New York City First-Degree Assault Lawyer

Any criminal charge against you is a very serious matter. Assault charges range in degrees of severity, and can either amount to a misdemeanor or a felony.

The difference is determined by how the alleged victim was injured, the seriousness of the assault, who the alleged victim was (for example, police officers), and a myriad of other factors.
In New York City, if you are charged with assault, you should immediately contact an experienced New York City first-degree assault lawyer. An assertive and diligent criminal lawyer can prepare a solid defense for you.

What is First-Degree Assault?

A charge of first-degree assault in New York City is the most serious assault charge on the books—it is a class B felony in the state. An individual can be charged with first-degree assault if it is alleged that they have intentionally caused serious injury to a person with a deadly or very dangerous weapon.

Also, someone can be charged with first-degree assault if they recklessly commit acts that create a serious risk of death, and their actions cause serious physical harm to another person. A person that is convicted of assault in the first-degree can receive a sentence of up to 25 years in prison.

Fines can also be imposed on a felony conviction, not exceeding $5,000. Once on probation for a felony conviction, the probation period is five years.

Defenses to New York City Assault Charges

Elements of the Crime Charged

There are many defenses against a charge of assault in the first-degree. The burden of proving a case against the accused is exclusively on the state prosecutor. For the prosecutor to prevail in their case against the defendant, they must prove all elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

When defending someone, an experienced New York City first-degree assault lawyer will seek to present evidence that pokes holes in one or more of the elements of the charge. If any one element of a charge is not proven by the prosecutor, then the defendant must be found not guilty. It is the job of the attorney to cast reasonable doubt on their guilt, by focusing on each element of the crime charged.


Self-defense is another defense against first-degree assault. This defense is considered an affirmative defense, which means that even though someone did commit the crime, the circumstances were such that they were justified in doing so.

When an individual elects to argue self-defense, it is then their burden to prove that they believed physical force was required in order to adequately defend themselves from the violence of another person.

Talk to a New York City First Degree Assault Attorney

Stating the obvious, first-degree assault charges are extremely serious matters. The potential incarceration and fines are truly daunting. If you are in this situation, then it is critical that you engage a New York City first-degree assault lawyer.

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