If you've been charged with assault, you're undoubtedly concerned about the criminal case, possible outcomes, potential trial, possible conviction and future livelihood. In the days ahead, it’s absolutely critical that you consult with a criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate the complex legal system and create a strong defense strategy on your behalf.
Whether the charge brought against you is due to a misunderstanding, exaggeration or you were simply protecting yourself from the original aggressor,attorney Michael Redenburg will make certain these facts are brought to light and you are afforded a fair and just trial. If you are convicted of misdemeanor or felony assault, your attorney will advocate for a sentence congruent with the nature of the offense as well as any rehabilitative resources you may need.
Assault Charges in New York
In New York, assault charges are broken down into third, second and first degree assault. Third degree assault is a Class A Misdemeanor and is delineated in New York penal law section 120.00. A person can be charged with assault in the third degree if another accuses them of causing physical injury, either recklessly or with criminal negligence. Second degree assault requires serious physical injury caused to another person or intent to cause physical injury to another with a weapon. Interesting to note however, is that a weapon is defined as what one would normally think of a weapon to be, such as a knife or a baton. However, if one person throws the sharp end of a pen at another person and the person is injured, the pen can also be considered a weapon. Second degree assault is governed by New York penal law section 120.05 and is a Class D Felony. Depending on past criminal history, a person convicted of a Class D Violent Felony can be facing up to seven (7) years in prison, if convicted.
Assault in the first degree is a Class B Felony and is governed by NY penal law section 120.10. To prove the elements of this crime, the prosecutor has to prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Section (1) of this crime requires that an individual cause injury to another person with a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon and that he intended to cause serious physical injury. Gang assault is another assault charge and does not require that the person charged with this crime actually be a gang member. Gang assault can be charged when there is a group of two or more people present and another person is caused serious physical injury.
A criminal charge of assault can even cause one to be suspended from their job or fired altogether based simply on an accusation. When one person calls the police alleging that another person struck them, when the police arrive on the scene, if the person making the complaint seems credible to the officers an arrest will almost certainly be made. If you have a job where you deal with the public, such as a school bus driver for example, you will likely be suspended while the case is proceeding. The reason is that your employer doesn't want to expose themselves to liability. For instance, if a member of the public alleges that you assaulted them while working as a school bus driver and your employer knows of your pending case for assault, your employer could potentially be exposed to greater liability. The rationale is that your employer will have been "on notice" of your likelihood to commit assault given the pending criminal case of assault against you.
Defenses to Assault
The law recognizes several defenses to the crime of assault and battery, the most well-known being self-defense. As you discuss the facts of your case with your attorney, it is vital to include all facts of the incident which may have given rise to your need to defend yourself. Your attorney may argue on your behalf that the alleged victim was the actual aggressor and you were lawfully protecting yourself from bodily injury.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today
The crime of assault can carry potential felony convictions and lengthy jail sentences. If you are in need of a thorough and zealous legal advocate to handle your case, contact Michael Redenburg, Esq. for a free consultation at (212)240-9465