Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer Lawyers in Mount Holly NJ
In New Jersey, there are grave consequences for committing aggravated assault against another individual, no matter who the victim is. However, when the alleged victim is a police officer, the penalties associated with a conviction become even more severe. A charge for aggravated assault on a police officer is governed by statute NJSA 2C:12-1(b)(5)(a), which encompasses assaults committed against law enforcement and other public servants and officials. This law explains that even an offense that would otherwise constitute simple assault (a lesser offense), it is elevated to aggravated assault (an indictable crime), when the alleged victim is a police officer. In other words, being charged with assault on a police officer means you are accused of committing a felony in New Jersey, which carries very significant penalties. If you or a loved one have been charged with aggravated assault of a police officer, it is absolutely crucial that you obtain representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney. At The Law Offices of Leonard D. Biddison, our team has been handling these charges with great success for over 25 years. We can help you defend against aggravated assault and related criminal charges such as assault by auto, eluding police, endangering the welfare of a child, and resisting arrest. Call our local office in Collingswood today at 856-427-6888 to find out how we can devote our depth of knowledge and experience to aggressively defending you against your charges. One of our attorneys is available immediately to assist you and consultations are always provided free of charge.
Aggravated Assault on Police Officer Charges in New Jersey
When an assault is committed in New Jersey, there are certain factors and circumstances that raise a simple assault to an aggravated assault, including if the assault was committed against an officer, fireman, security guard, or other public officials like teachers and judges. A simple assault occurs when you recklessly, knowingly, or purposely cause another person bodily harm; negligently injure a person with a deadly weapon; or attempt to put someone in fear of imminent serious injury by physically threatening them. Even when an assault would typically be considered a simple assault, the victim being a police officer or public servant immediately enhances the crime from a disorderly persons offense to a felony and the consequences increase accordingly. Other circumstances that will raise a simple assault to an aggravated assault charge include: when the offense is committed with a deadly weapon, the victim suffers serious bodily injury, the victim is a family member, the assault is committed while resisting arrest or eluding or attempting to elude an officer, or when the defendant threatens the victim with a gun.
As dictated by the New Jersey Aggravated Assault Law under NJSA 2C:12-1(b)(5)(a), assault on a police officer occurs when the actor:
- Purposely, knowingly or recklessly commits or attempts to commit bodily injury on a law enforcement official
- Negligently causes bodily injury to a police officer with a deadly weapon; or
- Attempts by physical menace to put an officer in fear of imminent serious bodily injury
All of these acts must occur either while the officer is performing his duties or because of his role as a member of law enforcement.
Penalties for Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer in NJ: Degrees of Crimes, Fines
If you commit aggravated assault on a police officer in New Jersey, the potential penalties will differ depending on the degree of assault crime you are charged with. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be charged with a 2nd degree crime, 3rd degree crime, or 4th degree crime for assaulting an officer. If you are convicted of a 4th degree offense, you are facing up to 18 months of imprisonment and $10,000 in fines. 3rd degree aggravated assault convictions carry prison time of up to 3 to 5 years and fines of up to $15,000. If you are charged with a second degree crime for inflicting serious bodily injury or assault while attempting to elude a police officer, you may be sentenced to between 5 and 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. A second degree aggravated assault on a police officer conviction also requires you to serve 85% of the prison time imposed before reaching parole eligibility, as this level of offense is included under the No Early Release (NERA).
As you can see, you are facing the potential of significant jail time if convicted of aggravated assault on a police officer in New Jersey. The likelihood of your conviction is highly dependent on the specific facts of your case and the quality of your defense team. A jury does not tend to look sympathetically toward a defendant they believe assaulted a police officer who is risking their own safety to protect the public from crime. However, the prosecutor’s burden of proof in a criminal case is to prove that you committed the charged offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that in order to find you guilty of the offense, the prosecution must convince each and every member of the jury that there is not one single reason to doubt that you assaulted an officer. Our knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers will examine the specific facts of your case to identify the best defenses we can use to provide reasonable doubt.
Assault on a Police Officer Defense Attorneys in Mount Laurel NJ
If you have been charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, it is imperative to have a skilled criminal defense lawyer at every stage in the process. Contact our law firm today at 856-427-6888 for a free consultation and review of your case. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help you successfully navigate through the criminal justice system. With offices in Collingswood, we defend clients in Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and throughout New Jersey on a regular basis.