Defense Strategies for Assault Charges in New Jersey
There are two types of assault charges in New Jersey: simple assault and aggravated assault. In general, simple assault occurs when one person tries to cause harm to another person, threatens someone else or actually causes harm through recklessness. Aggravated assault, which tends to be more serious, involves physical harm or the use of a deadly weapon in an attempt to cause harm.
Depending on the circumstances involved in an assault case, you could have a wide variety of defense options available to you:
- Self-defense. This is likely the most common defense argument used in assault cases. To prove you were acting in self-defense, you must show there was a threat of unlawful harm or force against you, an honest perceived fear of that harm, that there was no provocation on your part and that there was no chance you would be able to escape the situation.
- Defense of other people. To prove you were acting in defense of others, you’ll typically have to demonstrate the same elements as you would in a self-defense claim. The main difference is that you were acting out of an honest perceived fear of the safety of another person. You must also have reasonable grounds for believing another person was in danger.
- Defense of property. This is a common strategy for people accused of assault in cases involving trespassing or theft. If your property was being stolen, invaded or illegally withheld in some way, you may be able to claim that your actions were in defense of your property.
- Consent. You could argue that the alleged victim gave consent to the act, and thus it cannot be considered assault. However, if you attempt to use this defense, you must be able to prove the extent of the act in which you engaged did not exceed the level of consent provided.
For strong legal representation when facing assault charges, meet with an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of David Jay Glassman. Call us at 215-563-7100 or contact us online.