Juvenile Aggravated Assault Charges

New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer

If your child has been charged with aggravated assault and was under the age of 18 at the time of the offense, the juvenile defense attorneys at The Law Offices of John F. Marshall can help. Our criminal defense law firm is comprised of former New Jersey prosecutors and veteran criminal defense attorneys with over 60 years of combined experience who specialize in juvenile defense. We are prepared to defend your son or daughter throughout all stages of their aggravated assault charge including the delinquency adjudication and resulting manner of disposition. We represent juveniles and their families throughout New Jersey, including Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Ocean County, Union, Essex County, Hudson County, and Mercer County.

New Jersey Aggravated Assault Law

First, it is important to understand that the NJ aggravated assault statute applies identically to juvenile delinquents and adult offenders. If an offender is charged with aggravated assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1, the offense most likely involved serious bodily injury to another or an attempt to cause such, or some kind of weapon, and or assault of a law enforcement officer or public official. An aggravated assault offense can involve one or all of the factors listed above and the facts surrounding each aggravated assault complaint often differ drastically. As with other criminal offenses under New Jersey’s Criminal Code, the penalties for aggravated assault depend on the seriousness of the offense or Degree of Offense.

New Jersey Aggravated Assault as Applied to Juveniles

When a juvenile is charged with delinquency the court holds a hearing to determine if delinquency exists. If a juvenile is found delinquent, meaning they would be found guilty of the crime if they were an adult, then the court may make a custodial or non-custodial disposition. The court makes this decision by weighing a long list of mitigating and aggravating factors such as age and past offenses and deciding an appropriate disposition based on one of the many punishments specified in N.J.S. 2A:4A-43, 2A:4A-44 and 2A:4A-48. Such punishments can often be less severe for first time juvenile offenders than sentences that attach to adult offenders and can include community service, probation, parental supervision, or admittance into a juvenile detention center or “boot camp”, etc. Higher degrees of aggravated assault inherently bring harsher penalties and higher maximum terms of incarceration but there is not a mandatory minimum period of incarceration imposed on juvenile offenders. 2A:4A-44(d)(1). The maximum terms for juveniles charged with aggravated assault are as follows:

(1) Crime of the second degree 3 years
(2) Crime of the third degree 2 years
(3) Crime of the fourth degree 1 year

These dispositions are designed to further the juvenile court’s general emphasis on rehabilitation more than punishment. However, in some instances a juvenile charged with delinquency for aggravated assault may be held in detention pending disposition of the case if (1) the court believes that the physical safety of persons or property of the community would be seriously threatened if the juvenile were not detained and (2) the juvenile is charged with an offense that, if committed by an adult, would constitute a crime of the first, second, third or fourth degree aggravated assault S 2A:4A-34(c)(2).

For a serious offense such as juvenile aggravated assault, which brings with it the possibility of incarceration, it is important to get experienced lawyers of your family’s side to ensure that your child receives the best possible outcome. Our lawyers, including a former New Jersey prosecutor, have years of experience in handling a wide array of juvenile delinquency charges, including aggravated assault. If you are in need of a criminal defense lawyer to represent your minor child on an aggravated assault charge, please do not hesitate to contact The Law Offices of John F. Marshall. Our law firm is accessible throughout NJ including Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Union County, Somerset County, Ocean County, Essex County, Ocean County, Mercer County, Hudson County, and Morris County. Initial consultations with our New Jersey defense attorneys are free of charge.