New York Assault Lawyer

A person is charged with assault if they are arrested for causing injury to another person. However, there are different degrees of assault, which carry varying penalties and terms of incarceration. A strong New York Assault Lawyer who specializes in criminal defense will help you find the best path toward a positive outcome in your case.

Assault charges fall under one of two categories in New York: physical injury or serious physical injury.

Physical Injury:  This occurs when an individual knowingly attempts to or actually physically harms the alleged victim. Such assault charges are generally considered a misdemeanor unless the accusation includes a weapon or an attack on a government employee like a police officer, which can escalate charges to felony status. Such charges require immediate legal assistance as there are high penalties and fees as well as the potential for up to a year of incarceration should the accused be found guilty.

Serious Physical Injury:  This is most often charged as a felony and carries heavier penalties and longer periods of incarceration. The following factors are considered in determining whether a felony occurred:

  • Whether weapons were involved
  • If a group of people were involved in the alleged assault
  • If a car was involved
  • The intent of the accused at the time of the assault
  • Whether there were “serious physical injuries” Whether the victim remains injured at the time, how long the victim will remain injured, and whether said injuries are permanent lifelong injuries

Felony assault charges carry hefty penalties and fees and also carry a sentence of at least one year, if not more, incarcerated.

Degrees of Assault Charges in New York:

In New York, there are many degrees of assault charges, including:

Assault in the Third Degree:

A person is guilty of assault in the third degree when he intentionally or recklessly causes injury to another person, or if he is criminally negligent with a weapon. See: NY Penal Law § 120.00.

Generally, assault in the third degree is charged when there are only minor injuries, no weapons are involved, and the victim does not fall into a protected category. For example, street or bar fights generally result in third degree assault charges.

NY Penal Law §§ 60.01(3)(a)NY Penal Law §§ 60.01(3)(a) and 70.15(1) state that third degree assault is a Class A misdemeanor, meaning it is punishable by up to one year in jail. In New York, with proper defense, first time charges frequently do not result in jail time. However, pursuant to NY Penal Law §§ 60.01(3)(a)NY Penal Law §§ 60.01(3)(a) and 70.15(1), a conviction or plea to the charge of third degree assault can result in three years of probation. In addition, a fine of up to $1,000 may also be imposed. See: Penal Law §§ 60.01(2)(c), 60.01(3)(b), 60.01(3)(c), and 80.05. A court may also order that restitution be paid to the victim.

Second Degree Assault:

Assault may escalate to second degree assault charges where any one of three factors are involved.
First, where there are serious physical injuries that resulted from the assault and the assailant intended to cause serious injury to the victim.  The law defines “serious physical injuries” as “a physical injury which creates a substantial risk of death, or which causes death or serious protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health or protracted loss or impairment of any bodily organ.” (NY Penal Law 10.00(10)). While minor bumps and bruises do not rise to a serious physical injury a concussion or broken bones would.

A charge of second degree assault may also be imposed where a weapon is used. The law states where any “dangerous instrument” is used to cause physical injury. Dangerous instruments are defined as anything that could be used to cause serious physical injury to the victim. The use of any serious dangerous instrument is sufficient to bring about second degree assault charges, regardless of whether serious bodily injury actually occurred. NY Penal Law 10.00(13).

A third and final way a charge may be escalated to a second degree assault charge is where an Official, Elderly, or Minor Victim is involved in the assault. NY Penal Law § 120.05. New York law states that any act that prevents an official of the law from performing his lawful duty constitutes second degree assault. Officials include police, EMTs, firefighters, and even train operators. Also, any assault on a victim younger than eleven or older than 65 constitutes second degree assault in New York.

Assault in the First Degree Penal Law Section 120.10
Assault in the first degree requires that the Prosecutor prove that the assailant intended to cause serious physical injury to the victims. One of the distinguishing factors that differentiate misdemeanor and felony (first degree) assault is that the prosecutors must prove the assailant intended to cause and actually caused serious physical injury to the victim. The Prosecutors must prove intent to do so beyond a reasonable doubt. PL 120.10.

Orders of Protection for any Assault Charges:

A conviction or plea to an assault will almost always come with an order of protection against the victim. Even just an arrest will result in an order of rotection. This order places restrictions on the accused party’s right to interact with the victim and could ultimately lead to an order banning any future contact with the victim.

Any assault charge is a serious offense with serious financial and legal repercussions. The support and assistance of a dedicated attorney is needed to ensure you are adequately and fairly defended. As a former prosecutor and person who has handled many assault cases, Omar Almanzar-Paramio, Esq. will zealously advocate against your charges and provide you with the defense you need to deal with such serious charges.

Defenses to Assault:

Every assault case is different but all require careful examination many of issues including the truthfulness of the witness, the actual extent of injuries (if any) to the victim, whether the assailant started the fight or if it was self-defense (see Justification PL 35.15), the circumstances surrounding the assault, and whether the assailant was properly identified.

Contact Our New York Assault Lawyers Today

Any assault charge is a serious offense with serious financial and legal repercussions. The support and assistance of a dedicated attorney is needed to ensure you are adequately and fairly defended. As a former prosecutor and person who has handled many assault cases, Omar Almanzar-Paramio, Esq. will zealously advocate against your charges and provide you with the defense you need to deal with such serious charges.