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Violent crimes can be serious offenses that incur severe penalties, including jail time. The following story shows how an assault charge can affect a public official, including how the public may jump to conclusions.

A member of the Hackensack, New Jersey, school board was arrested on Feb. 2 and charged with assault, according to police records. The arrest was in connection with a dispute between the 35-year-old board member and a woman, who claimed he slammed a door on her hand.

A police captain in the Hackensack Police Department reported that the woman required medical treatment and that a similar incident had occurred about a month earlier. In the earlier incident, the school board member allegedly choked the woman and put his knee against her neck.

The school board member has been charged with one count of making a terroristic threat and two counts of simple assault, according to the police captain. He posted a bond of $42,500 and was released. Police said the woman has obtained a restraining order against the school board member, who claims the allegations will not affect his position on the school board.

But we all are aware of how members of the voting public react when an elected official is accused of wrongdoing. The inclination is usually to assume that the person is guilty and corrupt. It's important to remember that this is not always the case. Everyone, even politicians, deserves their day in court.

Source: NorthJersey.com, "Hackensack school board member denies he assaulted woman," Hannan Adely, Feb. 5, 2013

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