Simple assault may be called simple, but in the eyes of the justice system, it is anything but. Assault is assault no matter which way you look at it, and putting nice adjectives in front of it does not make it any less severe. In fact, the term “simple” can be misleading, as a simple assault conviction can have serious consequences.
If you become charged with simple assault in New Jersey, you may face the consequences about your future. Though you should not approach your case with nonchalance, you can breathe easier with a New Jersey criminal defense attorney on your side.
A skilled attorney can fight on your behalf to have the charges reduced or, in the best-case scenario, dropped entirely.
What is Simple Assault?
Most people are unaware of what simple assault is, which puts them at risk of committing it. If you become charged with simple assault but still are not sure what, exactly, consider New Jersey’s definition of the term. Simple assault can be filed under the following conditions:
- Bodily injury negligently caused with a deadly weapon;
- A person attempts to harm another person, or a person knowingly, recklessly, or purposefully causes bodily injury to another; and/or
- A person threatens another person or strikes fear into another person via serious bodily injury or physical menace (e.g. waving a gun or yielding a knife).
Assault charges can still occur even if the victim did not sustain lasting injuries. All a state or victim needs to press charges for assault is evidence that temporary pain or discomfort stemmed from a physical threat or unwanted physical contact.
Penalties for Simple Assault
Penalties for simple assault vary depending on the extent of injuries and the nature of the assault. A person’s previous criminal history may also play into his or her sentencing. Some penalties for simple assault include:
- Fines and court fees;
- Jail time;
- Loss of the right to own or possess a weapon or firearm;
- Mandatory anger management classes;
- Electronic monitoring; or
- Restitution to the victim.
A person may be sentenced to one or more of the above. For instance, if a judge orders probations, he or she may also require the defendant to take court-ordered anger management classes and to pay restitution to the victim. However, another person may be sentenced to jail time and ordered to pay court fees and restitution.
Again, a judge will consider several factors before arriving at a punishment, so it is never a good idea to go into a hearing thinking that you know what to expect. If charged with simple assault, reach out to a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer who can not only advise you on what to expect, but who can also build a defense and obtain a verdict that the prosecution did not see coming.
Let a New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Defend Your Rights
A simple assault conviction has the potential to change your future. Not only can you serve jail time and pay outstanding fines, but also, you will have a criminal record. A criminal record can make it difficult for you to get a job, find decent housing, and maintain healthy relationships. Don’t let a simple assault charge become a conviction. Reach out the New Jersey criminal defense attorneys at The Law Office of Jordan B. Rickards, Esq., to start building your defense today.