Charged with Pointing a Firearm in Monmouth County
There are a multitude of situations that can lead to an individual being charged with aggravated assault in New Jersey. The vast majority of the situations will require that the Defendant use some form of force against another. However, there is one situation in particular that does not require the use of force and that is when a Defendant is charged with aggravated assault by pointing a firearm. This offense, unlike most other assaultive crimes, seeks to punish the act of pointing the firearm at another. In other words, it does not require that the individual verbalize any threats or use any force, it simply seeks to prosecute those who point a firearm at another. In addition, due to the severity of the charge, when it comes a pointing a firearm offense, the prosecution will typically seek to keep a Defendant held in the County Jail, without bail, pending trial. This obviously only further complicates things. This is a very serious felony offense in New Jersey and if it is not handled properly, it could lead to the Defendant serving a lengthy State Prison term. To make matters worse, it would be very uncommon to see a Defendant simple charged with only this violation, by its very nature, this offense tends to be a tack on offense.
Consult with a Lawyer in Asbury Park for a Pointing a Gun Offense Today
Just like every other aggravated assault charge, a pointing crime will be classified as an indictable (felony) offense in New Jersey. If you have unfortunately found yourself in this type of situation and would like to speak to one of the criminal defense attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law today, please contact us at 732.858.6959. Our firm is comprised of attorneys who have dedicated their careers to defending those accused of crimes like pointing a firearm in towns throughout Monmouth County. We serve all of Monmouth County, including towns like Holmdel, Long Branch, Hazlet, Atlantic Highlands, Middletown, Freehold, Wall Township and Manalapan. If you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact us.
How Serious is an Aggravated Assault Pointing a Gun Charge in New Jersey
Aggravated assault by pointing is governed by NJSA 2C:12-1b(4) and (9). As touched upon above, this is a very serious offense, one that can very easily result in a Defendant being incarcerated for a lengthy period of time. As you will see below, this offense can either be classified as a third or fourth degree indictable offense. In addition, this offenses is typically issued in conjuncture with an unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose charge. Both of those offenses fall under the Graves Act, which could not only lead to the Defendant being incarcerated but the sentence would also require a parole ineligibility period as well. Furthermore, since this is classified as an indictable offense, the case must be transferred from the local Municipal Court to the Monmouth County Superior Court, which is located in Freehold.
What are the Elements for an Aggravated Assault Pointing a Firearm Charge in NJ: NJSA 2C:12-1b(4)
This offense is classified as a fourth degree indictable offense. In order to be convicted under this subsection, the prosecution must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That the Defendant knowingly pointed a firearm at or in the direction of another;
- In doing so, the Defendant acted under circumstances that manifested extreme indifference to the value of human life.
It is important to highlight here, it is irrelevant whether or not the victim knew the firearm was loaded. It is also irrelevant that the victim was not the individual that the Defendant intended to point the weapon at.
What are the Elements for an Aggravated Assault Pointing a Firearm Charge in NJ: NJSA 2C:12-1b(9)
NSJA 2C:12-1b(9) is classified as a third degree indictable offense. In order to be convicted under this subsection, the prosecution must prove these three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That the Defendant knowingly pointed or displayed a firearm at or in the direction of a law enforcement officer;
- That the Defendant knew that the person was a law enforcement officer;
- That the Defendant acted under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.
This subsection differs from the above subsection as this offense revolves around the fact that the “victim” was a law enforcement officer. In addition, the State must prove that the Defendant knew that the “victim” was a police officer.
Understanding What it Means to Act “Under Circumstances Manifesting Extreme Indifference to the Value of Human Life” in New Jersey
When it comes “Under Circumstances Manifesting Extreme Indifference to the Value of Human Life” the defendant’s state of mind is irrelevant. It is the circumstances under which the Defendant acted that are relevant. To simplify it, the State must show that the defendant acted in a way that showed that the defendant was indifferent to whether or not the victim or another lived or died, that is, the defendant acted in a way which showed that defendant did not care that someone might be killed.
Pointing a Firearm is ALWAYS Considered a Felony Crime in NJ
Aggravated assault by pointing is either a third or fourth degree indictable offense in New Jersey. Anyone convicted of a fourth degree felony offense will be facing up to eighteen months in a State Prison and a fine up to $10,000. On the other hand, anyone convicted of a third degree indictable offense will be facing three to five years in a State Prison and a fine up to $15,000. Both of these offenses will result in the Defendant having a permanent criminal record.
How to Post Bail on a Pointing Firearm Charge in Monmouth County
A Defendant charged with aggravated assault by pointing will almost certainly be a detention hearing. As of 2017 New Jersey has abolished the ability for a loved one to simply show up at the police station, post a bail and secure their release. If the charges are serious enough, the Prosecution will file a formal Detention Motion. At this hearing, the Prosecution will seek to convince the Judge that the Defendant should be denied bail and held in the County Jail, without bail, pending trial. These hearings take place approximately five days after the Defendant’s arrest. For more information on what the Judge will consider following a Detention Hearing in Monmouth County, please click the link.
Speak to an Aggravated Assault Pointing a Firearm Charge Lawyer in New Jersey Today – 732.858.6959
At Keith Oliver Criminal Law, we comprehend how much is on the line when a Defendant finds themselves facing a serious criminal charge. As such, our attorneys are dedicated to aggressively defending the allegations in order to secure the best possible outcome for our clients. If you or a loved one has been charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, stalking, burglary, robbery, carjacking or any other offense for that matter in Monmouth County or elsewhere in New Jersey, we can help. If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation today, please call our office at 732.858.6959 or you can try contacting us online. We appear in Courts throughout Monmouth County, including Courts in towns like Marlboro, Highlands, Keansburg, Colts Neck, Matawan, Millstone and Freehold.