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FAQs About Assault Charges


Does Someone Have To Actually Be Injured For A Simple Assault To Be Charged?

No. Under the statute it does say that, but most charges take a very nuanced view of the word “injury”. The injury doesn’t have to be requiring medical care. An injury can simply be a smack to the face, a shock – that’s considered injury. To just push somebody out of their way, that’s going to be considered an injury. When there is any kind of unconsented to and offensive touching, it could be considered simple assault.

What Is Assault On A Member Of A Protected Class?

That’s going to be called a hate crime or a bias crime. In New Jersey, a bias intimidation statute is going to come under 2C:16-1 and bias intimidation is the most common hate crime someone can be charged with in New Jersey.

Typically, there are four ways you could be charged with bias intimidation. Primarily, if you commit a crime with a person intimidating an individual or a group of individuals because of their race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, ethnicity or gender identity/expression, you could be convicted of bias intimidation. You can also be convicted if you commit a crime while knowing that doing so would cause an individual or group of individuals to be intimidated because of those factors. One example is sporting a swastika on the temple.

Likewise, if you commit a crime under circumstances that cause any target victim of that crime to be intimidated. In this case, you reasonably believe that the crime was done for purposes of intimidating him due to the fact that he falls into one of the protected classes, you could be convicted of a bias intimidation.

There is also the hate crime laws. A hate crime is any unlawful act done in a manner that evidences and sanctions to victimize an individual who is part of a protected class. You start with an unlawful act before you get to the bias intimidation. An unlawful act can be harassment under NJSA 2C:33-4, criminal mischief under NJSA 2C:17-3, aggravated assault under NJSA 2C:12-1(c) or any other crime in New Jersey. It’s the discrimination component which brings in some of the additional penalties.

What Should Someone Do When Dealing With The Police?

It is recommended that when you are dealing with the police, don’t do any more damage to yourself. Invoke your right to remain silent, do not consent to any searches, do not consent to anything. Tell the police you want a lawyer and get a lawyer as soon as possible. That’s the best way to protect yourselves.

Get answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Assault Charges or call the law office of Attorney James Abate for a free initial consultation at (908) 210-9755 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.

Get your questions answered – call me for your free, 20 min phone consultation (908) 210-9755

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