In the state of New York, there are many different types of assault charges. The three most common types of assault charges are:
- Assault in the First Degree
- Assault in the Second Degree
- Assault in the Third Degree
Assault in the First Degree
There are four different types of conduct that rise to the level of First Degree Assault.
When a person intentionally causes serious physical injury to another, using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument
When a person intentionally disfigures, destroys, amputates, or disables, seriously and permanently. a part of another person's body
When a person recklessly engages in conduct creating a grave risk of death to another and thus causes serious personal injury to another person and
When a person or their partner in crime causes serious physical injury to another during the commission of a felony, the attempted commission of a felony, or while fleeing from the commission or attempted commission of a felony
Assault in the First Degree is a Class B felony. It can be punished by 5 to 25 years in prison.
Assault in the Second Degree
In New York, Assault in the Second Degree is a crime that can be committed in many different ways. Some of the more common ways to commit Second Degree Assault include:
When a person intentionally causes serious personal injury to another
When a person intentionally causes physical injury to another by use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument
When a person causes physical injury to the following workers to prevent them from performing an essential service or lawful duty (These workers include peace officers, police officers, prosecutors, nurses, public health sanitarians, New York City sanitation workers, firefighters, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, personnel related to hospital emergency departments, and more)
When a person causes physical injury to an employee of local social services district involved in the investigation of or response to allegations of abuse or neglect of a child, vulnerable elderly person, or incompetent or physically disabled person in an attempt to prevent them from investigating or responding to the allegations.
When a person recklessly causes serious physical injury to another by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument
When a person causes physical injury to another during the commission or attempted commission of a felony, or during the immediate flight from the commission or attempted commission of a felony
When a person causes physical injury to a process server with the intent to prevent or obstruct the process server from performing their lawful duty, or in retaliation for their performance of their lawful duty.
Assault in the Second Degree is a Class D felony. The punishment can range from 2 to 7 years in prison.
Assault in the Third Degree
There are three ways to commit a Third Degree Assault in New York.
When a person intentionally causes physical injury to another person
When a person recklessly causes physical injury to another person
When a person causes physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument while criminally negligent.
Assault in the Third Degree is a Class A misdemeanor. Punishment for a Class A misdemeanor cannot exceed one year in jail.
Defenses to Assault Charges
There are several different ways to defend assault charges, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Self defense is considered a complete defense to an assault charge. There are certain situations recognized in the law in New York, wherein physical force is justified. For example, when a person reasonably believes physical force is necessary to defend themselves from the use of imminent and unlawful physical force by another, and the amount of force used is the amount of force necessary to defend oneself, this is a defense.
Reviewing the Facts and Elements of the Crime Charged
One way to challenge an assault charge can be by challenging the severity of the charge. For example, the one difference between felony assault and misdemeanor assault can be the extent of the injury. A careful review of all medical records can assist in determining whether the injury was a “serious bodily injury” meriting the felony assault charge, or simply a "physical injury", which meets the lesser standard found in a misdemeanor assault charge.
If You Have Been Charged with Assault
Every assault case is different. The facts of each individual case will dictate the type of defense that may be appropriate. Depending on the facts, as well as the individual charged with the assault, the best legal approach may vary.
If you have been charged with assault, contact the Law Office of Kenneth Puig. With over 20 years in the courtroom, Kenneth Puig has the knowledge and experience you need in your criminal case.