Today I defended a client accused of Domestic Violence Simple Assault in the Newark Municipal Court. After attempting to resolve the case prior to trial, it became apparent that the complainant was not interested in any alternative dispositions. This did not disappoint either myself or my client. We were prepared for trial. The discovery provided us with a strong defense. It was clear to see that the alleged victim had motive to fabricate the charges. It was also evident that the complainant had certain underlying issues that impeded her ability to accurately perceive and remember events.
The trial lasted just over two hours and the judge found my client not guilty. The judge found that the alleged victim’s testimony was not believable, given the number of inconsistencies and discrepancies I was able to elicit during cross examination. There was doubt in the judge’s mind as to what really happened. For a conviction in a criminal case, the fact finder must find that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The key to this victory, like all trial wins, is preparation. Although the offense is called simple assault, there is nothing simple about preparing a defense when your client is facing criminal simple assault charges. If convicted, the defendant faced possible jail time, heavy fines, and a criminal record. Organization and preparation allows the questioning to flow and the trial judge appreciates this. It saves time and makes the facts, which are new to the judge, easier to follow.
It should be noted that not all NJ simple assault offenses result in a trial. Frequently, the best course of action is to attempt to resolve the case prior to trial. This can be a difficult proposition depending on the nature of the offense and the parties involved. An experienced simple assault attorney will take the necessary steps to put his/her client in the best possible bargaining position pre-trial if the facts call for it. No matter the facts of your particular simple assault offense, a seasoned criminal defense attorney understands how to steer a client clear of conviction.
But remember, there is no substitute for a not guilty verdict. Make sure you speak to an attorney before appearing in the municipal court for your simple assault charge.