Our firm is comprised of highly experienced defense lawyers and former prosecutors who will fight for the best outcome of your fourth, third or second degree aggravated assault offense pending at the Essex County Superior Court, Newark NJ. At Marshall, Bonus, Proetta & Oliver, our team of eight criminal defense lawyers have extensive experience representing clients charges with among other things aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats, assault by auto, robbery and burglary throughout Essex County. We have been appearing in local municipal courts like Newark, Bloomfield, Belleville, Livingston, Fairfield and Montclair for over a decade. If you would like to come into our office to discuss your options, please contact us directly at 973-710-1520.
Aggravated Assault Lawyers in Bloomfield NJ
The first thing you need to know is that while you may have been arrested in S. Orange, Montclair, Bloomfield or another municipality, all proceedings in your case, other than perhaps an initial municipal court arraignment, shall be at the county court in Newark. This is because this is the court that possesses jurisdiction to handle an indictable/felony criminal case such. In most cases, a municipal court arraignment will not even take place and the charge will immediately be transferred following the arrest to the Superior Court for indictment and/or processing at Central Judicial Processing. This is often the time when our attorneys can attempt to persuade the prosecutor to list the case for Special Remand Court (i.e. downgrade the charge). If you don’t have representation to bring the case to the prosecutor’s attention, this opportunity is lost.
Significant factors in whether or not you will be convicted of aggravated assault are the strength of the prosecutor’s case, as well as the effectiveness of your lawyer. In this regard, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b) sets forth those circumstances under which someone is guilty of aggravated assault and, for the most part, the offense is reserved for situations where the victim has sustained some form of serious injury. The most serious injuries are those that constitute “serious bodily injury”. An individual has sustained this level of injury where he or she was at a substantial risk of death, permanent injury or protracted impairment. “Significant bodily injury” is less severe and involves temporary loss of function or impairment. The least serious level of injury is “bodily injury”. This encompasses any level of pain or a limitation in function. These terms apply in establishing whether an aggravated assault is a second degree crime, third degree crime or fourth degree crime. While aggravated assault charges are usually limited to situations where someone has sustained “serious bodily injury” or “significant bodily injury” under 2C:12-1(b), there are also situations where “bodily injury” can trigger a violation. This occurs where a deadly weapon is involved or where the victim is among a protected class like a police officer, teacher, etc.
Second Degree Aggravated Assault
An individual can be charged with a second degree crime under the NJ aggravated assault law, N.J.S. 2C:12-1, if one of three (3) scenarios exist. First, an individual may be charged with second degree aggravated assault if they attempt or cause serious bodily injury as a result of an intention act or conduct involving extreme indifference to the value of human life. The second way aggravated assault in the second degree arises is where a defendant causes bodily injury to another while fleeing or eluding police. Third, when a defendant intentionally starts a fire that results in serious or significant bodily injury, a second degree charge for aggravated assault may be filed. A prison term of 5-10 years and a fine of $150,000 applies. In addition, the No Early Release Act (“NERA”) applies which requires a defendant to serve a minimum of 85% of any sentence imposed before they are eligible for parole.
Third Degree Aggravated Assault
The largest block of aggravated assault offenses are a third degree crime. There are four (4) instances where a N.J.S. 2C:12-1 violation results in a third degree aggravated assault charge. If someone knowingly attempts or causes bodily injury with a deadly weapon, fire or explosion, it is a third degree crime. A simple assault is enhanced to a third degree aggravated assault where the victim sustains bodily injury and is an on duty police officer, firemen, EMT, teacher, DYFS worker or Judge. The last situation where aggravated assault in the third degree applies is where the accused knowingly attempts or causes significant bodily injury, or engages in conduct which involves extreme indifference to the value of human life and it results in significant bodily injury. The presumptive jail term is 3-5 years for this offense, and the fine can reach $15,000.
Fourth Degree Aggravated Assault
Aggravated assault in the fourth degree occurs where someone recklessly causes bodily injury with a deadly weapon, knowingly points a firearm against another, or commits a simple assault on a police officer or other protected official. The fourth degree aggravated assault jail exposure is 18 months in state prison and the fine is up to $10,000.
Newark NJ Aggravated Assault Defense Attorneys
As previously stated, your aggravated assault case will be heard at Newark Superior Court. Our office and team of former prosecutors and experienced criminal defense lawyers are available for consultation just a few blocks away from the court. The will put there skills to work to make sure you have every opportunity to avoid penalties, including the possibility of jail and significant fines. And we have a clear track record to provide you with confidence that we will reach the best outcome for you. Give us a call at 973-710-1520.