Assault can be a complex criminal offense to understand, especially if you are not familiar with how state law addresses unlawful behavior. Assault offenses have a wide range in the eyes of the law. In some cases, it does not even require the party accused of the crime to have caused physical harm or made physical contact with anyone else.

Pursuing a fair resolution could be much easier with assistance from a Hackensack assault lawyer. A skilled criminal defense attorney could prove to be a crucial ally not only when contesting the accusations against you, but also in mitigating the potential impact they have on your personal and professional future.

Simple Assault Charges in Hackensack

New Jersey Revised Statutes §2C:12-1 defines two distinct forms of assault: simple and aggravated. Simple assault entails the following:

  • Knowingly attempting to cause bodily harm
  • Intentionally or recklessly causing harm without a weapon
  • Causing bodily harm through negligent use of a deadly weapon
  • Physically menacing someone in such a way that they reasonably fear imminent bodily harm

Under most circumstances, simple assault is considered a disorderly persons offense, which means a conviction could lead to a six-month jail term at most and/or a maximum fine of $1000. However, if an individual commits simple assault in the course of a mutual fight, any ensuing assault charge would be a petty disorderly persons offense punishable by no more than 30 days of jail time. If an individual is charged with any of these assault offenses in Hackensack, an attorney could help explain and uphold their rights as needed.

What Qualifies as Aggravated Assault?

Aggravated assault is a more serious offense that may come with different levels of sanctions attached to it. An experienced local lawyer could also help an individual who has been accused or charged with any, and more, of the following offenses:

Fourth-Degree Assault

Someone who causes injury to another through the reckless use of a deadly weapon has committed an offense in the fourth degree. The same degree of assault might apply for anyone who commits simple assault against someone in some form of public service occupation, such as a police officer, school official, or emergency service personnel.

Third-Degree Assault

Any assault against a public service worker that results in injury is a third-degree offense, as are any of the following actions:

  • Attempting to cause or causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon
  • Causing bodily injury by knowingly or purposely causing a fire or explosion
  • Knowingly pointing a real or imitation firearm or a laser sighting device at a police officer or in their direction
  • Attempting to cause or causing significant bodily injury through an act of domestic violence
  • Attempting to cause or causing bodily injury through an act of strangulation qualifying as domestic violence

Second-Degree Assault

Aggravated assault is a second-degree offense if it involves an attempt to cause or causing serious bodily harm. This could also include causing bodily injury while fleeing or eluding law enforcement personnel, while driving a carjacked vehicle, and more. An assault lawyer in Hackensack could provide irreplaceable guidance about these various forms of aggravated assault and what penalties a conviction for each could result in.

Speak with a Hackensack Assault Attorney About Legal Options

Contesting allegations of assault is rarely a simple task, in no small part due to the number of different ways that state law defines and punishes the offense. To give yourself a fair chance at a beneficial case resolution, seek the assistance of seasoned legal counsel.

By working with a Hackensack assault lawyer, you could more effectively stand up for your rights and pursue a favorable case outcome. Call today for a consultation.