Can A Simple Assault Charge Warrant Jail Time in New Jersey?

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Assault charges can be extremely damaging to a person’s life and reputation, and in many cases, people are wrongfully charged with assault when they were simply defending themselves in an altercation that they did not start. If you are currently facing assault charges in New Jersey, you are most likely wondering whether jail time is on the table. Read on and reach out to our Bergen County criminal defense lawyer to learn more about the consequences of assault charges and how we can help you fight them. Here are some of the questions you may have:

Will I go to jail if I am charged with simple assault in New Jersey?

Simple assault is defined as attempting to cause, or intentionally/recklessly causing bodily injury to another person, negligently causing bodily injury to another individual with a deadly weapon, or threatening an individual with the possibility of imminent “serious bodily injury.” If you are charged with simple assault, you will face a disorderly persons offense (a misdemeanor), for which you may face a potential $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

What happens if I am charged with aggravated assault in New Jersey?

Aggravated assault means that an individual allegedly either recklessly caused bodily injury to another person with a deadly weapon (or threatens/attempts to), or that you attempted to intentionally cause serious bodily injury to another person. You can also face aggravated assault charges for recklessly pointing a firearm at another person. Depending on the degree of your aggravated assault charge, you may spend anywhere between 18 months to 10 years in jail or prison upon conviction.

What are some potential defenses against assault charges?

The primary defense against any assault charge is that you were acting in self-defense. If you can prove that you did not pose a threat or risk of harm to an individual who harmed or threatened to harm you, and that you were only acting in self-defense, you may have a strong defense. Additionally, if you can demonstrate that you used reasonable force to protect your property from an unlawful or threatening act, you may also have a valid case. Finally, if you can prove that you were defending another person who was being assaulted, you may have a case. Regardless of your circumstances, you must speak with an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney who can work to build the most viable defense possible on your behalf to help ensure you stay out of jail.