Sometimes a night on the town may get a bit more raucous than expected. Unfortunately, even though you may not plan to end up in an altercation, it could happen.
Scenarios can escalate quickly, and if threats of harm or unwanted physical contact take place, the possibility exists that law enforcement officers could get involved. As a result, you, and possibly others involved in an altercation, could wind up facing criminal charges.
Assault and battery
In many cases, charges for assault and charges for battery refer to two separate crimes. Commonly, assault refers to verbal threats of harm without physical contact, and battery refers to unwanted and harmful physical contact. However, in New Jersey, the law regarding making harmful threats and making nonconsensual physical contact deems both acts as different forms of assault when it comes to criminal charges.
Under state law, you could face charges for simple assault if you try to physically menace another person in order to cause that person to feel fearful that he or she will suffer injuries. You could also face this charge if you try to cause or do cause bodily injury to another person through intentional or reckless actions. Negligence could also result in simple assault charges if you cause physical injury to another individual with a deadly weapon.
Simple assault also falls into the category of a disorderly persons offense, which the law deems a misdemeanor offense.
A more serious assault charge comes in the form of aggravated assault. You could face such allegations if you recklessly point a firearm at another individual, even if you do not think the weapon is loaded. This charge could also apply if you cause someone else bodily injury with a deadly weapon or if you try to cause injuries with a deadly weapon. If you cause someone injuries on purpose or otherwise knowingly or if you acted negligently or recklessly, an aggravated assault charge could also apply.
If you do have any type of assault charge brought against you, understanding your defense options may be vital to your case. You undoubtedly want to reach the best outcomes possible for your situation, and understanding state laws regarding the charges may help you work toward that goal. Consulting with an experienced defense attorney may allow you to gain reliable information and feel more at ease with your predicament.