Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
A person is guilty of theft by extortion if he purposely and unlawfully obtains property of another by extortion. A person extorts if he purposely threatens to: a. Inflict bodily injury on or physically confine or restrain anyone or commit any other criminal offense; b. Accuse anyone of an offense or cause charges of an offense to be instituted against any person; c. Expose or publicize any secret or any asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to impair his credit or business repute; d. Take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action; e. Bring about or continue a strike, boycott or other collective action, if the property is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act; f. Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another's legal claim or defense; or g. Inflict any other harm which would not substantially benefit the actor but which is calculated to materially harm another person. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution based on paragraphs b, c, d or f that the property obtained was honestly claimed as restitution or indemnification for harm done in the circumstances or as lawful compensation for property or services.
The law concerning simple assault in NJ is contained at N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1 and provides:
a. Simple Assault. A person is guilty of assault if he:
(1) Attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or
(2) negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
(3) Attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
Simple Assault is a disorderly persons offense unless committed in a flight or scuffle entered into by mutual consent, in which case it is a petty disorderly persons offense.
The offense of simple assault is somewhat unique insofar as it can arise under multiple scenarios in terms of purpose or intent; that is, the charge is not limited to situations where an individual had the purpose and intent to assault someone. In this regard, a person may be found guilty under the simple assault statute if he acted either purposefully, knowingly, recklessly or negligently. The law also imposes criminal liability for "attempted" conduct which is somewhat unusual under our Criminal Code. The offense of attempted simple assault is provided for under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(a) and may arise when an individual attempts to cause bodily injury to another or where an individual puts an individual in fear of imminent serious bodily injury by engaging in
The simple assault law make repeated reference to the term "bodily injury". Bodily injury is defined as physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition. In other words, bodily injury contemplates some physical contact with another individual's body, whether it be actual or attempted. The term "serious bodily injury" takes the situation further in terms of the describing the extent of physical contact. Serious bodily injury refers to an injury which involves a substantial risk of death or causes serious, permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of a body function.
Generally, simply assault is a disorderly conduct offense, with jail sentences ranging from 0-6 months, fines ranging from $0-$1000 and probation as ordered by the court. Of course, it is possible to get a lower sentence, too, especially if this is a first offense.
Here, I bolded and underlined the important section of the statute. Here, you threatened harm -however, this seems like a weaker charge. You didn't "physically" threaten him with harm, you did so through a text message. Furthermore, the harm wouldn't be "imminent", you would actually have to drive over and do harm.
These are just a couple of possibilities, provided for general reference. Remember that it is also possible that nothing comes of this-either the person doesn't go to the police, or the State/District Attorney's office refuses to bring formal charges, etc. My suggestion is that if you are arrested and/or charged, you immediately seek the advice of a local criminal defense attorney regarding this matter. Typically, attorneys with 1-5 years experience offer lower fees, as well.
Good luck to you. If you have any additional questions, please press the reply button, and I will be happy to assist you further.
I hope you found my answer helpful. Please click on the GREEN ACCEPT for my answer. This is necessary for me to be paid for my work and so that I can get credit for assisting you, as I am not paid by the Just Answer wesbite. A BONUS TIP is also appreciated. Your question will not close, and you will still have the opportunity to follow-up if needed. Leaving a bonus and positive feedback is not required, but doing so is certainly appreciated!
DISCLAIMER (I really don’t like this but it is necessary): This response is limited by the information that you have provided to this lawyer. Based on the information you have provided, I have responded based on my knowledge and interpretation of existing laws. It is possible that if the same question was asked to another lawyer, the response could be different. This response is for “Legal Informational” purposes only and should not be confused with “Legal Advice” and nothing in this response should be construed as legal advice for any individual case. Under no circumstances does this response directly or indirectly, establish or intend to establish an Attorney-Client relationship. This response is not and shall not be construed as a solicitation for the legal services of any attorney. If you have already retained a lawyer in connection with this inquiry and this fact is unknown to this lawyer, this response should not be construed as impending and/or interfering with your attorney-client relationship with such attorney.
This information is limited in scope and is confined to the question asked and should not be relied upon to provide a comprehensive picture of any particular situation and you are strongly encouraged to seek counsel for further course of action, if applicable. In other words, this response is not intended nor shall it be construed as providing you with all the information that your legal questions/issues may require. If you do require legal advice and retention/hiring of an attorney, I encourage you to consult an attorney who is actively engaged in the practice of law in the area of law relevant to your legal questions/issues and who is admitted to the bar or lawyer licensing agency in your jurisdiction(s) or the jurisdiction(s) that has jurisdiction over your legal questions/issues. This attorney is not responsible for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage related to your use of this response, whether from errors or omissions in the content of the response or any other sites that I may provide to you for reference.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).