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Aggravated Assault for Pointing a Firearm at a Police Officer

Elizabeth Aggravated Assault for Pointing a Firearm Defense Lawyer

The City of Elizabeth is the most populated municipality in Union County so it makes sense that it would have the highest number of charges for aggravated assault for pointing a firearm at a police officer. Whether the weapon is loaded, unloaded, an imitation firearm or even a laser, pointing it at a police officer results in an aggravated assault offense. The Union County Criminal Defense Lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are skilled advocates that have been successfully defending individuals charged with pointing and other forms of aggravated assault or decades. If you were arrested for pointing a firearm in Elizabeth, Linden, Hillside, Rahway or Plainfield, an attorney on our staff, including one of our former prosecutors, is equipped to represent you at the Union County Superior Court. To speak to a lawyer on our defense team immediately, contact our Union Township Office at 908-272-1700 for a free consultation. 

Aggravated Assault for Brandishing, Pointing or Using a Firearm Against a Police Officer

It is a crime of the third degree to: (1) knowingly; (2) point, display, aim, waive, or use; (3)a firearm; (4) at or on a law enforcement officer; AND (5) it is done in a manner that illustrates an extreme indifference to the value of human life. Merely pointing or displaying a gun towards a police officer is grounds for conviction under N.J.S.A. 2C: 12-1(b)(9), third degree aggravated assault.  This aggravated assault carries a punishment of up to five years in prison.

Individuals charged with this crime need not intend to use the weapon, nor is it a defense that the firearm was not loaded.  Typically, New Jersey’s assault provisions are construed to protect individuals from feeling threatened or scared.  A number of the assault provisions criminalize behavior that merely presents the appearance or possibility of harm.  This victim centric approach is even more protective of police officers in the line of duty.  Persons that give law enforcement officers the impression that risk of harm exists can often be charged with, and later convicted of, aggravated assault.

Aggravated Assault for Pointing or Displaying an Imitation Firearm at a Police Officer

This subsection, unlike the preceding provision, requires that the individual intend to threaten or scare the officer when he points or displays the gun.  Accordingly, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant desires to intimidate or threaten the officer.  The court will determine whether this element is satisfied based on the circumstances surrounding the incident, and will consider any associated verbal threats or conversations, the individuals body language, and whether the gun was displayed to facilitate an escape or flight.

This statute merely requires that the individual display or point an imitation or fake firearm or gun.  The New Jersey Legislature defines an “imitation firearm” as an object or device reasonably capable of being mistaken as a firearm.  Accordingly, pellet guns, bb guns, airsoft guns, or even plastic toy guns in some cases pose sufficient potential for mistaken identity to qualify as “imitation firearms” under this provision.

Persons convicted under this section, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)(10), are guilty of a third degree crime with a possible punishment up to five years in prison and $15,000 in fines.

Using or Activating a Laser Sight Against A Police Officer

It is a third degree offense if convicted under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b)(11) for using a laser aiming device on a police officer.  A person violates this section if they: (1)use or activate (2)a laser sighting system or device (3) in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to believe that it is a device for aiming weapons.  Under this section, a “laser sighting system or device” is any system or device that is integrated with or affixed to a firearm and sends out a laser beam that assists in aligning or aiming the weapon.

Given the definition of a “laser sighting system or device” it is more difficult to meet the requirements of this section than it first appears.  The sighting system must be attached to a weapon to satisfy the statute.  A separate laser pointing device, one that is independant of any gun or firearm does not meet the statutory definition.  If, however, a person glances a laser sight towards officers when it is affixed to a firearm, the person commits third degree aggravated assault regardless of any intentions or desires they may have carried.

Hillside Aggravated Assault Defense Attorney

The Hillside Police and members of other departments in Union County take incidents of pointing extremely serious for obvious reasons. An aggravated assault for pointing or other weapon offense is clearly a matter which requires significant attention and skill. This is sound reason for you to contact an experienced attorney at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall. The eight criminal lawyers on our staff have the know-how required to help you with over a century in practice. We are prepared to defend your Kenilworth, Clark, Westfield, Cranford or Roselle pointing charge. To speak to a lawyer immediately, call us at 908-272-1700.