Westchester County Assault on an Officer Lawyer
Allegations involving assault are some of the simplest to understand in New York Penal Law. Any time an individual causes harm to another by intention or simply as a result of reckless behavior, they commit an assault. Normally, assaults are minor offenses that rarely result in jail time.
However, the law considers assaults on police officers, firemen, and other employees of the State to be much more serious. When these assaults result in serious harm, associated criminal charges can be classified as felonies. Because of this, it could be essential if you are facing charges of assaulting a police officer to obtain legal representation who could passionately and effectively fight for you.
A Westchester County assault on an officer lawyer may be able to provide this representation. A skilled criminal attorney on your side could work to investigate every portion of the alleged incident, including whether the officer was performing their official duties at the time, and fight to meet your goals through diligent work and a thorough understanding of the law.
The Basic Definition of an Assault
According to New York Penal Law §120.00, an assault is any intentional act that causes physical harm to another person. However, the strict legal definition also defines reckless actions that result in physical injury as assault, as well as acts of gross negligence that cause harm through the use of a dangerous item.
Any alleged assault on an officer must meet this definition of assault. It is the responsibility of the prosecutor to demonstrate that the defendant intended for their actions to cause physical harm to the officer, or that they were reckless to the point that an injury did occur.
However, to prove legally that the assault occurred against an officer, the prosecution must prove some additional elements. This is where assistance from a Westchester County assault on an officer lawyer could be key for defendants looking to avoid a felony conviction for a higher grade of assault.
Proving the Assault Was Committed Against an Officer
While commonly known as assault against a police officer, the relevant section—NYPL §120.08—encompasses many more alleged victims. Individuals covered by this section include:
- Police officers
- Peace officers
- Emergency medical services professionals
An individual categorized as an “officer” under this section of New York Penal Law must be engaged in their official duties for the assault to be considered as assault on an officer. In addition, the prosecutor must prove the defendant assaulted the officer with the intent of preventing that officer from doing their job—another aspect a Westchester County assault on an officer lawyer could be particularly helpful with contesting.
Finally, the assault must result in a serious injury. This is different from simple assault, for which any harm whatsoever can satisfy the statutory definition. According to NYPL §10.00(10), a serious physical injury is one that creates a substantial risk of death, or one that causes a serious physical disfigurement or loss of function of a body part or organ.
In sum, a prosecutor must prove that the defendant assaulted an officer with the intent of preventing that officer from doing their job, while the officer was actually doing their job, and with a serious injury resulting. If a prosecutor can prove all these elements, the conviction is a class C violent felony punishable by a maximum penalty of 15 years may apply and a mandatory minimum prison sentence of three and a half years.
Could I Be Responsible for Restitution Following a Conviction?
On top of the standard penalties that come with a criminal conviction, restitution could also be required for assault charges. This means that a defendant must pay the alleged victim for various losses following the incident, such as their medical bills. Restitution is generally capped, although that cap can be raised by the court when medical expenses are significant. The failure to make these restitution payments could lead to additional criminal charges.
Does a Conviction for Assaulting an Officer Require Post-Release Supervision?
Assault on a police officer is always treated as a felony under state law. For that reason, a conviction could result in more consequences than just jail time, fines, or restitution. A person convicted of this offense can expect to face post-release supervision at the end of their period of incarceration. The period of post-release supervision will last between 1.5 and 5 years.
There are several conditions that come with post-release supervision. During this period, any violation of these conditions could result in a return to prison. Some common conditions may require a convicted person to:
- Refrain from associating with convicted felons
- Adhere to a curfew
- Obtain employment
- Abstain from using controlled substances
What Collateral Consequences Follow a Conviction for Assault on an Officer?
In addition to the penalties written into the statute, there are other consequences that can occur following an assault on an officer conviction. As with all felony convictions, a conviction for assault on an officer could cost the defendant their right to vote or own firearms. Additionally, a conviction could also make it difficult for a person to obtain a job or housing in Westchester County, given that employers and landlords often discriminate based on criminal history. As such, it is crucial to work with a skilled local attorney to contest charges for assaulting an officer.
Speak with a Westchester County Assault on an Officer Attorney Today
Assaults are a class of criminal activity that can lead to minor penalties or some of the most severe under New York Penal Law. A conviction for assaulting an officer—whether they are a police officer, fireman, or paramedic—could result in a mandatory prison sentence and would label the defendant as a felon.
As a result, it is essential when facing these charges to understand the law and fully comprehend the charges you are facing. A Westchester County assault on an officer lawyer could work with you to attack every aspect of the prosecutor’s case from the idea of stopping the officer from doing their job, to whether the officer was on duty, to whether the assault caused a serious injury.
Take a step towards protecting your future. Contact a Westchester County assault on an officer attorney today.