This took place in NJ. So I was in a minor fender bender car accident with a mid age woman. I was at fault being that I hit the rear bumper. I right away asked her if she was ok and she asked me to call her husband since she didnt have her phone. So I dialed the number and gave her my phone (Galaxy s10 XL). She just walked off with it When I asked for my phone back she said NO...had to wait 30 min for the cops to come so I can get it back? At one point she was holding it by the edge I attempted to grab my phone. Now she's claiming I assaulted her, and she has a bruise. I didn't touch her, none of this is on the initial police report, but I received a summons for assault charges. Im freaking out, could anyone make an assault claim just like that? What is going to happen, could I get fined, placed in jail etc?

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    You could go to court, where you would tell what happened - that you tried to retrieve your property from a person who wasn't willing to return it to you. You'd be well advised to take a lawyer.
    – gnasher729
    Jun 16, 2019 at 8:31
  • @gnasher729 you didn't help or answer the question. I'm going to court I just want to know worst case scenario and or what would probably happen.
    – Joseph Wit
    Jun 16, 2019 at 14:22
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    The worst thing that can happen is that you are run over by a truck and die just before you reach the court building. What would probably happen depends on whether you take a lawyer or not.
    – gnasher729
    Jun 16, 2019 at 19:02
  • I'd suggest filing a theft report for her refusal to give you back your phone. Jun 17, 2019 at 2:48
  • I agree with @AndrewLazarus that you need to file a report against her for theft. I'm unsure whether that report would change the assault charge, but it could certainly be argued that in addition to the theft she was denying you your own call to 911 if you want to start stacking the deck. Jun 18, 2019 at 1:17

1 Answer 1


What is going to happen, could I get fined, placed in jail etc?

Your summons should have explained the specific violation you're being charged with, and you could look up the relevant sections of the law.

Assault is defined in Chapter 12 of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice. There are several types, and again, your summons should explain which one you are being charged with. My guess is it will probably be "simple assault", paragraph (a) (right at the beginning). This is defined as a "disorderly persons offense".

Upon conviction, a disorderly persons offense is punishable in New Jersey by a term of up to 90 days in jail and probation, (section 2C:43-2 (b) (2)), and a fine of up to $1000 (section 2C:43-3 (c)).

This represents the maximum. I do not know what kind of sentence is actually likely. It could depend on common practice in the state, the prosecutor's opinion of the severity of the crime, and the judge's discretion.

A lawyer would be best qualified to help you find out how to contest the charge, or to receive a lesser sentence if convicted.

  • The charge is 2c :12-1a (1) what does this mean?
    – Joseph Wit
    Jun 16, 2019 at 17:43
  • @JosephWit: See my first link. Title 2C, Chapter 12, Section 1 of the Code covers assault. (a) covers simple assault, and paragraph 1 describes a particular form of simple assault: "Attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another". So that's what you're accused of doing. Jun 16, 2019 at 19:02
  • After a theft, surely attempting to recover your property is the Intent and not trying to cause injury for its own sake? Jun 18, 2019 at 1:19
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    @PatrickHughes: No comment. I'm just trying to help show what the law says, not to reach any conclusions about how it applies in this case. That would be for OP's lawyer to help them with. Jun 18, 2019 at 1:49

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