West Caldwell NJ Simple Assault Charge Dismissed
West Caldwell NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers
My client was arrested following a purported domestic violence incident (involving her husband) at her home in West Caldwell. Interestingly enough, it was her husband’s mother – who lives in Verona and was not present for the alleged incident – who called 9-1-1.
Upon arrival to the scene, officers encountered my client and her husband, who were both clearly upset. My client explained to officers that her husband had pushed her during the course of a heated argument, in response to which she slapped him. Her husband had a red mark. She had no sign of injury. So, police chose to arrest my client, in part because she admitted to having slapped him. She was charged with Simple Assault, a disorderly persons offense.
NOTE: While my client was clearly acting in self-defense, this is an instance where she did not help the situation by making what officers deemed an “admission.” Always remember that you can and should invoke your 5th Amendment right to remain silent. Officers WILL use what you say against you.
Due to the nature of the charge, my client was facing a maximum of 6 months in the county jail and a $1,000 fine.
When we appeared in court, I was able to demonstrate to the Municipal Prosecutor that this was nothing more than a heated marital disagreement that did not necessitate police involvement. (This argument was likely the precursor to a divorce proceeding and it appeared that my client’s husband, at least initially, wanted to attempt to use the criminal court to his advantage.)
The Municipal Prosecutor agreed to hold the charge open for a period of 30 days to ensure that there were no further incidents and, when there weren’t, he dismissed the case.
Although the case was trying at times, it was ultimately a good outcome for my client.