How can a simple charge become upgraded?

Individuals who are facing charges of assault are facing very serious consequences if they are convicted. Of course, a simple assault charge is going to have far less serious consequences than an aggravated assault charge. It is important to note, however, that in some situations, a simple assault charge can be upgraded to an aggravated assault charge.

According to NJ 2C:12:1, simple assault is defined by a person who:

  • Attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or
  • Negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
  • Attempts by physical menace to put fear of imminent serious bodily injury

It is important to note that simple assault is typically a disorderly persons offense but if both parties engage mutually in the assault (such as a fight), the charge is only a petty disorderly persons offense. Some of the consequences of a simple assault charge include a fine of up to $1000 and up to 6 months in jail.

An aggravated assault charge requires an individual to purposely or knowingly cause injury to another individual with a deadly weapon. Of course, the act of intentionally using a deadly weapon to cause another individual harm is much more serious than a simple assault charge and therefore, has far more serious consequences. An aggravated assault conviction may result in imprisonment for 5 to 10 years with the additional clause of the No Early Release Act that requires individuals to serve at least 85 percent of his or her sentence.

If you have been charged with a violent crime, contact Rem Katcher Law Group today for strong legal representation.