Hudson County Domestic Violence Simple Assault Lawyers
Serving Clients in Jersey City and throughout New Jersey
Simple assault is one of the ways in which domestic violence can occur in New Jersey. It is a criminal offense considered a “predicate act of domestic violence,” which means a person accused of simple assault may face criminal charges and a restraining order. When police investigate an alleged domestic dispute, a victim files a complaint, or authorities observe physical signs of injury with reasonable belief that a person has been abused, charges for simple assault may soon follow. It is important to note that there are two types of assault in New Jersey: simple assault and aggravated assault. Simple assault is considered the lesser offense of the two. However, the consequences of a simple assault allegation can still be very severe when raised in the context of domestic violence. If you have been charged with simple assault or accused of simple assault in a temporary restraining order in New Jersey, it’s essential to understand how to protect yourself.
The Tormey Law Firm is a team of highly equipped domestic violence attorneys who regularly assist clients with simple assault accusations in Bound Brook, Haledon, Phillipsburg, Teaneck, Neptune, Garfield, Elmwood Park, East Orange, Bloomfield, and throughout New Jersey. When you’ve been accused of domestic abuse, we know the court system inside and out and we will fight to defend your innocence. Whether you need to appear in Family Court for a restraining order trial, Criminal Court for simple assault charges, or both, our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to handle all aspects of your domestic violence case. For a free consultation, call (908)-336-5008 or contact us online today.
Simple Assault & Domestic Violence in New Jersey
In order to be charged with a domestic violence criminal offense or issued a restraining order in New Jersey, you must be accused of committing one of the 19 predicate acts of domestic violence in New Jersey. Simple assault is one of these acts, governed by section N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1 of the New Jersey Statutes. According to New Jersey law, there are three ways in which a person can commit simple assault. A person is considered guilty of simple assault if he or she:
- Attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person; or
- Negligently causes bodily injury to another person with a deadly weapon; or
- Attempts by physical danger to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
Notice, there are several different types of injury recognized under NJ law. “Bodily injury” means physical pain, illness or any impairment of physical condition. “Serious bodily injury” is defined as bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
What is considered a “deadly weapon” under New Jersey Simple Assault Law? A deadly weapon can refer to any firearm or other weapon, device, instrument, material or substance, whether animate or inanimate, which in the manner it is used or is intended to be used, is known to be capable of producing death or serious bodily injury or which in the manner it is fashioned would lead the victim reasonably to believe it to be capable of producing death or serious bodily injury.
Is a Simple Assault Criminal Charge Different From a Restraining Order?
Yes. A simple assault criminal charge means that you were arrested by the police and facing a disorderly persons (misdemeanor) assault charge which will be handled in the local town Municipal Court in which you were charged. This case will be prosecuted by the State of New Jersey and handled by the Municipal Prosecutor.
Simple assault as a predicate act of domestic violence is part of your restraining order case. A defendant can have a criminal charge for simple assault, a restraining order, or both. One is completely independent of the other. In addition, a defendant could be convicted of simple assault and the restraining order dismissed or both cases could be dismissed or both cases could be granted. Their outcomes and burdens of proof are completely independent of the other.
For example, just proving a simple assault in a restraining order case is not enough to have a final restraining order issued. A plaintiff must also prove a prior history of domestic violence and that he or she is reasonable to be in fear of the defendant and needs the protection that a restraining order provides.
Is Self Defense a possible defense to my Simple Assault Charge in New Jersey?
Yes. If someone is attacking you, you are legally within your rights to protect yourself. Now, you can only use equal force to the force being used against you. In addition, you can only use enough force to allow you to remove yourself from the situation entirely. As a result, a self defense argument will hinge on the facts and circumstances of your case, the amount of force used, the injuries to you and the other party, and if there were any other witnesses to the alleged assault.
Penalties for Domestic Violence & Simple Assault in NJ
There are two forms of penalties that may be imposed for simple assault related to domestic violence. First, criminal charges for simple assault are typically classified as disorderly persons offenses. This means that a simple assault charge will be adjudicated at the Municipal Court level, punishable by up to 6 months in the county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. When simple assault occur in a mutual fight or scuffle, it will be charged as a petty disorderly persons offense, which carries a jail term of up to 30 days and a maximum fine of $500.
The second legal course of action which may result from domestic violence and simple assault is a restraining order. Protective orders are handled in New Jersey Family Court and are subject to a lower burden of proof than criminal matters. If a judge issues a final restraining order against you based on simple assault accusations, you will be prohibited from having or using a weapon for the rest of your life and subject to criminal charges for contempt if you violate any of the provisions contained in the FRO.
False Allegations – Simple Assault Domestic Violence Lawyers in West New York, New Jersey
Don’t confront a domestic violence simple assault offense on your own. The experienced attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm can help you keep your reputation and your life intact when faced with a simple assault charge. We are well-versed in domestic violence law in New Jersey and committed to walking you through your upcoming legal proceedings with fierce dedication to protecting your interests. Simply call (908)-336-5008 to speak with a New Jersey domestic violence simple assault lawyer. Consultations are always provided free of charge.