What is the difference between simple assault and aggravated assault?

NJ Criminal Defense FAQ  |  See also:  NJ DWI FAQ

Q) What is the difference between simple assault and aggravated assault?

A) Assault occurs when a person causes, or attempts to cause, bodily injury to another.  An assault charge can be classified as either simple assault or aggravated assault, depending on the manner in which the injury was caused and the seriousness of the injury.  Simple assault, being the least severe, is a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) in New Jersey.  Aggravated assault is committed when a person causes, or attempts to cause, a serious bodily injury or, with the use of a deadly weapon, a non-serious bodily injury results.  The New Jersey legislature defines a “serious bodily injury” as a bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.  Aggravated assault can be a crime (felony) of many degrees, depending on the circumstances of each case.

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