When You Face Elizabeth NJ Simple Assault Charges
July 28, 2020
Elizabeth, the county seat of Union County, New Jersey, is the largest city the county has, boasting 124,969 residents. The population increases everyday, as this area is a prime location for industry and work. Between the population and 13,464 miles encasing the city, the police are undoubtedly kept busy. Whether they are patrolling along routes 1/9 and 81, or taking calls from local residents, they are always on the go, making arrests, issuing citations, and filing criminal charges. With the population and police coverage in the City of Elizabeth, many arrests are made for the offense of simple assault. Simple assault is considered a reasonably minor criminal offense when put in perspective, but it has major consequences for those found guilty. If you have been arrested on Elizabeth simple assault charges, contact us now to speak with a dedicated criminal attorney who can advise and further assist you with an effective defense. You can reach us anytime at (908)-838-0150 for a free consultation.
What is a simple assault charge in Elizabeth NJ?
Simple assault is an offense against another person governed by N.J.S.A. 12-1(a). This offense occurs when one person purposely, knowingly, or recklessly, injures anyone. For simple assault, the injury sustained by the alleged victim is considered minor. In fact, the only requirement in filing the complaint is for the injured party to note that he or she suffered some physical discomfort, or that he or she was in fear of bodily injury imminently, and that it was caused by the other person. Examples of simple assault include pushing, slapping, punching, kicking, pinching, scratching, or grabbing. The offense also occurs when someone negligently causes an injury with a deadly weapon (i.e. swinging a knife and accidentally cutting someone).
Oddly enough, you can also be charged with simple assault even if you never injured anyone. For instance, the statute allows a person to be charged with the offense if he or she attempts to instill the fear of injury in another person by acting in a menacing manner. Essentially, if you threaten harm and the person believes that you will follow through, you can be charged.
Is Elizabeth simple assault a felony or misdemeanor?
Simple assault is a disorderly persons offense. Bordering states such as New York and Pennsylvania refer to such offenses as misdemeanors. Misdemeanors and disorderly persons offenses mean the same thing in that they are not considered felonies (“indictable” is the term used in New Jersey). Disorderly persons offenses have less life-changing consequences than felonies. Nonetheless, you do face punishment if convicted of such an offense. If you have been charged with simple assault in Elizabeth, it is vital to understand the possible sentence for this disorderly persons offense.
What are the penalties for simple assault offenses in the City of Elizabeth NJ?
All disorderly persons offenses allow for the court to send the offender to the county jail for 180 days (6 months). The court is also authorized to impose fines up to $1,000 and restitution for any damages that the alleged victim has sustained. Additionally, the state requires that you pay a $50 Victims of Crime Agency Assessment Fee, a $75 Safe Neighborhood Fund Fee, a $100 Domestic Violence Surcharge (applies in DV cases only), a probation supervision fee if applicable, approximately $33 in court costs, plus an assessment fee. Not all cases require jail and the court could instead order you to be on probation for a period of not less than one year. This is true in cases of first offenders, as there is no requirement that a jail sentence be imposed. During probation you will have to complete all requirements and comply with all conditions. Similarly, first offenders may have the opportunity to take advantage of programs that allow the charges to be dismissed if all conditions are met.
Can simple assault be grounds for a restraining order in Elizabeth, New Jersey?
Domestic violence and simple assault are often linked. By way of example, let’s say that a man committed an act of simple assault against his ex-girlfriend. Specifically, it is alleged that the two met at a restaurant and after a disagreement, the man grabbed her wrist and thereafter threw her down the stairs. He was subsequently charged with simple assault and must attend the local Elizabeth Municipal Court to defend the case. Prior to his case being heard in municipal court, he would have a first appearance and the prosecutor could file a motion to detain him pending the outcome of the municipal court case. Holding someone in jail for simple assault is unique to cases involving domestic violence. If this happens to you or someone you love, you should seek counsel immediately for representation at a detention hearing.
Due to the prior dating relationship, the offense is considered domestic violence and can be the basis of a restraining order. This is true for any individual who is alleged to have committed simple assault upon anyone defined under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. If this applies to you, a lawyer at our firm can also assist you in defending against the restraining order (if a temporary restraining order has been filed) in the Union County Family Court.
A final restraining order can award the protected party exclusive rights to his or her home and preclude the offender from coming within so many feet of the person as well. In some cases, the custody and parenting time of the alleged perpetrator is severely curtailed, which then impacts the health of the parent/child relationship. There are many things that can happen to you if your simple assault is attached to domestic abuse. Therefore, it is essential that you consult with an attorney who can expose the truth and protect your rights.
Free Consultation with Elizabeth NJ Simple Assault Attorney
When it comes to simple assault charges, there are many possible outcomes. We recognize that the above may not fit your situation, it may not be what you want, or simply put, it may not be an available option. Understanding this, we will discuss the potential options with you and make tactical decisions with your best interests in mind. In some scenarios, there are issues with the evidence or procedural missteps on the part of the state that allow us to get your charges dismissed. In other cases, the prosecution cannot satisfy every element required to gain a conviction. If you or someone you love has a simple assault case in Elizabeth, New Jersey, get a free consultation with a well-informed Elizabeth simple assault lawyer by calling (908)-838-0150 now.