforcement officer).

What are the different penalties for simple assault and aggravated assault in the state of New Jersey?

On the one hand, the New Jersey criminal court may recognize simple assault as a disorderly persons offense, otherwise commonly known as a misdemeanor offense. And on the other hand, the criminal court may categorize aggravated assault as a fourth-degree, third-degree, or second-degree felony offense. Evidently, each level of offense comes with a different level of penalties. Without further ado, the specific criminal consequences you may be facing with your specific conviction read as follows:

  • Simple assault as a disorderly persons offense:
    • Up to six months in prison.
    • Up to $1,000 in fines.
  • Fourth-degree aggravated assault:
    • Up to 18 months in prison.
    • Up to $10,000 in fines.
  • Third-degree aggravated assault:
    • Between three to five years in prison.
    • Up to $15,000 in fines.
  • Second-degree aggravated assault:
    • Between five to 10 years in prison.
    • Up to $150,000 in fines.

And whether it ultimately be a simple assault or aggravated assault conviction, you may now have a permanent criminal record. You may be intimidated by having to defend yourself in your upcoming criminal court proceedings. But one way to make this easier is to have one of the competent New Jersey criminal defense lawyers stand by your side throughout. Contact The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. at your earliest possible convenience.

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