New York City Assault Lawyer
Facing criminal charges can be overwhelmingly stressful, and may be one of the most difficult times in your life. New York law allows prosecutors to aggressively go after even misdemeanor criminal charges. This means that even a seemingly small charge can lead to serious legal consequences if you are convicted.
Even a first-time or misdemeanor assault charge could lead to time in jail upon conviction. With so much at stake, it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately following your arrest. Assault charges often are the result of a two-sided issue.
In fact, it is not unheard of for charges to be brought against someone who was merely trying to defend themselves. A New York City assault lawyer will carefully examine the details of your case and explore all possible defenses.
What are the Penalties for Assault Charges in New York City?
State law defines multiple degrees of assault, ranging from least to most serious. The severity of the charges determines the penalties someone faces if convicted. A New York City lawyer can help mitigate the penalties an individual may face during an assault case.
Assault in the third-degree is defined as intentionally causing injury to another person, or causing harm through criminal negligence with a weapon. Assault in the third degree is a misdemeanor and punishable by up to one year in jail and fines up to $1,000.
Assault in the second-degree is defined as intentionally causing serious physical injuries, which creates a substantial risk of death, or causes death or serious impairment of physical health. Assault in the second-degree is a Class D felony and punishable by up to seven years in prison.
Assault in the first-degree is defined as intentionally causing serious physical injuries with a deadly weapon, or intentionally causing permanent disfigurement, amputation, or disability and may result in 25 years in prison.
Aggravating Factors in Assault Cases
While some of these charges are misdemeanors, this offense can become a felony if aggravating factors are present in the case. For example, the presence of a deadly weapon at the scene of the crime raises the charge to a first-degree felony under New York Penal Law §120.10.
However, even if a defendant is able to create reasonable doubt that there was a weapon at the scene of the incident, they may still face a conviction for a lesser assault charge. For instance, a jury may not believe that an injury was the result of an attack with a baseball bat but still find that a defendant attacked the other party. This may result in a conviction for second- or third-degree assault.
How Can the Identity of the Alleged Victim Impact a Case in New York City?
The identity of the intended target also may increase the severity of the charges a person is facing. An assault committed against a party performing a lawful duty, such as a police officer or firefighter, may lead to a second-degree felony.
Second-degree assault charges also may happen in situations where a defendant allegedly caused harm to individuals below a certain age. If a defendant is over the age of 18 and recklessly causes injury to a child under eleven, these enhanced charges apply. Additionally, anyone who assaults someone under the age of seven may face second-degree assault charges. An attorney could provide more information about the various levels of assault in New York City.
Criminal Defense in Assault Cases
In assault cases, prosecutors must prove the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the highest legal standard in the American judicial system.
To prove an assault occurred, a prosecutor must show the defendant acted intentionally. That is, that the defendant actually wanted to hurt the accuser, and was trying to cause physical harm to them.
A common defense to assault charges is that the defendant did not actually intend to harm the plaintiff. For example, an accuser may claim that another assaulted them by punching them in the face while on the subway train.
However, if the defendant did not intend to strike the plaintiff, or struck without the intent to cause them physical injury, they could claim lack of intent as a defense. To claim such a defense, anyone accused of assault should call an experienced New York City assault defense attorney.
Get Legal Help from a New York City Assault Attorney Today
If you are facing assault, battery, or related charges in New York City, call a criminal defense lawyer today. Even misdemeanor charges can lead to serious legal penalties upon conviction, such as jail time and high fines. It is important to call a New York City assault lawyer right away after your arrest. Your attorney will fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed when possible. Do not hesitate to call an attorney. Reach out now to discuss your case in more detail.