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Why aggravated assault doesn't always mean prison in New Jersey


Unfortunately, domestic disputes can easily turn violent when tempers are running high and both parties are saying and doing things without thinking.

If the situation escalates to the point of violence and the police are called, individuals in New Jersey can face serious criminal charges such as aggravated assault.

In New Jersey, aggravated assault is a third-degree offense, which carries a possibility of prison time but depends heavily on the defendant’s criminal history. The “standard range” that accompanies a third-degree offense in New Jersey for individuals without a criminal record is probation.

However, for individuals who have prior convictions, the “aggravated range” for a third-degree crime is somewhere between three and five years in New Jersey state prison.

In New Jersey, individuals who have not been in trouble with the law before can benefit from a program that offers an option outside of the formal court process. The purpose of the program is to provide rehabilitative services early to deter criminal behavior in the future.

With New Jersey’s Pre-Trial Intervention program, defendants -- with the help of their attorneys -- attempt to show that the criminal behavior they engaged in was out of the ordinary for their character and that they will never engage in similar behavior again.

As part of the program, the defendant will likely be put on probation, which means that he or she has to stay out of trouble for a period of time, usually a year. If the probation is successful, the individual can move forward with having the conviction expunged from his or her record.

When an individual without a prior record is charged with aggravated assault, or another third-degree offense in the state of New Jersey, the Pre-Trial Intervention program is definitely an option to consider. Talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer for more information.

Source:, “Ray Rice arrest: N.J. defense lawyer says it's 'highly unlikely' the Ravens RB will serve prison time,” Dan Duggan, March 29, 2014

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