What to Expect if Charged with Assault in Hightstown, NJ

Whether you have been arrested and charged with simple assault, aggravated assault, assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a police officer or served with a temporary restraining order based on a domestic violence assault incident in Hightstown, we strongly urge that you speak to attorney immediately. As you will see in greater detail below, assault charges can be very complicated to deal with it. Depending on the facts surrounding the charges, the case may be litigated in several different courts, including the Hightstown Municipal Court, the Mercer County Superior Court, Criminal Division and the Mercer County Superior Court, Chancery Division, Family Part. If you would like to speak to one of the Hightstown criminal defense attorneys on staff, please contact our office directly at 609-789-0779. As always, our initial consultations are free of costs.

Need a Lawyer for Simple Assault Charge in Hightstown Municipal Court?

Simple assault, which is governed by the N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1, is the lowest level assault charge in New Jersey. It is considered a disorderly persons offense, which is New Jersey version of a misdemeanor unless the incident is classified as a “mutual fight” then it will be considered a petty disorderly persons offense. Although there are three different subsections of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1 that an individual may be charged under, the most common subsection of simple assault that we see issued Hightstown is N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1a. Under this subsection, the prosecution would need to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant “attempted to cause or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly caused bodily injury to another”. Bodily injury as been defined as “physical pain, illness or any impairment of a physical condition”. All simple assault allegations will be litigated in the Hightstown Municipal Court, which is actually located in Robbinsville. If convicted, the individual will be facing up to six months in the Mercer County Jail, a fine up to $1,000 and a criminal record. For more information on  simple assault charges in New Jersey, including potential defense, please click the link.

Facing an Aggravated Assault Charge out of Hightstown NJ?

Regardless of whether the individual is arrested for aggravated assault, assault on a police officer or assault with a deadly weapon, all of these charges will be considered felony offenses, which is also known as indictable offenses in New Jersey. With that being said, depending on the specific charge, an individual could be facing either a second, third or fourth degree indictable offense. All aggravated assault charges must be transferred from the Hightstown Municipal Court to the Mercer County Superior Court, Criminal Division, which is located in Trenton for disposition. The most common aggravated assault charge we see in Hightstown is N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(7), which is considered a third degree indictable offense. In order to be convicted under this subsection, the prosecution must prove that the defendant “attempted to cause significant bodily injury to another or causes significant bodily injury to another or knowingly or under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of a human life, recklessly causes such significant bodily injury”. Significant bodily injury is defined as “bodily injury which creates a temporary loss of the function of any bodily member or organ or temporary loss of anyone of the five senses”. For more information on aggravated assault charges in Mercer County, including a breakdown of all the different degrees, please click the link.

Served with a Restraining Order in Hightstown New Jersey?

If the assault charge is classified as an “act of domestic violence” then the alleged victim will be able to seek a temporary restraining order (TRO). If a TRO is granted the individual will be barred from having contact with the victim as well as returning to their residence and if the residence is mutually owned, the victim will get exclusive rights. TRO’s are exactly what they sound like, temporary in nature. In order for a TRO to become a permanent order of protection a formal hearing must take place. During the final restraining order hearing it will be up to the alleged victim to establish why a final order of protection in necessary. A temporary restraining order is in addition to any potential criminal assault charges. These case will be transferred out from Hightstown as well but they will be heard in the Chancery Division, Family Part of the Mercer County Superior Court. For more information on restraining orders in Mercer County, including what the victim must establish, please click the link.

How to Bail Someone out on an Assault Charge in Hightstown?

New Jersey has all but abolished cash bails, we now use what basically amounts to a risk assessment to determine who should be released pretrial bail and if so, on what conditions. If the criminal assault charges are issued on what is known as a Complaint-Warrant then the individual must be taken to the Mercer County Jail for at least 24 hours so that pretrial services can do their public safety assessment. Based on that assessment, the prosecution will need to make a determination by the individuals Central Judicial Processing Hearing whether or not they will be consenting to their release on bail. If they choose not to consent, a formal detention hearing must take place and it will be up to a judge to decide whether or not the individual can be released. Almost all domestic violence assault charges will be issued on a Complaint-Warrant.

Local Attorney near Hightstown for Assault Charge

As you can tell from reading above, even the most straightforward assault charge can become extremely complicated. If you have unfortunately found yourself in this type of situation and would like to speak to one of our Mercer County Criminal defense attorneys today about your options, please contact our office directly at 609-789-0779 or you can try contacting us online. We fully understand the stress and the urgency most are under when they have been arrested for assault, so we try to make ourselves available 24/7 to help assist in any way that we can.

Author: Keith G. Oliver

Founding partner Keith G. Oliver has a passion for helping people who are caught up in the criminal justice system. He believes that everyone has a right to be presumed innocent, and that one mistake shouldn’t define a person forever. This passion drives Mr. Oliver to tirelessly fight for his clients and pursue the best possible outcome in every case.