Bronx Simple Assault Lawyer
Simple or third-degree assault is the least severe of the potential charges under state law. While you should take any criminal charges seriously, the possible penalties for simple assault are generally less harsh than those for other charges under the statute. Nonetheless, you should still work with a Bronx simple assault lawyer who can help you fight the charges.
Creating a strong defense from the outset of your criminal case can be instrumental in reaching a favorable outcome. Legal counsel could evaluate the evidence supporting the charges and determine what defenses apply to your case. A knowledgeable assault defense attorney could help you work toward a more positive outcome in your case.
Simple Assault Offenses in the Bronx
New York Penal Law § 120.00 establishes the offense of simple or third-degree assault. A person commits this offense when they take any of the following actions:
- Intentionally causes physical injury to others
- Recklessly causes bodily injury to others
- Uses a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon to inflict physical harm to others with criminal negligence
New York Penal Law § 10.00(9) defines physical injury as an “impairment of physical condition or substantial pain.” The definition of simple assault requires a bodily injury for this offense to occur.
Furthermore, a dangerous instrument is any object that someone could use to cause severe injury or death, including a vehicle. Deadly weapons include various types of traditional weapons including loaded firearms, knives, and more.
Distinguishing when conduct is intentional, reckless, or criminally negligent can be challenging. Intentional acts are those that a person commits on purpose. Reckless behavior involves being aware of and consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm to others.
Furthermore, criminal negligence, as referred to the Law section concerning simple assault, occurs when someone fails to recognize their actions almost certainly will result in injury to others. A simple assault lawyer in the Bronx could help determine the level of intent present in specific actions and whether simple assault charges are warranted.
What are the Consequences of a Simple Assault Conviction?
Simple assault is a Class A misdemeanor crime under state law. A conviction can result in a maximum one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Instead of a jail sentence, individuals can receive a sentence of probation of up to three years.
Although simple assault is a misdemeanor offense, collateral consequences still can flow from a misdemeanor conviction. Having a criminal record may be detrimental to the ability to find employment and pursue some careers. Any record may make someone ineligible for specific professional licenses and occupations.
As most people see an assault conviction as a violent crime, a person may encounter difficulties finding rental housing and obtaining credit. Avoiding or reducing the possibility of these consequences is important. As a result, contacting a simple assault attorney in the Bronx for advice may be wise.
Can Assault Charges Be Reduced?
Ultimately, the prosecutor in a simple assault case has a great deal of leeway in negotiating plea bargains or even dismissing criminal charges completely. In some cases, the prosecutor will agree to reduce a charge from aggravated or simple assault in exchange for a plea of guilty. In other cases, the state might be willing to reduce a simple assault charge to some sort of non-violent offense. A reduction in charges could result in fewer collateral consequences with the conviction or even a lower penalty during sentencing.
Self-Defense in Simple Assault Cases
Self-defense is one of the most common defenses to a charge of simple assault. A person that is facing the immediate threat of physical injury could use physical force against the person threatening them. This is true not only when a person defends themselves, but also when they defend someone else facing the threat of harm.
However, there are some important exceptions to this defense. Someone that provokes a fight is not eligible for self-defense claims. Additionally, a person that initiates a fight cannot then claim self-defense against unless the other party continues fighting after the initial attacker stops fighting. An attorney in the Bronx could help someone build a claim of self-defense in a simple assault case.
A Bronx Simple Assault Attorney Could Help
Various defense strategies may be available in a simple assault case. You could explore all possible options with the assistance of a Bronx simple assault lawyer. With a skilled legal advocate at your side, you may be able to fight back against the charges that you are facing. Call today to get started.