It is a scary situation when a resident of Morristown, New Jersey, is a victim of assault with a deadly weapon. It is also scary — in a different sense — when a person is accused of perpetrating such a violent crime. It is important for people in this situation to get a basic understanding of the law of assault.
Simple assault with a deadly weapon is often charged as a lesser included offense to a more serious criminal charge. That means that all of the elements of simple assault with a deadly weapon can be found in other offenses. If the defendant is convicted of the more serious offense, it would theoretically have been possible for the prosecution to also charge the defendant with the lesser included offense only, and also get a conviction.
In order to convict a defendant of simple assault with a deadly weapon, the prosecution must prove three things. The prosecution must prove that the defendant caused bodily injury to another human being. The prosecution must prove that the bodily injury was inflicted through the use of a deadly weapon. And, the prosecution must prove that the defendant acted negligently in so doing.
Simple assault is a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey, meaning that it does not come with the harshest of possible penalties. Still, a conviction on an assault charge can look very bad on a person’s criminal record. It can make getting a job or a place to live that much harder, and neighbors and co-workers may gossip about it.
Criminal defendants have the right to a defense in court. This may expose holes in the prosecution’s story and just might have a positive outcome for the defendant.