What is the penalty for simple assault in New Jersey?

Full Question:

I was arrested for simple assault. I have no prior records and never been arrested before. It's the state vs. myself. Whats the worst penalty in New Jersey that I can receive?
03/20/2009   |   Category: Criminal ยป Assault   |   State: New Jersey   |   #15704

Answer:

The following are New Jersey statutes:

2C:12-1 Assault.

a. Simple assault. A person is guilty of assault if he:

(1) Attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes
bodily injury to another; or


(2) Negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon;
or


(3) Attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent
serious bodily injury.

Simple assault is a disorderly persons offense unless committed in a
fight or scuffle entered into by mutual consent, in which case it is a
petty disorderly persons offense.

b. Aggravated assault. A person is guilty of aggravated assault
if he:

(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 while in uniform or exhibiting evidence of his authority or
because of his status as a law enforcement officer; or


(b) Any paid or volunteer fireman acting in the performance of
his duties while in uniform or otherwise clearly identifiable as
being engaged in the performance of the duties of a fireman; or


(c) Any person engaged in emergency first-aid or medical services
acting in the performance of his duties while in uniform or otherwise
clearly identifiable as being engaged in the performance of emergency
first-aid or medical services; or


(d) Any school board member, school administrator, teacher, school bus
driver or other employee of a public or nonpublic school or school board
while clearly identifiable as being engaged in the performance of his
duties or because of his status as a member or employee of a public or
nonpublic school or school board or any school bus driver employed by an
operator under contract to a public or nonpublic school or school board
while clearly identifiable as being engaged in the performance of his
duties or because of his status as a school bus driver; or


(e) Any employee of the Division of Youth and Family Services while
clearly identifiable as being engaged in the performance of his duties or
because of his status as an employee of the division; or


(f) Any justice of the Supreme Court, judge of the Superior Court,
judge of the Tax Court or municipal judge while clearly identifiable as
being engaged in the performance of judicial duties or because of his
status as a member of the judiciary; or


(g) Any operator of a motorbus or the operator's supervisor or any
employee of a rail passenger service while clearly identifiable as being
engaged in the performance of his duties or because of his status as an
operator of a motorbus or as the operator's supervisor or as an employee
of a rail passenger service; or


(h) Any Department of Corrections employee, county corrections
officer, juvenile corrections officer, State juvenile facility employee,
juvenile detention staff member, juvenile detention officer, probation
officer or any sheriff, undersheriff, or sheriff's officer acting in the
performance of his duties while in uniform or exhibiting evidence of his
authority; or


(i) Any employee, including any person employed under contract, of a
utility company as defined in section 2 of P.L. 1971, c. 224 (C.
2A:42-86) or a cable television company subject to the provisions of the
"Cable Television Act," P.L. 1972, c. 186 (C. 48:5A-1 et seq.) while
clearly identifiable as being engaged in the performance of his duties in
regard to connecting, disconnecting or repairing or attempting to
connect, disconnect or repair any gas, electric or water utility, or
cable television or telecommunication service; 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. Notwithstanding any other provision of
law to the contrary, a person shall be strictly liable for a violation of
this subsection upon proof of a 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 which resulted in bodily injury to another person; 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 which results in
bodily injury to any emergency services personnel involved in fire
suppression activities, rendering emergency medical services resulting
from the fire or explosion or rescue operations, or rendering any
necessary assistance at the scene of the fire or explosion, including any
bodily injury sustained while responding to the scene of a reported fire
or explosion. For purposes of this subsection, "emergency services
personnel" shall include, but not be limited to, any paid or volunteer
fireman, any person engaged in emergency first-aid or medical services
and any law enforcement officer. Notwithstanding any other provision of
law to the contrary, a person shall be strictly liable for a violation of
this paragraph upon proof of a violation of N.J.S. 2C:17-1 which resulted
in bodily injury to any emergency services personnel; 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; or

(11) Uses or activates a laser sighting system or device, or a system
or device which, in the manner used, would cause a reasonable person to
believe that it is a laser sighting system or device, against a law
enforcement officer acting in the performance of his duties while in
uniform or exhibiting evidence of his authority. As used in this
paragraph, "laser sighting system or device" means any system or device
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.

Aggravated assault under subsections b. (1) and b. (6) is a crime of
the second degree; under subsections b. (2), b. (7), b. (9) and b. (10)
is a crime of the third degree; under subsections b. (3) and b. (4) is a
crime of the fourth degree; and under subsection b. (5) is a crime of the
third degree if the victim suffers bodily injury, otherwise it is a crime
of the fourth degree. Aggravated assault under subsection b.(8) is a
crime of the third degree if the victim suffers bodily injury; if the
victim suffers significant bodily injury or serious bodily injury it is a
crime of the second degree. Aggravated assault under subsection b.(11) is
a crime of the third degree.

c.
(1) A person is guilty of assault by auto or vessel when the person
drives a vehicle or vessel recklessly and causes either serious bodily
injury or bodily injury to another. Assault by auto or vessel is a crime
of the fourth degree if serious bodily injury results and is a disorderly
persons offense if bodily injury results.

(2) Assault by auto or vessel is a crime of the third degree if
the person drives the vehicle while in 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 and is a crime of the fourth degree if the person
drives the vehicle while in violation of R.S. 39:4-50 or section 2
of P.L. 1981, c. 512 (C. 39:4-50.4a) and bodily injury results.

(3) Assault by auto or vessel is a crime of the second degree if
serious bodily injury results from the defendant operating the auto or
vessel while in violation of R.S. 39:4-50 or section 2 of P.L. 1981, c.
512 (C. 39:4-50.4a) while:

(a)on any school property used for school purposes which is owned by or
leased to any elementary or secondary school or school board, or within
1,000 feet of such school property;


(b)driving through a school crossing as defined in R.S. 39:1-1 if
the municipality, by ordinance or resolution, has designated the
school crossing as such; or


(c)driving through a school crossing as defined in R.S. 39:1-1 knowing
that juveniles are present if the municipality has not designated the
school crossing as such by ordinance or resolution.


Assault by auto or vessel is a crime of the third degree if bodily
injury results from the defendant operating the auto or vessel in
violation of this paragraph.

A map or true copy of a map depicting the location and boundaries of
the area on or within 1,000 feet of any property used for school purposes
which is owned by or leased to any elementary or secondary school or
school board produced pursuant to section 1 of P.L. 1987, c. 101 (C.
2C:35-7) may be used in a prosecution under subparagraph (a) of
paragraph (3) of this section.

It shall be no defense to a prosecution for a violation of
subparagraph (a) or (b) of paragraph (3) of this subsection that the defendant was
unaware that the prohibited conduct took place while on or within 1,000
feet of any school property or while driving through a school crossing.
Nor shall it be a defense to a prosecution under subparagraph (a) or (b)
of paragraph (3) of this subsection that no juveniles were present on the
school property or crossing zone at the time of the offense or that the
school was not in session.

As used in this section, "vessel" means a means of conveyance for
travel on water and propelled otherwise than by muscular power.

d. A person who is employed by a facility as defined in section 2 of
P.L. 1977, c. 239 (C. 52:27G-2) who commits a simple assault as defined
in paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection a. of this section upon an
institutionalized elderly person as defined in section 2 of P.L. 1977,
c. 239 (C. 52:27G-2) is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

e. (Deleted by amendment, P.L. 2001, c. 443).

f. A person who commits a simple assault as defined in paragraph (1),
(2) or (3) of subsection a. of this section in the presence of a child
under 16 years of age at a school or community sponsored youth sports
event is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree. The defendant shall be
strictly liable upon proof that the offense occurred, in fact, in the
presence of a child under 16 years of age. It shall not be a defense that
the defendant did not know that the child was present or reasonably
believed that the child was 16 years of age or older. The provisions of
this subsection shall not be construed to create any liability on the
part of a participant in a youth sports event or to abrogate any immunity
or defense available to a participant in a youth sports event. As used in
this act, "school or community sponsored youth sports event" means a
competition, practice or instructional event involving one or more
interscholastic sports teams or youth sports teams organized pursuant to
a nonprofit or similar charter or which are member teams in a youth
league organized by or affiliated with a county or municipal recreation
department and shall not include collegiate, semi-professional or
professional sporting events.

2C:43-2 Sentence in accordance with code; authorized dispositions.

a. Except as otherwise provided by this code, all persons convicted of
an offense or offenses shall be sentenced in accordance with this
chapter.

b. Except as provided in subsection a. of this section and subject to
the applicable provisions of the code, the court may suspend the
imposition of sentence on a person who has been convicted of an offense,
or may sentence him as follows:

(1) To pay a fine or make restitution authorized by N.J.S. 2C:43-3
or P.L. 1997, c. 253 (C. 2C:43-3.4 et al.); or


(2) Except as provided in subsection g. of this section, to be placed
on probation and, in the case of a person convicted of a crime, to
imprisonment for a term fixed by the court not exceeding 364 days to be
served as a condition of probation, or in the case of a person convicted
of a disorderly persons offense, to imprisonment for a term fixed by the
court not exceeding 90 days to be served as a condition of probation; or


(3) To imprisonment for a term authorized by sections 2C:11-3,
2C:43-5, 2C:43-6, 2C:43-7, and 2C:43-8 or 2C:44-5; or


(4) To pay a fine, make restitution and probation, or fine, restitution
and imprisonment; or


(5) To release under supervision in the community or to require
the performance of community-related service; or


(6) To a halfway house or other residential facility in the community,
including agencies which are not operated by the Department of Human
Services; or


(7) To imprisonment at night or on weekends with liberty to work
or to participate in training or educational programs.

c. Instead of or in addition to any disposition made according to this
section, the court may postpone, suspend, or revoke for a period not to
exceed two years the driver's license, registration certificate, or both
of any person convicted of a crime, disorderly persons offense, or petty
disorderly persons offense in the course of which a motor vehicle was
used. In imposing this disposition and in deciding the duration of the
postponement, suspension, or revocation, the court shall consider the
severity of the crime or offense and the potential effect of the loss of
driving privileges on the person's ability to be rehabilitated. Any
postponement, suspension, or revocation shall be imposed consecutively
with any custodial sentence.

d. This chapter does not deprive the court of any authority conferred
by law to decree a forfeiture of property, suspend or cancel a license,
remove a person from office, or impose any other civil penalty. Such a
judgment or order may be included in the sentence.

e. The court shall state on the record the reasons for imposing the
sentence, including its findings pursuant to the criteria for withholding
or imposing imprisonment or fines under sections 2C:44-1 to 2C:44-3,
where imprisonment is imposed, consideration of the defendant's
eligibility for release under the law governing parole and the factual
basis supporting its findings of particular aggravating or mitigating
factors affecting sentence.

f. The court shall explain the parole laws as they apply to the
sentence and shall state:

(1) the approximate period of time in years and months the defendant
will serve in custody before parole eligibility;


(2) the jail credits or the amount of time the defendant has already
served;


(3) that the defendant may be entitled to good time and work credits;
and


(4) that the defendant may be eligible for participation in the
Intensive Supervision Program.

g. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (2) of
subsection b. of this section, a court imposing sentence on a defendant who
has been convicted of any offense enumerated in subsection a. of
section 2 of P.L. 1994, c. 130 (C. 2C:43-6.4) may not sentence the
defendant to be placed on probation.

offense.

2C:43-3 Fines and restitutions

A person who has been convicted
of an offense may be sentenced to pay a fine, to make restitution,
or both, such fine not to exceed:

a.
(1) $200,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the
first degree;


(2) $150,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the second
degree;


b.
(1) $15,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the third
degree;


(2) $10,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the fourth
degree;

c. $1,000.00, when the conviction is of a disorderly persons
offense;

d. $500.00, when the conviction is of a petty disorderly persons
offense;

e. Any higher amount equal to double the pecuniary gain to the
offender or loss to the victim caused by the conduct constituting
the offense by the offender. In such case the court shall make a
finding as to the amount of the gain or loss, and if the record
does not contain sufficient evidence to support such a finding the
court may conduct a hearing upon the issue. For purposes of this
section the term "gain" means the amount of money or the value of
property derived by the offender and "loss" means the amount of
value separated from the victim or the amount of any payment owed
to the victim and avoided or evaded and includes any reasonable
and necessary expense incurred by the owner in recovering or
replacing lost, stolen or damaged property, or recovering any
payment avoided or evaded, and, with respect to property of a
research facility, includes the cost of repeating an interrupted
or invalidated experiment or loss of profits. The term "victim"
shall mean a person who suffers a personal physical or
psychological injury or death or incurs loss of or injury to
personal or real property as a result of a crime committed against
that person, or in the case of a homicide, the nearest relative of
the victim. The terms "gain" and "loss" shall also mean, where
appropriate, the amount of any tax, fee, penalty and interest
avoided, evaded, or otherwise unpaid or improperly retained or
disposed of;

f. Any higher amount specifically authorized by another
section of this code or any other statute;

g. Up to twice the amounts authorized in subsection a., b., c.
or d. of this section, in the case of a second or subsequent
conviction of any tax offense defined in Title 54 of the Revised
Statutes or Title 54A of the New Jersey Statutes, as amended and
supplemented, or of any offense defined in chapter 20 or 21 of
this code;

h. In the case of violations of chapter 35, any higher amount
equal to three times the street value of the controlled dangerous
substance or controlled substance analog. The street value for
purposes of this section shall be determined pursuant to
subsection e. of N.J.S. 2C:44-2.

The restitution ordered paid to the victim shall not exceed the
victim's loss, except that in any case involving the failure to
pay any State tax, the amount of restitution to the State shall be
the full amount of the tax avoided or evaded, including full civil
penalties and interest as provided by law. In any case where the
victim of the offense is any department or division of State
government, the court shall order restitution to the victim. Any
restitution imposed on a person shall be in addition to any fine
which may be imposed pursuant to this section.

2C:43-8. Sentence of imprisonment for disorderly persons
offenses and petty disorderly persons offenses

A person who has been convicted of a disorderly persons offense
or a petty disorderly persons offense may be sentenced to
imprisonment for a definite term which shall be fixed by the court
and shall not exceed 6 months in the case of a disorderly persons
offense or 30 days in the case of a petty disorderly persons.

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