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Passaic County Assault & Threat Crimes
Whether it started from a careless statement, an angry comment, or just a misunderstanding, a threat or assault in Passaic County, New Jersey, is a criminal offense that carries serious consequences. If convicted, you or a family member could face thousands of dollars in fines and surcharges, plus prison time or probation and a mark on your public record for the rest of your life.
What’s more, if the situation that started the dispute involved domestic circumstances or a law enforcement officer — or if it wound up including the use of a weapon or serious bodily injury — a simple assault charge quickly can escalate to aggravated assault. This can carry a penalty if convicted ranging from a restraining order to years of incarceration.
At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, many members of our legal team have prior experience as New Jersey prosecutors, so we’re well versed in how to advise you when you’re facing assault or threat charges in Passaic County. We have valuable experience fighting threat and assault charges in communities such as Paterson, Passaic, Clifton, Wayne, West Milford, Bloomingdale, and Little Falls. We’re here to help you.
Assault & Threat Charges in Passaic County, New Jersey
Assault and threat charges cover a wide span of offenses in the New Jersey Criminal Code, which contains hundreds of pages about these crimes. They range from a shove in a bar, to domestic clashes and disagreements between neighbors, to stalking, making terroristic threats, and volatile physical altercations.
In Passaic County, many threat and assault charges are categorized as second-degree criminal offenses that can result in a prison sentence of 5 to 10 years and a fine of up to $150,000. New Jersey also has a sentencing requirement called the No Early Release Act (NERA), which guarantees that those convicted of certain offenses will serve at least 85% of their sentence before becoming eligible for parole if they have no separate plea agreement. These offenses include second-degree aggravated assault, or N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b), and disarming a law enforcement officer, or N.J.S.A. 2C:12-11(b).
We find that because of this penalty, some prosecutors are reluctant to work out a plea bargain to a lesser offense. However, assault charges do carry several defenses. For instance, you may have acted in self-defense if you had reason to feel that you were in danger. Also, you may not have foreseen that your actions would cause injury. Depending on the situation, a second-degree assault charge may be reduced to third-degree assault, carrying a penalty of 1 to 5 years in prison.
Our defense attorneys in Passaic County have more than 100 years of combined experience, giving us the skills to review all aspects of your case effectively and design a sound defense strategy.
Here are some of the New Jersey assault and threat violations that our Passaic County defense attorneys have tackled on behalf of our clients:
- Disorderly Conduct (N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2) – This encompasses “improper behavior” or offensive language in public, meaning it affects a public place or a substantial group of people, such as in a school, place of business, entertainment venue, highway or apartment house. It can result in up to six months in the Passaic County Jail and a fine up to $1,000.
- Simple Assault (N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1) – This is New Jersey’s most basic assault charge. One person attempts to cause, or purposely, recklessly, or knowingly causes, bodily injury to another, or uses physical menace to put another person in fear of such injury. This also can result in a fine up to $1,000 and up to six months in the Passaic County Jail.
- Battery – Similar to simple assault, battery involves physical contact with a person or an extension of that person (clothing, an object the person is holding) to cause harm. Fighting is considered battery.
- Aggravated Assault – This is probably the second most prevalent form of indictable crime heard in Passaic County Superior Court. It can involve serious bodily injury, a deadly weapon, pointing a firearm or laser device, using a vehicle as a weapon, assaulting a law enforcement officer, or assaulting someone at a school or community sporting event. Depending on the degree, can result in a prison sentence from 5 to 18 years and fines from $10,000 to $150,000.
- Assault by Auto
- Death By Auto
- Resisting Arrest
- Obstructing the Administration of Law (N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1) – This involves hindering law enforcement in any fashion, such as providing police with a false name for identification. It can result in up to 18 months in a county jail and a fine that can exceed $1,000.
- Disarming a police officer
- Eluding (N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2b) – This includes failing to stop immediately at a law enforcement officer’s request. It can result in 3 to 10 years in prison and fines up to $150,000, plus a driver’s license suspension for a period of time.
- Reckless Endangerment
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Serious Injury
- Juvenile Assault
- Robbery/Armed Robbery
- Domestic Assault or Violation of a Restraining Order
- Harassment (N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4) – This is behavior through communications, physical contact, or repetition that alarms or seriously annoys another person. It can result in a fine of $500 to $10,000, depending on degree, as well as prison time.
- Stalking (N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10) – This covers repeated conduct that causes another person unreasonable fear or emotional distress. Depending on degree, it carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000.
- Terroristic Threats (N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3) – This involves threatening a crime of violence with specific elements, such as causing evacuation of a building and being in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience. It carries a penalty of three to five years in a prison and up to $15,000 in fines.
About JFM Criminal Defense Firm
Our legal team at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall believes in a robust defense for all individuals who face criminal charges, including assault and threat charges. We’ve practiced law on both sides of the aisle and use this inside knowledge to help our clients accused of assault and threat crimes in Passaic County.
If you or a family member is suspected of, accused of, or has been charged with an assault or threat crime anywhere in Passaic County, please visit our office in Wayne at 73 Mountainview Blvd., or us today to discuss your situation and learn about your legal options. Our Passaic County criminal defense lawyers also are available by e-mail. Our initial consultations are always free, and we’re glad to answer any of your questions.