New Jersey Law on Domestic Violence Simple Assault

NJ Domestic Violence Simple Assault LawyersSimple assault is a crime in New Jersey and in the context of a domestic relationship, an allegation of simple assault can have even more extensive consequences. Victims of domestic violence are protected under the New Jersey Domestic Violence Act, which imposes special requirements and procedures for handling and investigating allegations of domestic abuse. If you have been accused of committing domestic violence simple assault in New Jersey, you are facing potential jail time, fines, and a criminal record in connection with the criminal charges. You may also be facing a restraining order, as simple assault is considered a predicate act of domestic violence and thus, grounds for a restraining order under NJ Law. With so much on the line, it is essential to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer defending you during your upcoming legal proceedings. For more information regarding domestic assault, contact The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison to speak with an attorney who can provide you with a free consultation. You can reach our law office anytime at 856-245-5240 or contact us online.

Simple Assault & Domestic Violence in New Jersey

If your significant other or spouse accuses you of physically hurting them and the police have probable cause to believe that you purposely, knowingly, or recklessly caused them bodily harm, you can be charged with simple assault. You can also be charged with this offense if you negligently injured them with a deadly weapon or attempted to put them in fear of imminent serious injury through a physical threat. Typically, when charges of simple assault are filed in a domestic context, a temporary restraining order is also available to the victim. You will be arrested and held in jail for up to 48 hours prior to appearing before a judge. The prosecutor will also often file a motion for detention, meaning you will be held in jail until your case is decided. Prosecutors generally file motions for detention if they feel that the alleged victim could be in danger if you are released. It is not uncommon for the prosecutor to exercise an abundance of caution and file the motion to protect the alleged victim.

If the prosecutor files a motion for detention with the court, you will be entitled to a detention hearing. At the detention hearing, the judge can only order you to be detained pending trial if he or she believes that no condition or set of conditions would reasonably assure that, if released, you would not be a danger to others, you would not fail to appear in court, and you would not obstruct the criminal justice system. If the prosecutor does not file a motion for detention and allows you to be released, they will have to impose a condition of checking in with an officer at regularly scheduled times, if the alleged victim does not want contact with you.

When dealing with criminal charges for simple assault, you are exposed to serious penalties if you’re ultimately found guilty. Simple assault as a form of domestic violence is a disorderly persons offense. If convicted, you can face up to 6 months of imprisonment and up to $1,000 in fines. You may also be ordered to pay the victim restitution. If a temporary restraining order is issued, you will also need to appear in Family Court for a final restraining order hearing, after which the judge will decide is the temporary order should be made permanent. It is highly advisable to have an attorney defending you at this hearing because an FRO can change your life in a variety of ways, including seemingly unrelated matters like divorce and child custody.

Mount Holly Domestic Violence Simple Assault Attorney

It is very important to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you against domestic violence simple assault allegations in New Jersey. The stakes are high and these charges could turn into a conviction, create a criminal record, and lead to a permanent protective order against you. If you have been accused of domestic abuse, contact our attorneys today at 856-245-5240 for a free review of your case. With several convenient South Jersey office locations, we serve clients in Mount Holly, Willingboro, Gloucester, Mount Laurel, Evesham Township, Bordentown, Camden, Cherry Hill, and surrounding areas.

Alleged Southampton Road Rage Incident Results in DWI, Aggravated Assault Charges for Police Officer

Southampton NJ DWI ChargesAfter an alleged road rage incident in Southampton, New Jersey last week, a police officer has been charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), aggravated assault, and several other offenses.

The defendant in this case is 42-year-old Teddy Cerra, a resident of Southampton who serves as a police officer for the Franklin Township Police Department. Cerra was allegedly driving erratically on Red Lion Road in Southampton when he was observed by an off-duty Lumberton police officer. The off-duty officer, who remains unidentified, was driving his own car but wearing his uniform, as he was on his way to work when he reportedly saw Cerra swerving and driving dangerously.

The officer is said to have pulled Cerra over, after which Cerra was allegedly staggering. He is said to have exited his car, raised his shirt, and showed a gun. They had a short exchange during which Cerra identified himself as “blue,” as did the alleged victim. Then, the victim dropped to the ground and showed Cerra the ID in his wallet. He told investigators Cerra pointed his gun at his head and chest during the incident.

The Lumberton officer returned to his car and fled, with Cerra allegedly following him at over 100 miles per hour. After the victim called 911, Cerra was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, robbery, a weapons offense, and DWI. After the charges were filed, Cerra was suspended from active duty and is now under investigation by internal affairs.

On Wednesday, November 8th, he appeared in Burlington County Superior Court in Mount Holly for a detention hearing. Although the State argued for detention pending the resolution of the case, the presiding judge ordered him released on several conditions. Cerra must have no contact with the victim; forfeit his weapons, firearms dealer’s license, and firearms purchaser identification card; and report to court officials once a month.

In addition to losing his job, Cerra is exposed to serious jail time if convicted. He is facing multiple felony charges. For example, a person can be charged with aggravated assault in New Jersey for even pointing a firearm at or in the direction of another person, regardless of whether or not the actor knows it to be loaded. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b), aggravated assault can be a second degree, third degree, or fourth degree crime, all of which are punishable by an NJ State Prison sentence. The indictable felony charges notwithstanding, even a conviction for DWI can lead to a jail sentence. A first offense DWI in New Jersey may result in up to 30 days in jail, plus a driver’s license suspension of up to 1 year.

Southampton NJ Criminal Defense Attorneys

Being arrested for a crime can turn your whole life upside-down. At The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison, our criminal defense attorneys know the toll a criminal case can take on your life and we work tirelessly to resolve your case in the best manner possible. Whether you have been charged with DUI, assault, weapons possession, or another offense, we have over 20 years’ experience to put to work for you. With offices in Collingswood, we serve clients in Southampton, Lumberton, and throughout Burlington County and surrounding communities. Call (856)-427-6888 today to speak with an attorney about your case. Consultations are always provided free of charge.

For additional information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Cop charged in alleged Southampton road rage incident released from jail

Simple Assault in Pemberton NJ

Pemberton NJ Simple Assault Attorneys

Pemberton NJ Simple Assault ChargesYou may find yourself charged with simple assault in Pemberton, New Jersey for a number of reasons. Sometimes, simple assault charges arise when groups of people gather together at bars, sporting events, or concerts. In many cases, alcohol is involved. On the other hand, an alleged domestic violence incident can also give rise to a simple assault charge. Whatever the circumstances of your case, it is critical to find an experienced attorney who can defend you. At The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison, our lawyers are committed to fighting for your innocence. Our priority is always to deliver the best possible result. Our firm’s founder has been defending clients charged with simple assault and other criminal offenses in Pemberton and throughout Burlington County for over 20 years. To discuss your specific simple assault case, please contact us anytime at (856)-427-6888. We are happy to answer all of your questions in a free consultation. You can also read on for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Pemberton simple assault charges.

Where is a Pemberton Simple Assault Case Handled?

Under New Jersey statute N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1, simple assault is classified as a disorderly persons offense. This level of offense is similar to a misdemeanor and is handled at the local municipal court in the municipality where the charges were filed. In other words, if you were arrested for simple assault in Pemberton and brought to the Pemberton Police Station for processing, your case will be decided in Pemberton Municipal Court.

What if I’m Convicted of Simple Assault in Pemberton NJ?

Typically, simple assault is charged as a disorderly persons offense. These offenses in New Jersey expose you to a jail sentence of up to 6 months and a fine of up to $1,000. However, simple assault can be elevated to aggravated assault under certain circumstances. For example, if you are accused of simple assault against a police officer, judge, prosecutor, emergency medical technician, or firefighter. This becomes an indictable offense (felony) and will be sent to the Burlington County Superior Court. As you might expect, the penalties become more severe in these cases.

What Happens if I’m Issued a Temporary Restraining Order in Pemberton?

If a simple assault offense occurs in the context of domestic violence, you may also be issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in Pemberton, NJ. In this case, the simple assault is a criminal offense which will be handled in Pemberton Municipal Court and the restraining order is a civil case which will be handled separately in the Burlington County Superior Court, Family Division. Although connected to the same incident, these legal proceedings are entirely distinct and very complex. It is highly advisable to have an attorney who knows how to handle both the criminal case and the restraining order.

Arrested for Simple Assault in Pemberton, New Jersey?

Regardless of how your simple assault charges happened, Leonard Biddison and his defense team are thoroughly prepared to defend your case. Our skilled lawyers regularly defend against simple assault and restraining orders in Pemberton and throughout Burlington County, New Jersey. Contact us for a free consultation at (856)-427-6888 and find out how we can help you.

Pregnant Woman Won’t be Released after Aggravated Assault, Robbery Charges in Burlington County

Mount Holly NJ Aggravated Assault AttorneyAfter being charged with aggravated assault and robbery in Burlington County, a pregnant woman was released from prison pending her trial in Superior Court in Mount Holly. Burlington County prosecutors appealed the decision and an Appellate panel recently sided with the prosecution, ordering the woman back to pre-trial detention.

This case involves 20-year-old Imani Williams, who was charged with aggravated assault and robbery after allegedly attacking and robbing a female victim in June. Williams is accused of jumping the woman from behind, punching and kicking her, and stealing cash from her handbag. During a pretrial detention hearing in Burlington County Superior Court, a judge ordered Williams to be released pending her trial.

The circumstances of this case are unique, as Williams was 8 weeks pregnant when the judge made the decision. Williams reportedly has a criminal history and several instances where she failed to appear in court. She argued for her release based on the fact that she is pregnant and has a full-time job. The judge ordered her conditional release, subject to a curfew and regular reporting in person.

Shortly thereafter, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office appealed the decision, arguing that Williams may be prone to violence and failure to appear based of her history. Using the new assessment scales under New Jersey’s new bail reform system, Williams scored high for new criminal activity and failure to appear.

On Friday, a three-judge appellate panel ruled in favor of the prosecution’s arguments. In its decision, the appellate court explained that Williams’ pregnancy was given  “undue weight” during her pretrial detention determination. They went on to say:

“Pregnancy, like any other medical condition, is only considered for its impact on the risk of a defendant posing a danger to the community, obstructing justice or failing to appear in court…Although the trial judge here properly considered several of the listed applicable factors, he elevated defendant’s medical condition of pregnancy above all of the other pertinent factors, based on his unfounded speculation that her pregnancy might cause ‘issues’ to the correctional facility.”

The court did note that in certain cases, a defendant’s pregnancy may have a more significant influence on her health or ability to appear in court . For example, a high-risk pregnancy may be considered a special circumstance. However, in this case, the mere fact that Williams is pregnant does not preclude her from being subject to the same risk assessment scale as any other defendant facing charges for violent crimes.

Mount Holly Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you have been charged with aggravated assault, robbery, or another violent crime in Mount Holly or elsewhere in Burlington County, the highly experienced criminal defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison are dedicated to defending your innocence. Our attorneys have the knowledge and skill to combat your charges and we have been successfully representing clients in courts throughout South Jersey for over 20 years. Contact us anytime at 856-245-5240 or online for a free consultation about your case.

For additional information regarding this case, access the following article: Pregnancy isn’t a get out of jail free card, court rules

Gloucester County Man Had Multiple DWI Charges before Fatal Car Accident

Monroeville NJ DWI LawyersAuthorities say the Monroeville man who was responsible for a fatal car accident was driving under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash. He is also said to have multiple DWI convictions on his record.

According to officials from the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, 41-year-old Monroeville resident Emilio Ortega III was driving under the influence of narcotics when he struck a husband and wife who were riding bicycles on Delsea Drive in Franklin Township on February 15th. The 57-year-old female victim died as a result of the collision.

Following the fatal crash, Ortega was reportedly found in possession of Xanax. He also tested positive for what was described as a “very high level” of narcotics. According to the Assistant Prosecutor, Ortega has a record that includes multiple convictions for DWI, as well as a drug charge. Specifically, Ortega has two DWI offenses and two DWI suspensions on his record in connection with four separate incidents in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Now, Ortega is facing charges for first-degree aggravated manslaughter, second-degree vehicular homicide, third-degree assault by auto, and third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS). He pleaded not guilty to all of the charges recently, and the plea offer on the table is 16 years in NJ State Prison. For the aggravated manslaughter charge alone, Ortega could be sentenced to a prison term between 10 and 30 years, 85% of which must be served before he becomes eligible for parole (N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4).

Obviously in this case, the defendant is facing a variety of extremely serious criminal charges. But this situation also raises an important issue about DWI in New Jersey. Although this incident technically represents Ortega’s third DWI offense, it may be charged as a first or second offense depending on the specific dates of the first two offenses. Under NJ DWI law, a person is eligible for a 10-year step down if their last DWI conviction occurred over 10 years prior to the current one. In other words, if your first DWI occurred in 2006 and your second occurred in 2017, you should be charged with another first offense DWI and thus, subject to less severe penalties than a second DWI offense.

The number of previous DWI convictions in any driving under the influence case is extremely significant because the penalties become more severe based on the number of prior DUI’s (if any). For instance, your third DWI conviction will result in a 10-year driver’s license suspension. On the other hand, a second DWI offense is punishable by a 2-year suspension and a first offense has a maximum license suspension of 1 year. If there is a possible 10-year step down issue in your DWI case, an experienced New Jersey DWI defense lawyer can argue to have the charge downgraded from a third to second or second to first.

Experienced Monroeville DWI Defense Lawyers

If you have been arrested for drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs, The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison is here to assist you. Our highly experienced DUI defense attorneys fight for clients charged with DWI in courts in Monroeville, Gloucester County, and throughout South Jersey on a regular basis. Our team includes a former NJ State Trooper who now serves as our private investigator. The head of our firm, Leonard Biddison, has earned several awards for his excellence in criminal and DWI defense. In other words, we are fully prepared to effectively combat your charges and if possible, get your case dismissed. For a free consultation with a Gloucester County DWI defense lawyer, contact our offices today at 856.427.6888 or online.

For additional information related to this case, access the following article: Motorist charged in death of bicyclist had prior DWIs


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