TRENTON – The state Supreme Court has suspended the law license of a Perth Amboy attorney for six months after he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault.
Frank A. Tobias Jr., who was licensed as a lawyer in 1992, pleaded guilty on Jan. 6, 2020 to third-degree aggravated assault. Two months later he was sentenced by Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Andrea Carter-Latimer to three years’ probation and ordered him to submit to random drug and alcohol testing.
The state Supreme Court imposed the suspension "given the extreme nature of (Tobias') misconduct" and "to protect the public and preserve confidence in the bar."
Court papers say that on Dec. 13, 2018, Tobias became angry when his then fiancée confronted him at a Perth Amboy restaurant where he was drinking with friends.
Tobias and the woman then drove in separate vehicles to a parking lot near his office where he began to yell and curse at the woman, according to the court papers.
Tobias then grabbed her head and "smashed it against the (vehicle) door frame twice," the court papers say.
He then tried to go inside his office but when the woman screamed she was bleeding, he got inside his vehicle and fled, the court papers say.
The woman was taken to a hospital for treatment. Tobias told police he had been under the influence of alcohol, according to the court papers.
Tobias was indicted by a Middlesex County grand jury on the third-degree aggravated assault charge.
The state Office of Attorney Ethics recommended a six-month suspension.
Tobias argued for a three-month suspension, saying he had accepted responsibility for the incident and had an "exemplary record" as an attorney.
Tobias also submitted a letter from the victim who said she had lied to the police because she had gotten upset with him after she found him in the restaurant with another woman. She also said that he did not hurt her intentionally.
But the Supreme Court decided that the woman's statements "undercut" Tobias' guilty plea.
The justices also found that it was a serious offense.
"Society has taken a stricter view of domestic violence and has become more cognizant of the serious and impact that perpetrators have on their victims, and our culture as a whole," the justices wrote.
Mike Deak is a reporter for mycentraljersey.com. To get unlimited access to his articles on Somerset and Hunterdon counties, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
This article originally appeared on MyCentralJersey.com: NJ Supreme Court suspends Perth Amboy lawyer after aggravated assault