New Jersey categorizes the (3) degrees of assault as the injuries sustained by the victim: simple assault, aggravated assault, and assault by auto. Assault is defined as putting someone in a position that is vulnerable to dangerous or offensive contact. Contrary to popular belief, assault does NOT require physical injury.
Common forms of evidence used by plaintiffs in pursuit of obtaining a restraining order are as follows;
- Plaintiff’s testimony
- Witness testimony
- Hospital or doctor records from treatment of injuries
- Picture(s) of Plaintiff’s injuries
- Pictures/Videos/Audio of the incident
- Text messages, emails, voicemails in which the Defendant admits to assaulting the Plaintiff and/or threatens to assault the Plaintiff and/or premeditates an attack on the plaintiff
Simple Assault is typically considered a disorderly persons offense. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a), the elements of simple assault in New Jersey are as follows;
- An attempt to cause or a successful cause of bodily injury to another person.
- A successful cause of bodily injury to another person with a deadly weapon.
- An attempt to put another person in a position subject to serious bodily injury.
Aggravated assault is considered a criminal offense in New Jersey, and therefore will translate onto the defendant’s record if convicted. Depending on the conduct, aggravated assault charges can range from fourth degree to second degree offenses. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b, the elements of aggravated assault in New Jersey are as follows;
- An attempt to cause or successful cause of serious bodily injury to another person in a reckless and negligent manner.
- A successful cause of bodily injury to another person with a deadly weapon in a reckless and negligent manner.
- Displaying an extreme indifference to human life and wellbeing.
- Assaulting an officer, firefighter, first-aid operator, or school bus driver while they are on duty.
Assault by Auto
Similar to aggravated assault charges, assault by auto can range from fourth degree to second degree charges. Fines range from $1,000 to $10,000 depending on the conduct of the assault. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1c, the elements of assault by auto in New Jersey are as follows;
- Reckless driving of a vehicle imposes bodily injury or serious bodily injury to another person.
- The driving of a vehicle while intoxicated.
- Unanticipated change of the speed of the vehicle; following another vehicle too closely; failing to yield; disregarding traffic signals and road signs; or making chaotic/improper traffic lane changes.
- Violation of R.S.39:4-50 or section 2 of P.L.1981, c.512 (C.39:4-50.4a) and serious bodily injury results.