After you’ve been charged with assault or aggravated assault, a criminal defense attorney can protect your legal rights. At the office of a criminal lawyer in Paterson, the attorney at law can help you understand the differences between simple assault and aggravated assault. Since simple assault is prosecuted as a misdemeanor in New Jersey and aggravated assault is prosecuted as a felony, the potential legal penalties for a conviction of aggravated assault are much more severe. As your criminal defense attorney can explain to you, there are many different circumstances that may lead to the upgrading of charges to aggravated assault.

These include recklessly causing bodily harm with a deadly weapon, inflicting bodily harm while fleeing a police officer and operating a motor vehicle, and inflicting injuries by purposely starting a fire or explosion. Other factors that can lead to an aggravated assault charge include the following:

  • Pointing or displaying a firearm in the direction of the law enforcement officer
  • Attempting to cause harm with a deadly weapon
  • Committing a simple assault on a police officer, firefighter, school staff member, judge, or EMS personnel
  • Causing significant bodily harm while manifesting extreme indifference to human life