Experienced Atlantic County Aggravated Assault Attorney Fights Your Charges and Keeps You Out of Prison
Bar fights always have the potential to get out of hand and, when they do, it’s not unusual for someone to end up in handcuffs – charged with aggravated assault. Even if the incident leading up to the charges was not your fault, you still need a skilled and experienced attorney on your side. That’s because an aggravated assault conviction can result in significant prison time, heavy fines, and a permanent criminal record.
The Law Offices of John W. Tumelty focuses exclusively on criminal and DWI defense. Founding partner John Tumelty is a former state prosecutor and a former Atlantic County prosecutor with over 35 years of criminal law experience. He is also a New Jersey Supreme Court certified criminal trial attorney, making him part of an elite group of NJ attorneys who have earned this distinction. Mr. Tumelty’s local experience includes successfully representing clients in many high-profile criminal cases in Atlantic and Cape May counties. If your aggravated assault case goes to trial, Mr. Tumelty is ready to defend your rights and protect your freedom.
What Are the Penalties for Aggravated Assault in New Jersey?
N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b) governs aggravated assault charges in New Jersey. You can be charged with aggravated assault if you caused or attempted to cause serious bodily injury or significant bodily injury to another person. “Serious bodily injury” is defined as injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes permanent disfigurement or impairment of the function of a body part. “Significant bodily injury” refers to the temporary loss of any function of a body part or the temporary loss of one of the five senses.
While simple assault charges are classified as disorderly persons offenses and handled in the local municipal court, aggravated assault charges are considered felony-level offenses and are handled in the county superior court. The penalties for an aggravated assault conviction vary, depending upon the degree of the offense:
- Second degree felony charges may apply if you caused serious bodily injury to another person under circumstances manifesting “extreme indifference to the value of human life.” Extremely reckless behavior, such as fleeing the police or causing a car accident while driving under the influence, can be the basis for second degree aggravated assault charges.
- Third degree felony charges apply when the offender caused significant bodily injury to another person. Additionally, third degree charges often apply when the offender used a deadly weapon during the violent assault.
- If you recklessly caused injury to another person by using a deadly weapon – even if you simply pointed the weapon at another person – you can be charged with fourth degree aggravated assault.
Most altercations that require a police response will result in simple assault charges. However, the presence of certain aggravating factors can result in enhanced charges. The severity of the victim’s injuries can affect the degree of the charge. If the victim suffered serious bodily injury, you could face aggravated assault charges. Additionally, if you are accused of using a deadly weapon during the assault, the charges can be elevated. This is true even if you simply pointed a gun at another person. Moreover, the status of the victim can affect the degree of the charge. If the injured person is a police officer or a firefighter, you may be charged with aggravated assault regardless of any other factors.
If you are convicted of second degree aggravated assault:
- You face a sentence of between five and 10 years in NJ State Prison
- Even first-time offenders are subject to mandatory incarceration
- The No Early Release Act (NERA) applies to aggravated assault convictions because the charge is classified as a violent offense. This means that you will be required to serve at least 85 percent of any prison sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
Don’t Fight Your Criminal Charges Alone; Attorney John Tumelty Provides Aggravated Assault Defense in Atlantic City
Assault charges of any kind need to be taken seriously. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help you answer your aggravated assault charges by raising defenses such as self-defense and mutual fighting.
If you’ve been charged with aggravated assault in Atlantic City, Brigantine, Margate, Ventnor, Longport, Atlantic County, Cape May County or anywhere else in South Jersey, contact the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty. The firm has vast resources that can be used to help you beat your criminal charges. Call or email today to schedule a free consultation at one of the firm’s offices in Atlantic City, Marmora and Somers Point, NJ.