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By Michael Arbeit
Founding Attorney

Assault allegations in New York are serious matters. If you find yourself in this challenging situation, it’s essential to remember that you are not alone and that you have the power to fight back against these accusations. The key is to act quickly, assert your rights, and seek the guidance of a knowledgeable New York and Long Island criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate the complex legal landscape.

By understanding the specific elements of the assault charges against you, the available defenses, and the strategies that can be employed to challenge the prosecution’s case, you can regain a sense of control and clarity during this difficult time.

Specific Elements of Assault Charges in New York

To effectively defend against assault allegations in New York, it’s essential to understand the specific elements of the charges you face. The following are the most common types of assault charges that are brought in New York. The degree will depend on the severity of the victim’s injuries, the defendant’s mental state, whether weapons were used, and prior convictions. 

  • Assault in the Third Degree – This involves intentionally injuring another person or recklessly causing physical injury. It is the least serious assault charge.
  • Assault in the Second Degree – This involves intentionally causing serious physical injury to another person. It carries more severe penalties, including up to 7 years imprisonment.
  • Assault in the First Degree – The most severe assault charge involves intentionally causing serious physical injury with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or to a police officer or similar public servant. Penalties include up to 25 years in prison.
  • Reckless Assault of a Child – Engaging in reckless conduct that physically injures a child.
  • Vehicular Assault – Causing serious physical injury to another person while operating a vehicle recklessly.
  • Gang Assault – When a group acts together to cause serious physical injury to another person.
  • Sexual Assault – A general term describing several sex offenses like forcible touching, sexual abuse, criminal sexual acts, etc.
  • Assault on a Police Officer – Intentionally causing physical injury to a police officer or law enforcement personnel while they are performing official duties. 

Defending Against Assault Charges

Several defenses may be available to you when facing assault allegations in New York, depending on the unique circumstances of your case. Some common defenses include:

  • Self-defense – If you reasonably believed that you were in imminent danger and used proportionate force to protect yourself, you might have a valid self-defense claim.
  • Defense of others – Similar to self-defense, using force to protect another person from imminent harm may serve as a defense to assault charges.
  • Consent – If the alleged victim consented to the physical contact in question, such as in a contact sport or recreational activity, this may negate the assault charges.
  • Lack of intent – If you did not intend to cause physical injury or your actions were accidental, this may be used to challenge the prosecution’s case.
  • Insufficient evidence –  If the prosecution lacks sufficient evidence to prove each element of the assault charge beyond a reasonable doubt, your attorney may seek to have the charges reduced or dismissed.

In addition to asserting any applicable defenses, your criminal defense attorney may employ various strategies to challenge the prosecution’s case against you. These strategies may include:

  • Scrutinizing the evidence
  • Challenging the credibility of witnesses
  • Negotiating with prosecutors to seek a reduction in charges or a more lenient sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. 
  • Presenting mitigating factors

Contact Our Long Island & New York Criminal Defense Attorney Immediately 

Are you facing assault allegations? Do you need clarification about what comes next? Do not wait. Seek help from an experienced New York criminal defense attorney immediately. You deserve an aggressive and strategic defense. Let Michael A. Arbeit, P.C. help protect your rights and reputation by navigating the complexities of the New York legal system on your behalf. 

Contact our Freeport office today to confidentially discuss your case. We can outline the strategies and considerations that can make a difference in your situation. We have the experience and resources to fight for you.

Michael A. Arbeit, P.C. assists clients throughout Long Island, including Nassau County, Suffolk County, Garden City, Freeport, and New York, including Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, and The Bronx.

About the Author
Michael A. Arbeit, P.C. is devoted to all Criminal Defense and  Traffic related matters.  Michael practices primarily in the Criminal and County (Supreme) Courts in Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens County, Kings County, New York County and the Bronx County.  Michael is also licensed to practice law in the Federal Courts of the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) and the Southern District of New York (SDNY).