Central Municipal Court of Bergen County Assault Lawyer

There are two basic types of assault, those that are ‘misdemeanor' Disorderly or Petty Disorderly Persons offenses and those that are Felony 2nd, 3rd and 4th degree crimes.  In either case, you can be subject to jail and large fines.  Call today for a free consultation with a Central Municipal Court of Bergen County NJ Assault Lawyer.


What are the Penalties for Assault in NJ?

The vast majority of New Jersey assault cases are classified as Simple Assault, a Disorderly Persons offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1, which is punishable by:

  • Up to a $1,000 Fine;
  • Up to 6 Months in Jail.

The penalties for Aggravated Assault depend upon the gradation of the offense. The most common is a 4th degree Aggravated Assault which exposes a defendant to:

  • Up to a $10,000 Fine;
  • Up to 18 Months in Prison;
  • Criminal Record*

*Depending on the gradation of the offense the penalties for conviction of Aggravated Assault may be up to ten years in Prison and carry a fine up of up to $150,000.  


Can I fight my Assault Charge?

You will always stand the best shot at beating the charge, if you are represented by a Central Municipal Court of Bergen County Assault Lawyer. With over 40 years experience as a Judge, Prosecutor, and Criminal Defense Lawyer, the Attorneys of Avery & Avery know how to keep you out of trouble.  As Criminal Defense Lawyers, we have mastered the identification of flaws in the States case, and will work with you to either avoid a criminal conviction, or have the case thrown out completely. 


What is Assault?

Simple Assault, 2C:12-1a, is a Disorderly Persons or Petty Disorderly Persons offense in New Jersey.  These offenses may subject the offender to up to 6 months in the County jail and various fines.  The most common simple Assault’s involve a person who:

  • Attempts to cause bodily injury to another, or recklessly does so;
  • Menaces another as to make them fear imminent bodily injury*

For a full reading of New Jersey Title 2C:12-1, and applicable offenses, see here.


What is Aggravated Assault?

Aggravated assault, 2C:12-1b, is far more serious that simple assault and constitutes a ‘Felony' in New Jersey.  Depending on the gradation of the Aggravated Assault, you may be subject to a penalty of up to 10 years in state prison.  Some of the most common aggravated assault cases involve when a person:

  • Attempted to cause serious bodily injury to another or recklessly does so;
  • Attempts to cause bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon, or recklessly does so.  Deadly weapons include guns, knives, and many other objects  not normally thought of as weapons;
  • Points a gun or firearm at another person;
  • Assaults a Police officer or certain other government employees;
  • Assault by Auto, where one injures another while driving under the influence (DUI)*

Generally those offenses which involve weapons, police officers or emergency responders, minors, or which inflict serious injury will be prosecuted more forcefully and with greater charges, and will likely require the assistance of a qualified Central Municipal Court NJ Aggravated Assault Lawyer to avoid jail time.


Frequently Asked Questions

What do I tell the police? 

We give the same answer to all clients regarding all criminal charges, say nothing, until you talk to a NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer.

This was a street fight, can I still be charged for assault?

While you can still be charged for assault, mutual combat is a partial defense. This means that if you were engaged in a fight and both of you were charged, your charges may be downgraded to a petty disorderly persons offense carrying a maximum of thirty days in jail and a $500 fine.  If weapons were involved, however, and the charge is for aggravated assault, mutual combat may not be an option to downgrade to.

How will my assault charge affect my immigration status?

This is not a simple question.  Depending on what your status is, and what your charges are, there can be vast consequences including deportation from the United States. Generally a conviction under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1, can be dangerous to your immigration status and may result in deportation or ineligibility for citizenship. If you also have a prior record, the possible immigration consequences become far greater.

There were no injuries, can I still be charged for assault?

Unfortunately, you do not even have to touch the victim to be charged for assault. In many circumstances, however, a lack of injury helps to prove that the alleged assault never happened in the first place.  Call today to speak with a Central Municipal Court NJ Assault Defense Lawyer.

I only accidentally struck the victim?

Accidental assault happens fairly frequently and may be a defense in some circumstances. New Jersey's assault statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1, allows prosecution of this offense even if it is not purposeful however.  Even so, every case is very fact sensitive and require careful review.

The police are about to arrest me, what do I do?

In nearly all circumstances we tell our clients it is best to remain silent until they have consulted with us. The Central Municipal Court police will try to have you implicate yourself, it is imperative you do not give them any more ammunition in order to convict you with.  If you are about to be arrested or have been, do not talk to anyone until you contact a criminal defense attorney about your assault case.

The 'victim' wishes to drop all charges, does this mean I am safe?

Often times prosecutor's will drop charges if the victim contacts them and asks to drop the charges. This is not a given however, and it is still in the prosecutors discretion to move forward with the case. They will often pursue cases in which there are aggravating circumstances such as the use of weapons or actions against public employees.  This is another reason why a Central Municipal Court Aggravated Assault charge can be even more dangerous.

What is the difference between 2nd, 3rd, 4th, Disorderly, and Petty Disorderly Persons Assault in NJ?

The difference is in the gradation of the offense.  The gradation of a NJ assault offense, as outlined above, generally depend on the circumstances and likihood or actual injury to the 'victim'.  A 2nd degree assault charge has the potential to land you in prison for up to 10 years.  For a 3rd degree assault, the possible jail time is a presumptive 3-5 years in prison.  This is a very dangerous crime to be charged with.  For a 4th degree assault charge, the possible jail time is 18 months in prison.  For a Disorderly Persons grade of assault, you will face a maximum possible 6 months of jail.  And for a petty disorderly offense you may face up to 30 days in jail.

Beyond prison time and fines, assault charges are viewed harshly by potential employers and may dramatically hinder your employment.  Because of this it is even more important to be defended by experienced criminal defense attorney's such as Avery & Avery.  For a free consultation, we invite you to contact us at 201-943-2445.

I am under 18 years old, how does the NJ Assault laws affect me?

Assault, like most crimes in NJ treat juveniles similarly to adults.  Because minors are often treated the same, under some circumstances they may face up to 10 years in prison.  Because of this it is important to consult with a criminal defense attorney immediately. See here if you have been charged for juvenile delinquency.  Often times your local high school will become involved, especially if it was a fight between students.  When this happens, the school will have its separate set of consequences.

If they have caught me and there are no defenses, what can I do?

In some situations the police have caught the defendant dead to rights and there are no defenses.  In situations like these we have often been successful in downgrading the offense to a far lesser penalty and no jail time.  Another approach is to enter our client into a diversionary program such as Pre Trial Intervention (PTI)  or Conditional Discharge (CD).  These programs provide the benefit of no jail time and no criminal record.  We have been successful with combinations of the two as well when dealing with high level offenders.

I have been convicted for Assault before, but in another state, how does this affect the case?

New Jersey's assault law does not specifically include a step up provision for repeat offenders, and therefore there is not necessarily any increase in penalties. Judge's do however take note of prior offenses in their sentencing decisions and will more often than not give greater, if not maximal, sentences for repeat offenders, especially if the victim is the same person.  If you have been caught in any state including NJ for assault,  aggravated assault or other related offenses it is even more urgent to be represented by a compentent Central Municipal Court NJ Criminal Defense Attorney. 


Central Municipal Court of Bergen County Information:

The Central Municipal Court is held at 71 Hudson Street, Hackensack, New Jersey 07601. 

Phone: 201-336-6222

Fax 201-336-6212

Parking:  There is minimal street parking around the Court, however there are parking garages nearby, the biggest being located at 55 Court Street, Hackensack, NJ.  There is a parking lot underneath and behind the Court, however this is not public parking and you will be ticketed or towed.

Judges: Hon. Louis J. Dinice, Hon. Giuseppe Randazzo, Hon. Jason T. Shafron

Court Administrator: Miriam Losardo, C.M.C.A.

Prosecutors: Andrew Cimiluca, Esq., Elsbeth J. Crusius, Esq., Donald J. Lenner, Esq.

Public Defender: Richard Potter, Esq.

For more information on the Central Municipal Court, please visit: 

http://www.co.bergen.nj.us/index.aspx?NID=215


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