A general definition for criminal assault is an act that threatens someone with physical harm. The word “threatens” is important because it highlights that physical harm does not need to result for it to be considered criminal assault.
Now, criminal assault specifics can vary a bit from state to state, so a local criminal defense attorney will be helpful if you are facing criminal assault charges in your state. It is also important to know that pending on the action, your assault could be considered a misdemeanor or a felony crime.
Assault Broken Down
Again, assault does not require that physical harm be done. If you intentionally threaten harm on someone you could be charged with assault.
For example, waving your fist at someone without making contact could be criminal assault even if you do not strike them. But if you tell someone you plan on causing them harm at a later time, that does not constitute assault.
Often times, you will hear assault along with battery. Battery is when someone recklessly or purposefully causes someone bodily harm. Typically, if battery was committed, assault was too. But not all assaults are accompanied by battery.
There is also such a thing as aggravated assault, which is when someone commits assault and intends to cause serious bodily harm or succeeds in causing bodily harm. This type of assault almost always involves the use of a dangerous weapon.
The severity of your assault will determine whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony. A misdemeanor is for lesser crimes and usually means a jail sentence of up to a year, community service, and smaller fines.
A felony is reserved for more serious crimes and means longer jail sentences, higher fines and probation. Assaults with a dangerous weapon are usually considered a felony.
Regardless of your assault classification, the right criminal defense attorney can help fight your charges.
Contact New Jersey’s John W. Tumelty
There are a variety of defenses available to fight your assault charges. In New Jersey, the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty is the place to turn to for legal counsel.
With over 30 years of experience and a strong track record of success, Mr. Tumelty will thoroughly investigate your charges and build a strong defense on your behalf. Aside from assault and aggravated assault, he also handles domestic violence and assault by auto or boat.
Fill out the online contact form to begin discussing your case today.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.