Assault is a serious offense. Charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies, resulting in a prison sentence and a permanent criminal record as a violent offender. If you are facing assault charges, Michael A. Arbeit, P.C. can help protect your rights and your future.
Our firm is a leading criminal defense practice representing clients throughout Long Island and New York City. When you meet with us, we will help you understand the charges and your legal options. Although prosecutors aggressively pursue convictions for violent crimes, we will work strategically to achieve the best possible outcome. Contact our office today to consult with an experienced assault defense attorney.
Assault Charges Under New York Penal Law
Assault involves intentionally or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person. Generally, three degrees of assault are distinguished by the extent of physical harm inflicted on the victim. Aggravating factors can lead to more serious penalties.
Assault in the Third Degree
Assault in the Third Degree, also referred to as “simple assault,” involves:
- Intentionally causing physical injury to another person
- Recklessly causing physical injury to another person
- Negligently causing physical harm to another person with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument
Third-degree assault is the least severe assault charge and is typically used when the injury resulted from a fistfight or another altercation involving a deadly weapon. Assault in the Third Degree is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail, probation, and a maximum fine of $1,000.
Assault in the Second Degree
Assault in the Second Degree is a more serious criminal charge involving:
- Intentionally causing serious physical injury to another person that resulted in impairment or substantial risk of death
- Intentionally causing physical injury with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument (e.g. firearm, knife, pipe, brick, rock)
Notably, this charge may apply when you intended to cause a serious physical injury but only caused a minor injury. Also, intentionally causing physical injury to a public official (e.g. police officer, firefighter, EMT), child, or elderly person can result in a second-degree assault charge. Assault in the Second Degree is a Class D felony, punishable by up to 7 years in prison.
Assault in the First Degree
Assault in the First Degree is the most serious assault charge and involves:
- Intentionally causing serious physical injury with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument resulting in impairment or substantial risk of death
- Intentionally disfiguring another person or causing them to become permanently disabled
- Recklessly, with depraved indifference to human life, causing serious physical injury to another person that results in a risk of death
- Causing serious physical injury to another person during the commission of another felony
First-degree assault is a Class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison or more if you have had a prior felony conviction within the last 10 years.
The factual distinction between first- and second-degree assault can mean the difference between imprisonment and fines. Did you have the requisite level of intent? Did you actually use a deadly weapon? How extensive were the victim’s injuries? It takes an experienced Long Island assault lawyer to identify the facts, understand how the law applies to your case, and choose the best line of defense.
Other Assault Charges
New York law includes other types of assault charges in addition to first-, second-, and third-degree assault, such as:
- Reckless assault of a child
- Vehicular assault
- Gang assault (involving two or more people other than the accused)
- Assault on a judge
- Aggravated assault on a police officer or peace officer
- Aggravated assault on a minor less than 11 years old
- Reckless endangerment
- Promoting a suicide attempt
- Luring a child
The charges range from Class A misdemeanors to Class B felonies and apply to specific situations. Regardless of the assault charges facing you, our experienced criminal defense attorney will provide you with aggressive representation and protect your rights.
Defenses Against Assault Our Firm Can Raise
You can depend on us to tailor a defense strategy to the facts and circumstances of your case. Potential defenses against assault include:
- Alibi – You were not at the scene when the alleged assault occurred.
- Self-defense – You acted in self-defense if your actions were necessary to protect yourself or others from physical harm.
- Lack of intent – Depending on the assault charge, we may be able to successfully argue that you lacked the requisite intent to commit assault.
- Insufficient injury – The injuries sustained by the alleged victim do not rise to the level required by the specific charge to support a conviction.
We will explore other available defenses and determine whether your constitutional rights were violated. Suppose law enforcement failed to Mirandize you before interrogating you. In that case, we can ask the court to suppress any statements you made to the police. Above all, we will work in your best interests and guide you through the process.
Contact Our Experienced Long Island Assault Defense Attorney
Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony assault charges, you need the powerful representation our firm provides. Contact us today to discuss your case in confidence.
Michael A. Arbeit, P.C. defends people who are facing assault charges throughout Nassau County, Suffolk County, and New York City, including Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, and The Bronx.