New York City Criminal Defense Attorney - Assault Cases
arrested in NYC?
Contact us (212) 619-3900
If you have been arrested for assault in any form, you are being charged with a
criminal offense in New York even if the arrests was by way of a desk appearance ticket.
Assault is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the seriousness of the injury, how the person was injured,
whether the victim is a special victim (such as a police officer) and
Assault, at its most basic and lowest criminal classification, is Assault
in the Third Degree, which is when a person intentionally or recklessly causes physical injury
to another person. Physical injury is defined in New York as any physical
impairment or substantial pain. Substantial pain is easily proved. If
the alleged victim merely can say that they are in pain, this may be enough
to prove that you injured them within the meaining of the law. Assault
in the Third Degree is a class A misdemeanor, in which you can receive
up to a one year New York City jail sentence.
Assault can also be charged as a felony.
Assault in the Second Degree is a class D felony. There are several reasons that you are charged with Assault in the Second
Degree instead of Third Degree. You can be charged with Assault in the
Second Degree when you intentionally cause serious physical injury to
another person, or if you intentionally cause physical injury with a deadly
weapon or dangerous instrument. You can also be charged with Second Degree
Assault if you recklessly cause serious physical injury to another person
with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. Serious physical injury
is defined as a physical impairment which causes a substantial risk of
death, disfigurement, or the loss or impairment of the function of any
bodily organ. While deadly weapons are specifically defined as including
firearms, switchblades, gravity knives, billy clubs, daggers, blackjacks,
metal knuckles, or a metal knuckle knife, a dangerous instrument can be
anything that can be used to cause serious physical injury. If you are
convicted of Second Degree Assault in New York, you could face up to 7
years in prison.
The most serious assault charge is Assault in the First Degree, which is a class B violent felony in New York. You will be charged with
First Degree Assault when you are alleged to have intentionally caused
serious physical injury to another with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument,
or if you reckless engage in conduct that creates a grave risk of death
and cause serious physical injury to another person. If convicted of First
Degree Assault in New York, you can be sentenced up to 25 years in prison.
NYC Assault Defense Lawyers
Defenses. There are several defenses that you may have to an assault charge. In
order to be convicted the prosecutor must prove every element of the crime
beyond a reasonable doubt. One way to defend this is to show evidence
negating one or more of those elements. For example, if you are charged
with Third Degree Assault the prosecutor would need to prove that you
intended to injure someone and that you actually injured someone. If you
can show that either of those elements are absent, you must be found not
guilty. For example, if the alleged victim wasn't injured, this may
be a defense. Since the burden is completely on the prosecutor, there
is no requirement that you show any evidence to accomplish this. You could
accomplish this through the cross examination of the prosecutor’s
witnesses to show there is reasonable doubt of your guilt.
Self Defense. Another way to defend assault cases is with an affirmative defense, such
as self-defense. An affirmative defense is an argument that while you
did commit the crime of assault, you were justified in doing so and therefore
should not be found guilty. In order to successfully argue self-defense,
you must show that you reasonably believed that physical force was necessary
to defend yourself from what you reasonably believed to be an unlawful
act of physical force by another. This means you actually had to believe
self-defense was necessary and that your belief was reasonable.
People v. Goetz, 68 N.Y.2d 96 (1986). If arguing an affirmative defense, you must show
evidence that would support your argument of self-defense. A New York
judge will only instruct a jury on self-defense if a reasonable view of
the evidence supports your argument.
People v. Smith, 62 A.D. 3d 411 (1st Dept., 2009). Self defense is highly circumstantial.
This means that the facts and circumstances that led you to fear for your
safety will be carefully scrutinized.
Contact us for a Evaluation evaluation to discuss your case.
Common New York Assault Charges
P.L. 120.00 (1) – Assault in the Third Degree
P.L. 120.00 (2) – Reckless Assault
P.L. 110/120.00 (1) – Attempted Assault in the Third Degree
P.L. 240.26 – Harassment (charged in many assault cases)
In conclusion, assault is a violent offenses in which you may be accused
of striking or causing some improper physical contact with another person.
They are often in the context of bar fights, domestic violence, fights
with neighbors, or confrontations with strangers on the sidewalk. The
degree of the injury is usually proportional to the severity of the facts.
Felony assault is generally charged where a weapon was used or serious
injury results. The penalties for assault offenses are serious. Misdemeanor
assault carries a one year maximum jail sentence. Additionally, an assault
conviction can lead to a criminal record, expose you to civil liability
in which the purported victim may try to sue you for his or her injuries,
and other complications. New York City Assault Defense Attorneys at Lance
Fletcher's office are known and respected for aggressively defending
clients on a case by case basis. They will explore any and all defenses,
such as self defense and justification.
Contact us at
(212) 619-3900 for a Evaluation and confidential case evaluation.