Understanding New York City Simple Assault Cases

Because they are misdemeanors, simple assault or assault in the third-degree cases are heard in the New York City criminal courts or the trial court. When you are brought into court, the circumstances can be overwhelming. This is why it is important to have a legal representative by your side.

For help understanding your New York City simple assault case, speak with one of our seasoned attorneys who could guide you through the criminal justice system. Our team is dedicated to protecting and defending your rights.

When Could Someone Face Simple Assault Charges in New York City?

When charged with simple assault in New York City, an individual should understand what led to these charges. In situations of assault in the third degree, there are three basic ways that an individual can get arrested and charged. The most common is the intention to cause harm which results in physical injury to an individual.

A person also may face charges of simple assault by recklessly causing physical injury to another person. This means that a person engaged in some sort of behavior where it is reasonable to assume that a physical injury may occur but ignored this risk. The final instance where these charges may occur is if a person had a criminally negligent mindset and an individual got hurt because of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument.

Typical simple assault charges have no weapon element to them, but if somebody is extremely negligent in the use of a weapon and a minor injury occurs as a result, this person may face charges. In general, assault requires some actual physical injury. Therefore, merely being frightened without physical or emotional injuries will not constitute assault.

Penalties for These Charges

Simple assault is a Class A misdemeanor, which means that the person could be facing up to a year in jail. In some cases of misdemeanor assault, a court may sentence a person to community service or anger management as well. There are various programs that a person can get into for counseling. In general, there can be leeway that judges give prosecutors and defense attorneys to negotiate ways to resolve the cases where each side is comfortable with the outcome.

Misdemeanor charges are still a criminal conviction in New York, which may be especially important to a person who does not have a record. Going from not having a criminal record to having one can cause a major disruption in a person’s life.

Are Simple Assault Cases Generally Bench or Jury Trials?

Because simple assault is a Class A misdemeanor, the defendant has a right to a jury trial if they want one. However, an accused individual can waive this right and proceed to a bench trial if they choose to.

For a Class B misdemeanor, there is no right to a jury trial in New York, so these cases may only proceed as a bench trial. Sometimes what happens is if the person is charged with a Class A misdemeanor assault in the third degree, prior to a trial starting, the prosecutor may drop the charge from assault in the third degree to attempted assault in the third degree, which is a Class B misdemeanor. This way the case can proceed as a bench trial rather than a jury trial.

Contact an Attorney for Help Understanding Simple Assault Charges in New York City

When it comes to understanding New York City simple assault cases, seeking the help of a knowledgeable defense attorney is crucial. An experienced lawyer could explain the case building process as well as prepare you for what may happen next in your individual situation. If you are facing allegations of attacking someone, call today.

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