Bronx Assault Lawyer
The facts in assault cases are often far from clear to police officers responding to a call, and there are times when people acting purely in self-defense are arrested. A slight change in the findings in an assault case can have a tremendous impact on the severity of the crime and the corresponding penalties.
Assault has many different variants and levels of severity under New York Penal Law, but all crimes of this nature are treated as serious offenses with penalties that include substantial jail time and heavy fines. For that reason, it is important for anyone facing these charges to consult a knowledgeable Bronx assault lawyer from the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman as early as possible. A capable criminal defense attorney by your side may be able to collect and preserve evidence needed to build a strong defense, as well as help you avoid mistakes that could compromise your case.
Overview of Assault Crimes in the Bronx
New York Penal Law defines numerous assault offenses which vary in severity depending on the circumstances. As a general guideline, situations that involve the use of weapons or that result in serious injuries will be considered more serious crimes. An assault carried out against protected members of society such as children are also treated more severely. Some of the assault crimes defined in the statutes are:
- Assault in the third, second, or first degree (New York Penal Law §§120.00, 120.05, & 120.10)
- Reckless assault of a child (NY PL §120.02)
- Vehicular assault in the first or second degrees (NY PL §§120.03 & 120.04)
- Aggravated vehicular assault (NY PL §120.04-a)
- Gang assault in the second or first degrees (NY PL §§120.06 & 120.07)
- Assault on a first responder or judge (NY PL §§120.08 & 120.09)
- Aggravated assault on a police officer (NY PL §120.11)
- Aggravated assault on a child (NY PL §120.12)
With the exception of third-degree assault, all of these offenses are felonies.
Assault in the Third-Degree
New York Penal Law §120.00 describes three different situations that can be considered assault in the third degree. This offense occurs when an individual intentionally causes physical injury to another, recklessly causes such injury or negligently causes injury with the use of a deadly weapon.
Third-degree assault is treated as a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year of imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000. A Bronx attorney could attempt to mitigate the assault offenses that an individual may face.
What Constitutes Assault in the Second-Degree?
Second-degree assault is a more serious offense and is classified as a Class D felony punishable by up to seven years in prison. This crime can occur in multiple different scenarios which are described in New York Penal Law §120.05. Some of the most common situations that result in a charge of second-degree assault include intentionally causing serious physical injury to someone or intentionally causing a less serious injury with the use of a deadly weapon.
Because there are so many different situations that are considered assault in the second-degree, it can be important to understand how the statutory sections of New York Penal Law apply to the unique facts of a particular case. An experienced assault attorney in the Bronx could explain these distinctions in greater detail.
What is the Importance of Intent in Assault Cases
One aspect that the different versions of assault statutes have in common is that the intent of the individual causing the injury is of critical importance. It makes a significant difference whether serious harm was intended or if the person involved was acting negligently or recklessly. The element of intent is generally proven based on the evidence presented in court, so it is often essential to make sure that all potential evidence is collected and preserved.
How Does the Presence of a Weapon Impact an Assault Case?
An assault is any incident involving unwanted physical contact between two people that results in an injury. Because of their violent nature, the severity of these charges can quickly escalate if a suspect allegedly uses a weapon to cause harm. Assault with a deadly weapon is a felony that carries a mandatory prison sentence after conviction. A Bronx lawyer could prepare a defense for an accused individual if a weapon was involved in an assault case.
Using Self-Defense as a Defense Strategy in a Bronx Assault Case
As a general rule, people have the right to defend themselves if they fear they are in danger. However, self-defense may only be a viable defense strategy if the defendant’s actions were considered appropriate for the situation. This means that self-defense may only be an effective defense if this person did not use excessive force when trying to protect themselves from harm. For example, if two people engage in a shoving match, one party trying to push the other away to make an escape is appropriate. However, pulling out a knife is not. A lawyer in the Bronx could determine if a self-defense argument is appropriate for a specific assault case.
Contact a Bronx Assault Attorney for Help
Assault is a violent crime, and the stigma of even having these charges on your record can impact facets of your life for years to come. When you work with a Bronx assault lawyer who knows how to build the best defensive strategy for the facts of your case, you increase your chances of having your charges dismissed, decreased, or removed from your record entirely. Call now to find out how our team could fight for the best possible outcome in your case.