Located in Union County, NJ, there are 22,625 people living in Cranford. Among the many residents and visitors to its bustling downtown district, accusations of assault occur on a regular basis. Both simple assault and aggravated assault charges can apply to a person accused of threatening, attempting, or actually carrying out assault-related behavior in Cranford, NJ.
Assault Charges in Cranford, New Jersey
New Jersey defines assault under NJSA 2C:12-1 as any type of conduct that happens when one party attempts to injure or injures another person with no legal justification to do so. This offense can be charged as a simple assault or aggravated assault.
Factors that influence whether or not simple or aggravated assault charges apply include:
Whether or not any objects or weapons were used to cause an injury
Whether the victim has any special protection under New Jersey laws
The severity of the victim’s injuries
Charged with Simple Assault in Cranford NJ
A simple assault offense can involve a person attempting or causing bodily injury to someone else in a reckless or knowing manner or causing a person to reasonably fear serious bodily injury. The knowing element of this offense refers to the fact that a person is aware that their actions will most likely cause an injury.
Simple assault is a disorderly persons offense, rather than an indictable criminal offense in Cranford NJ. Criminal assault offenses classified as disorderly persons offenses are handled at Cranford Township Municipal Court at 8 Springfield Avenue in Cranford.
Simple assault charges carry penalties of fines up to $1,000 and as many as six months in jail. At the judge’s discretion, additional penalties might apply such as the payment of restitution to the victim, community service, or counseling attendance.
Cranford Aggravated Assault Charges
The most important elements of any incident in question is whether or not a weapon was used and how the victim’s injuries are classified.
Allegations of aggravated assault in Cranford NJ can also include situations in which the victim showed extreme indifference to the value of a human life. This concept refers to the circumstances under which the defendant acted rather than the defendant’s state of mind.
Aggravated assault charges include assault with a deadly weapon, assault by auto, and assaulting a police officer. These charges are also broken down into different degrees based on certain factors in the case:
4th Degree Aggravated Assault charges involve claims of recklessly causing an injury to another person with a weapon
3rd Degree Aggravated Assault charges involve attempting to cause or actually causing significant bodily injury to another person
2nd Degree Aggravated Assault charges involve a claim in which a person is accused of attempting to cause or actually causing injury to someone else with an extreme indifference to the value of human life
Where Assault Cases Are Heard in Court
The Cranford Municipal Court hears cases involving minor criminal offenses that happen inside the boundaries of the township. One of these criminal offenses is simple assault. Municipal courts have the least level of authority to assess penalties but are also the most common courts. These municipal courts are where a person in Cranford NJ is accused of a disorderly persons offense. Only a judge hears a case in municipal court and there are no formal trials. The judge has the ability to impose fines, take away the defendant’s driver’s license, and incarcerate the accused for up to six months in the Union County Jail.
More serious cases of assault, however, get transferred from municipal to Union County Superior Court. Superior courts in NJ hear indictable offenses in the criminal part of this court. The right to a jury trial applies to cases heard in superior courts.
In addition, trials in municipal court can lead to criminal appeals in the Law Division of the Superior Court, the Civil Part of the Superior Court, or the Criminal Part of the Superior Court, depending on the specifics of the case.
Domestic Violence Assault Charges in Cranford, New Jersey
Many cases involving claims of domestic violence assault occur outside the hours of Superior Court. Domestic violence cases in Cranford NJ, therefore, can be filed in local municipal court or the Cranford Police Department when the victim seeks a restraining order.
When filing for a temporary restraining order, the police can contact the municipal court judge for the hearing associated with the victim’s complaint. The judge can speak to the victim over the phone or in person to determine whether or not a TRO should be issued.
During normal court hours, however, the victim may go to Superior Court to start the process. Once granted, the case will lead to a hearing for a final restraining order within 10 days of the temporary restraining order being placed in effect. Both the victim and the accused party must be present at this full final hearing.
Get Help from Assault Defense Lawyers in Cranford NJ
If you have been accused of aggravated or simple assault in Cranford, New Jersey, contact our local criminal defense attorneys for immediate assistance with your defense. We can be reached 24/7 to provide you with a free consultation. Reach out by calling (908) 838-0150 or contacting us to get the answers and personalized guidance you need now.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. We have four office locations conveniently located in Mount Laurel, Point Pleasant, Princeton and Middletown. All major credit cards are accepted