Assault is a serious crime in New Jersey. What seemed like a minor scuffle, or even an off-the-cuff remark in the heat of the moment, can result in major consequences. A conviction can result in prison time, heavy fines, and a permanent criminal record. If you’ve been charged with assault in Somerset County, you need a defense attorney who has the experience and the resources to fight for you. You need Keith Oliver Criminal Law.
Our Somerset County assault defense lawyers have a long track record of getting these types of charges reduced or dropped altogether. We will identify every weakness in the prosecution’s case and fight fiercely for the best possible outcome for you. Contact us today to speak with a Somerset County assault defense lawyer about your case. The consultation is free and confidential.
Our Attorneys Defend Against All Types of Assault Charges
At Keith Oliver Criminal Law, we have successfully defended clients against a range of assault charges, including:
- Simple assault – Simple assault is the lowest level assault offense in New Jersey. It is defined as deliberately injuring someone, attempting to injure someone, accidentally injuring someone with a weapon, or simply threatening someone with physical violence. It is classified as a disorderly persons offense, which is New Jersey’s equivalent of a misdemeanor. Simple assault can be classified as an act of domestic violence in some cases, which can lead to harsher penalties and denial of bail.
- Aggravated assault – Aggravated assault is an indictable offense, equivalent to a felony, in New Jersey. This means a conviction carries much harsher penalties than simple assault. Attempting to cause or causing serious bodily injury to another person, pointing a firearm at someone, or committing simple assault against an emergency responder can lead to an aggravated assault charge. Aggravated assault is a second-degree indictable offense in some cases, which can carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
- Aggravated assault on a police officer – Any assault on a police officer is automatically considered an indictable offense under New Jersey law. However, the state must show that the police officer was on duty and that the defendant knew they were attacking a police officer in order to secure a conviction for aggravated assault on a police officer.
- Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon – Committing an assault on someone using a gun, knife, or another deadly weapon is an indictable offense in New Jersey. This can be a third-degree or fourth-degree offense, depending on whether the assault was committed knowingly or accidentally.
- Sexual assault – Sexual penetration of someone without their consent or when they are physically or mentally incapacitated is considered sexual assault in New Jersey. Depending on the particulars of the case, sexual assault can be charged as a first-degree offense, the most severe degree under New Jersey law.
- Domestic violence – The assault of a spouse, romantic partner, or another household member can lead to a domestic violence charge in New Jersey. Domestic violence can be charged as a disorderly persons offense, though it’s more often charged as an indictable offense.
- Assault by auto – Using a motor vehicle to threaten or injure someone is a type of assault under New Jersey law and can be charged as an indictable offense.
- Death by auto – Killing someone with a motor vehicle, whether intentionally or not, is a serious crime and is classified as homicide.
- Leaving the scene of a fatal accident – A motorist who kills someone with their car, even if it happened accidentally, can face additional charges if they attempt to flee the scene of the crash.
- Arson – Setting fire to someone’s property, intentionally or otherwise, is an indictable offense in New Jersey. The severity of the charge will depend on the defendant’s intent, the alleged target, whether anyone was hurt, and other factors.
- Aggravated arson – Knowingly or purposefully setting a fire that could have injured someone can lead to an aggravated arson charge in New Jersey.
- Homicide – In some cases, killing someone can be charged as an assault offense, especially if the defendant did not mean to kill the victim.
- Cyber-harassment – Because assault includes threatening to harm someone, harassing someone using the Internet can lead to an assault charge.
- Kidnapping – Taking someone from their home or another location and holding them somewhere else is a type of assault and is considered an indictable offense.
- False imprisonment – Similar to kidnapping, holding someone in their own home and preventing them from leaving is considered assault in New Jersey.
- Criminal restraint – Criminal restraint is similar to kidnapping or false imprisonment. It’s broadly defined as holding someone against their will in a way that could lead to serious bodily harm.
- Stalking – Stalking involves following someone around and intimidating them, including by making threats.
- Trespassing – Trespassing involves stepping onto someone’s property after being asked to leave it or being banned from entering it.
- Harassment – Harassment covers a wide range of behaviors and actions, but essentially it’s the crime of repeatedly intimidating someone or attacking them with the intent to alarm or threaten them.
- Disorderly conduct – Using offensive language, making threats, acting violently, or other “tumultuous behavior” can lead to a disorderly conduct charge, which is generally a disorderly persons offense.
- Terroristic threats – Threatening to harm someone or kill them is a third-degree or second-degree offense, respectively, under New Jersey law.
- Resisting arrest – Using physical force to fight back against police during an arrest is considered a type of assault under New Jersey law. It can be charged as a disorderly persons offense, but it’s more often charged as an indictable offense.
- Eluding – Attempting to flee arrest, whether successfully or not, can be charged as a third-degree or second-degree offense.
- Disarming a police officer – Taking or attempting to take any of a police officer’s weapons (not just their gun) is a serious crime. If someone takes a police officer’s weapon and threatens someone else with it, it’s a first-degree offense.
- Obstruction – Obstruction involves blocking police from doing their job through physical force or intimidation.
- Witness tampering – Threatening harm against someone who’s a witness in a criminal case can lead to a witness tampering charge, which is an indictable offense in New Jersey.
Our Somerset County Assault Defense Attorneys Stand Ready to Fight for You
If you’ve been charged with assault in Somerset County, the trusted defense attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help by:
- Investigating the charges and evidence against you
- Identifying weaknesses in the prosecution’s case
- Filing motions to have illegally obtained evidence suppressed
- Gathering evidence and witness testimony to support your defense
- Fighting at every chance to have the charges against you reduced or dropped
- Negotiating a plea agreement with prosecutors, if necessary, to reduce the penalties you may face
- Presenting a strong defense in court if your case goes to trial
Our experienced Somerset assault defense lawyers will immediately take the stress and pressure off you by handling every detail of your case. Contact us today to learn how we can help.
Penalties for an Assault Conviction
Assault covers a wide range of criminal behavior, from simply threatening someone to seriously injuring them. Because of this, the potential penalties for an assault conviction vary greatly depending on the particular criminal charges.
At the low end, a simple assault conviction is a disorderly persons offense with penalties including up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. At the high end, being convicted of death by auto or another more serious crime could be a first- or second-degree offense, punishable by 20 years in prison and much heavier fines.
Common Defenses in Assault Cases
In any criminal case, there are many avenues to pursue in building a defense. Depending on the circumstances of the underlying charges, we may consider the following defenses in your case:
- Demonstrating that you were acting in defense of yourself, your property, or another person
- Showing you did not commit the assault in question
- Arguing that the alleged victim had no reasonable fear of harm
- Having evidence against you suppressed because it was obtained illegally
At Keith Oliver Criminal Law, we will conduct a comprehensive investigation to determine the best defense strategy in your particular case. Each case is unique. That’s why we take a personalized approach to your defense.
Talk to a Somerset County Assault Lawyer Now
If you’ve been charged with assault in Somerset County, you deserve the help of a committed criminal defense attorney. Contact Keith Oliver Criminal Law today to speak to an experienced Somerset County assault defense attorney for free.