Police charged a New Jersey man who fell victim to a rip current at Seaside Heights with multiple offenses after he allegedly became violent with a lifeguard who tried to help him. Authorities said the New Jersey man was 'clearly under the influence" when the June 14 incident occurred.
Reportedly, the New Jersey man and a friend were swimming in a Jersey Shore surf when a rip current swept them out to sea. Two lifeguards rescued the pair, bringing the New Jersey man and his friend back to the shore, where two additional lifeguards rushed to help. That is when the New Jersey man became belligerent, allegedly punching one of the lifeguards in the jaw. Police charged the man with simple assault, underage drinking and disorderly conduct.
In New Jersey, someone who is convicted of simple assault may face up to six months in jail. A disorderly conduct conviction can carry serious consequences as well, such as fines, community service and even probation. Therefore, it is crucial for people accused of these crimes to retain a criminal defense attorney to help contest the charges.
The burden of proof falls on the prosecution in every criminal case. They must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction. It is important to remember that accused individuals do not need to prove their innocence but need only to raise doubt as to their guilt. The criminal defense attorney may employ several strategies to accomplish this.
If, however, the prosecution's case is built on evidence that appears substantial and unassailable, the defense attorney may advise taking a plea deal. If available, this option may result in reduced charges or mitigated penalties.
Source: NJ.com, "Drunk man punches lifeguards after being rescued in Seaside Heights, report says", Bobby Olivier, June 16, 2014