Bergen County Aggravated Assault Defense Attorneys

Criminal Lawyers for Clients Charged with Aggravated Assault in Hackensack, New Jersey

Aggravated Assault Lawyer Bergen County NJ
Aggravated Assault Charges

A conviction for aggravated assault can ruin your life. Not only might you be facing serious prison time, but you could also be left with a permanent criminal record that will make it difficult to obtain desirable employment in the future. Aggravated assault can be graded as a second or third degree felony depending on the nature of the force involved, the extent of the injuries to the alleged victim, and whether or not a weapon was used in the alleged assault. Notably, an offense that would usually be considered simple assault can be charged as aggravated assault if the victim meets certain qualifying criteria, such as a law enforcement officer or another officer of the court. If you’ve been charged with aggravated assault in Bergen County, New Jersey, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.

Travis J. Tormey is a skilled criminal defense attorney who has been representing clients throughout New Jersey for years. Mr. Tormey has extensive experience defending clients charged with criminal offenses such as aggravated assault, misdemeanor assault, resisting arrest, and terroristic threats. He and his team appear in Superior Courts and Municipal Courts throughout northern New Jersey on a daily basis, including courts in Hackensack, East Rutherford, Mahwah, Lodi, Bergenfield, Elmwood Park, and Lyndhurst. With offices conveniently located in Hackensack and Morristown, the attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm are available immediately to assist you. Call today at (201)-330-4979 for a free consultation.

Here is a review from one of our very satisfied clients who we represented on aggravated assault charges:

“Hired to defend me for aggravated assault”

5.0 stars, Posted by Joe

“Travis is a knowledgeable and trustworthy lawyer which I will retain his services again should there be any more legal problems.”

What to Know about Aggravated Assault Offenses in New Jersey


Aggravated Assault Charges: N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)

Aggravated assault charges in New Jersey are criminalized in the New Jersey criminal code under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b). As set forth by the statute, aggravated assault is an indictable criminal offense in New Jersey which must be handled at the Superior Court in the county in which the alleged offense was committed. Aggravated assault can be graded as a second degree, third degree, or fourth degree crime, depending on the circumstances of the alleged assault. These circumstances can include the nature of the force used, the nature of the injuries to the victim, whether or not a weapon was involved, and the status of the victim (for example, a law enforcement officer, a nurse, a fireman, etc.). N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b) provides in pertinent part:

A person is guilty of aggravated assault if he or she:

(1) Attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causes such injury purposely or knowingly or under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life recklessly causes such injury; or

(2) Attempts to cause or purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or

(3) Recklessly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or

(4) Knowingly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life points a firearm, as defined in section 2C:39-1f., at or in the direction of another, whether or not the actor believes it to be loaded; or

(5) Commits a simple assault as defined in subsection a. (1), (2) or (3) of this section upon:

(a) Any law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his duties

(b) Any paid or volunteer fireman acting in the performance of his duties

(c) Any person engaged in emergency first-aid or medical services acting in the performance of his duties

(d) Any school board member, school administrator, teacher, school bus driver or other employee

(e) Any employee of the Division of Youth and Family Services; or

(f) Any justice of the Supreme Court, judge of the Superior Court, judge of the Tax Court or municipal judge; or

(6) Causes bodily injury to another person while fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer in violation of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-2 or while operating a motor vehicle in violation of subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:20-10; or

(7) Attempts to cause significant bodily injury to another or causes significant bodily injury purposely or knowingly or, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life recklessly causes such significant bodily injury; or

(8) Causes bodily injury by knowingly or purposely starting a fire or causing an explosion in violation of N.J.S.2C:17-1; or

(9) Knowingly, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, points or displays a firearm, as defined in subsection f. of N.J.S.2C:39-1, at or in the direction of a law enforcement officer; or

(10) Knowingly points, displays or uses an imitation firearm, as defined in subsection f. of N.J.S.2C:39-1, at or in the direction of a law enforcement officer with the purpose to intimidate, threaten or attempt to put the officer in fear of bodily injury or for any unlawful purpose.

Domestic Violence Aggravated Assault – Warrant Complaint, Bail Review, Detention Hearing

If you have been arrested for aggravated assault in Bergen County NJ in a domestic violence scenario, these charges must be filed on a warrant complaint which means that, after processing, you will be taken to the Bergen County jail for housing until you see a Judge (within 24-48 hours). At that first hearing, the Judge will review your bail and release you unless the State moves for detention. If they move for detention, the State is asking the Judge to hold you while the case is going on because you are a danger to the community and/or a flight risk. You will then remain in Bergen County jail until the detention hearing which is usually held within 5 days.

Remember, any restraining order that is filed, is completely separate and apart from any criminal aggravated assault charges you are facing.

What is the Penalty for Aggravated Assault in New Jersey?

In all cases, aggravated assault is considered a felony crime, also known as an indictable offense in New Jersey. Regardless of the degree of the aggravated assault offense, you could be exposed to the following penalties: fines, state prison time, probation, and a permanent indictable (felony) charge on your record. The amount of jail time that your charges can lead to if convicted is largely determined by the specific degree of aggravated assault crime in your case. In particular, aggravated assault can be graded as a crime of the fourth, third, or second degree. Each of these entails distinct penalties.

Sentence for Second Degree Aggravated Assault in NJ

A second degree crime is the most serious form of aggravated assault under the law in New Jersey. For this level of offense, there is a potential term of imprisonment ranging from 5 to 10 years and a maximum fine of $150,000. Beyond that, the No Early Release Act (NERA) applies, which means that you will be required to serve 85% percent of your sentence at minimum before coming up for parole consideration. 

Third Degree Aggravated Assault NJ Penalty

Charges for aggravated assault may be in the third degree under a wide range of circumstances. In fact, this is the most frequently seen degree of felony assault in New Jersey. If convicted of a third degree crime for aggravated assault, you face prison time of 3 to 5 years in addition to a fine of up to $15,000. 

Jail Time and Fines for NJ Fourth Degree Aggravated Assault

A fourth degree aggravated assault charge is the lowest level of indictable offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b). Basically, this degree falls below 2nd and 3rd degree charges but is still a felony, as opposed to disorderly persons offense for simple assault. As such, incarceration for up to 18 months is a possibility, as is a fine up to $10,000. 

Lodi Aggravated Assault Lawyers Formulate a Comprehensive Defense

An experienced criminal defense attorney for aggravated assault in New Jersey can combat the state’s charges against you with any of the following defenses:

  • Self-defense
  • Defense of others
  • Mutual fighting
  • The injuries to the alleged victim were not severe
  • There was not a weapon involved
  • The alleged victim does not want to press charges

These defenses can sometimes lead to the downgrading of a second degree aggravated assault charge, with a maximum of 10 years in state prison, to a much lesser charge for simple assault, which is classified as a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor). With this type of downward departure, you could avoid prison entirely. Depending on whether your lawyer can get the charges reduced, which is possible with knowledge and experience, you may be able to get probation or another more favorable sentence. You may also be able to gain entrance into the Pre-Trial Intervention Program (PTI), which provides you with the opportunity to avoid punishment by complying with certain conditions. Having your case and your options reviewed by a skilled criminal lawyer is of paramount importance when you are seeking the best outcome in your case.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Bergen County Aggravated Assault Charges

FAQ: Is Aggravated Assault a Felony charge in New Jersey? Yes.

FAQ: Am I eligible for PTI on a Bergen County Aggravated Assault Charge? Potentially yes. If you have no prior criminal history, you are eligible for PTI. On a third or fourth degree aggravated assault charge, it is very likely you will be admitted into the PTI program. However, on a 2nd degree aggravated assault case, you are not permitted to apply to PTI unless you get permission from the State (the Bergen County Prosecutor’s office)

FAQ: Am I going to jail if convicted for aggravated assault? It depends. Some of the factors that will determine whether or not jail time is imposed include your prior criminal history (if any), the victim’s wishes, and the degree of the aggravated assault charge you are convicted of (2nd degree, 3rd degree, 4th degree). Only 2nd degree aggravated assault charges have a presumption of jail time even for first time offenders.

Call the Hackensack Offices of The Tormey Law Firm Today for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been charged with aggravated assault in New Jersey, contact the local Hackensack offices of The Tormey Law Firm anytime at (201)-330-4979 for a free consultation about your case. You can also use our online contact form to arrange an in-person meeting. Having defending clients in your situation in Paramus, Englewood, Fort Lee, Teaneck, Rutherford, Garfield, and surrounding areas for years, our attorneys have what it takes to protect your interests. We will be happy to evaluate your file and determine the best course of action for keeping your record clean and preserving your freedom.


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