Family gatherings, holiday parties and dinners, football tailgates, hockey games—all of these events are coming up on our calendars as the end of the year approaches. Watching sports usually goes hand in hand with having a few beers, or meeting at a bar, and holiday parties typically involve a variety of drinks and cocktails. At these events, there is a strong possibility that emotions will run high, alcohol will flow, and inhibitions will be lowered—all of which create a potentially explosive atmosphere that could lead to disagreements, anger and violence. Assault lawyers in Essex County report that these scenarios can lead to fights and potentially even criminal charges.
Aggravated assault complaints are serious charges in New Jersey and they can stem from even minor, or seemingly inconsequential, disagreements that get out of hand. Especially during a season where family members are gathering for several holidays and vacations — Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, etc., — and beloved sports teams are in the peak of their seasons, a misunderstanding can turn into a fight and once violence takes place, anything could happen.
What Constitutes Aggravated Assault?
Under New Jersey law, there are 11 acts that constitute aggravated assault:
- Any attempt to cause, or actual cause of, a serious bodily injury, with extreme indifference to the value of human life;
- An attempt to cause bodily injury with a deadly weapon;
- Recklessly causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon;
- Knowingly and recklessly pointing a gun at another person, without regard to whether the intended victim thinks the gun is loaded;
- Causing bodily injury while either fleeing a police officer or operating a motor vehicle while fleeing the law;
- Causing, or attempting to cause, significant bodily injury with extreme indifference to the value of human life;
- Causing bodily injury to emergency services personnel who are responding to a fire or explosion that was purposely started (even if the instigator did not mean for anyone to get hurt);
- Displaying or pointing a gun at a law enforcement official in circumstances that manifest extreme indifference to the value of human life;
- Displaying, pointing, or using an imitation gun at a law enforcement officer to threaten or intimidate;
- Using a laser sighting system (a system that is “integrated with or affixed to a firearm and emits a laser light beam that is used to assist in the sight alignment or aiming of the firearm”) against a law enforcement official who is acting within the scope of his duties; or
- Committing simple assault against persons who have been granted protection under state law due to their occupation, including police officers, paid or volunteer firemen, EMTs, school board administrators, Division of Child Protection and Permanency employees, judges, and bus drivers, care workers, utility workers, court authorities and others.
The penalties for aggravated assault are assessed based on the severity of the violence and the types of assault committed, and are classified as different levels of crimes, each of which has a different sentencing structure.
If you have been charged with aggravated assault, contact The Gorman Law Firm. Scott Gorman will personally discuss your case with you and explore all your legal options and potential defenses.
Published in Categories: Domestic Violence