Helping Those Accused of Aggravated Assault Defend against Their Charges in and around Camden County and Atlantic County
Aggravated assault is a serious criminal charge under New Jersey law NJ Rev Stat § 2C:12-1(b) that can result in severe penalties, ranging from thousands of dollars in fines and other costs to long periods of time in jail and prison. Generally speaking, aggravated assault is a serious form of assault that involves differing levels of injuries.
New Jersey does not treat aggravated assault convictions lightly. In addition to any penalties imposed upon conviction, you will also have a criminal felony conviction on your record. Since members of the general public can view these records of convictions, a conviction can make it difficult for you to advance in your career, lose your job, forfeit public office or employment, possibly obtain a degree, or find an apartment to live in.
Haddonfield aggravated assault attorney, Matthew V. Portella, of the Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, LLC, understands the seriousness of a conviction for aggravated assault in New Jersey. Attorney Matthew V. Portella will examine your case from every angle and present you with his best legal opinion and option or options for proceeding forward. Attorney Matthew V. Portella has many years of experience successfully representing criminal defendants in New Jersey and is ready to help defend you against your aggravated assault charge today.
When Can a Person Face Charges of Aggravated Assault?
In a nutshell, aggravated assault involves specific intent or reckless behavior on the accused’s part to place someone in reasonable fear or apprehension of imminent bodily harm—regardless of whether or not the accused actually touches the alleged victim. Words, by themselves, typically do not rise to the level of an assault.
A person can be charged with aggravated assault in New Jersey if he or she commits any of the following acts:
- The accused assaults a law enforcement officer, including a police officer, fireman, security guard, teacher, judge, or another individual who is a public official
- The accused assaults a member of his or her family
- The assault results in serious or significant bodily harm to the alleged assault victim
- The accused threatens another individual at gunpoint or goes so far as to actually point a firearm at someone
- The accused uses a firearm or other deadly weapon in the assault
- The accused commits the assault while he or she is attempting to elude a police officer or while he or she is resisting an officer who is trying to make a lawful arrest
Varying Degrees of Aggravated Assault in New Jersey
The law in New Jersey recognizes varying degrees of aggravated assault. Specifically, a prosecutor or law enforcement officer could charge you with a second-degree aggravated assault offense, a third-degree aggravated assault offense, or a fourth-degree aggravated assault offense.
When making a decision on which degree of aggravated assault on which to charge you, the prosecutor or law enforcement officer typically considers the following:
- All of the circumstances surrounding the alleged offense, including whether the accused committed the alleged offense against one of the classes of individuals listed above
- The location where the assault occurred (that is, whether it occurred out in public or in the home, as with domestic assault)
- Whether the accused inflicted bodily injury or attempted to inflict bodily upon the alleged assault victim, and if so, the nature and severity of the bodily injury inflicted which is generally classified as significant or serious bodily injury
- Whether the alleged victim of the assault was a minor (i.e., an individual under the age of 18), and if so, whether the incident occurred on school grounds
- The accused’s criminal record
When it comes to prevailing at a criminal trial, you as the defendant are not required to prove anything, and your defense attorney is not required to prove anything on your behalf. In fact, under certain circumstances, it may not even be advisable for you to take the witness stand at trial. The prosecutor handling your case, however, must show that you committed every element of the assault charge beyond a doubt based upon common sense and ordinary reason.
During closing argument, your attorney might be able to allege that the prosecutor failed to meet his or her burden or that certain applicable defenses negate one or more elements of the criminal charge. Haddonfield aggravated assault defense lawyer Matthew V. Portella can discuss your charge with you, as well as potential defenses, and make a recommendation about how best to move forward in your criminal case.
Potential Penalties for an Aggravated Assault Conviction in New Jersey
It is no secret that aggravated assault convictions are penalized harshly in the State of New Jersey. The penalties that a sentencing judge imposes upon conviction depend largely upon the degree of the assault conviction.
A conviction for second-degree assault can result in court costs, fines (up to $150,000), and state prison time of between 5 to 10 years being imposed by the sentencing judge. The accused might also lose his or her right to possess a weapon or other firearm into the future. Finally, the accused could be ordered to successfully complete an anger management course or probation, and might also be ordered to pay restitution to the alleged victim of the assault.
To make matters more serious, New Jersey’s No Early Release Act (NERA) under N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2 applies to second-degree assault crimes. This means that someone convicted of this offense must serve at least 85 percent of their prison sentence before they can be eligible for early release on parole.
If the accused is convicted of third-degree aggravated assault, he or she could receive incarceration in the county jail for up to 364 days or state prison time of between 3 to 5 years, along with a maximum monetary fine of $15,000. Finally, if the accused is convicted of fourth-degree aggravated assault, he or she could receive incarceration in the county jail for up to 364 days or a maximum of 18 months in state prison, along with a maximum $10,000 monetary fine.
Talk to a Haddonfield Aggravated Assault Lawyer Today
Given the high potential penalties for an aggravated assault conviction, you want an experienced lawyer on your side defending you and representing you in court. Let our aggravated assault and criminal defense lawyer, Matthew V. Portella put his experience to work and begin developing a good defense for you today. To schedule a free consultation or case evaluation, please call the Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, LLC, at (856) 310-9800 or contact us online.
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“I want to thank Mr. Portella for taking my case. What an amazing law office and attorney. He is very professional and got all of my charges dismissed. If I ever need an attorney again, Mr. Portella will be the one I call. Thank you again! -A.M.”