Understanding New York City Assault Charges

There are various degrees of assault, but at the bare minimum, this violent attack occurs when one person physically contacts somebody else, resulting in some substantial pain. While this definition is a bit vague, it has essentially been interpreted by the courts as any bruising, scraping, or lacerations. This means that even minor physical injury inflicted on one person by another could result in a low-level assault charge.

Charges of this nature can have serious consequences. Even though assault in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor, it is considered a violent felony charge. Many people are nervous about getting criminal records that makes it look like they are a violent person. Anytime a person is applying for a job, an employer may do a background check and see that they have been convicted of assault. This carries a certain stigma, and it presents a person in a certain way that they feel is not how they view themselves. Many times, it comes down to the way that society perceives this particular type of crime.

As a result, it is immensely important to contact an aggressive assault defense attorney if you facing accusations of physically attacking another person. For help understanding your New York City assault charges, speak with a lawyer who is familiar with these cases.

What is the Difference Between Battery and Assault in New York City?

The main difference between assault and battery is one is a crime, and the other involves civil torts law. Assault is a crime and is in the penal law. Battery, on the other hand, is not and instead is a part of civil tort law.

A person cannot be arrested for battery, but the injured party may sue the alleged offender. Alternatively, someone can get arrested for assault. To further understand the difference between assault and battery charges in New York City, a person should reach out to an attorney.

The Role of Physical Contact

Assault requires some sort of injury to be inflicted on another person. If there is no physical contact, the person has to have suffered injuries in some other way. Just because a person does not physically strike somebody else, does not mean that no physical contact happened.

If a person throws something at another individual, that object becomes the implement of assault. Therefore, a person can be assaulted by the use of an instrument without another individual making physical contact with them. However, it is important to understand that there is no way to charge an actual assault in New York City if a person does not may some sort of physical contact with the alleged victim.

Examples of Assault Cases

The vast majority of assault cases in New York are in the third-degree, which is defined as one individual intentionally causing physical injury to another. It is the lowest level of assault, and the threshold for establishing physical injury is relatively low. Third-degree assault is seen in family disputes resulting in some sort of physical altercation.

There is almost an infinite number of possibilities in which somebody can experience assault charges. Some of the most common ones include domestic violence incidents, which resulted in a physical altercation or a situation such as a bar fight where both parties get arrested for punching each other.

Prosecuting a New York City Assault Case

Reasonable apprehension of immediate harm in the case of assault is the intent to cause physical injury that results in harm or substantial pain to another. To prove an assault case, the prosecutor must show that the defendant intentionally caused physical injury to the complainant. What that means is it was either an individual intentionally caused or, depending on the charge, recklessly caused physical injury to another. Each assault charge has different elements. The most common one in an assault in the third degree is a charge where one individual intentionally caused a physical injury to another.

A person also may face charges of assault in the third degree when an individual recklessly causes injury to another. This situation sometimes occurs when a person does not necessarily want to harm somebody, but their reckless actions put another person at risk.

In general, depending on what the specific charges are, the prosecution is required to prove cases differently. However, for the most common cases of an assault in the third degree, the prosecutor is required to prove physical injury and either that the defendant intended to cause it or that the defendant recklessly caused it.

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

If you are facing allegations of assault, it is important to have a complete understanding of what you are up against. The consequences of an assault conviction may not only send you to jail but also could impact your life for years to come. For help understanding New York City assault charges, contact our firm today.

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