Capital Region Legal News

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Charged With Assault and Battery in New York? Sentences Can Be Stiff

Assault and battery in New York are serious offenses. If you are charged with assault and battery, you face severe penalties - years in jail and steep fines. To make it worse, some assault charges carry the tag “convicted felon,” potentially ruining your future employment prospects. If you are facing assault and battery charges, you need a New York criminal defense lawyer to help you avoid these harsh penalties.

Assault Charges in New York

An assault occurs when one person injures another without legal justification. There are varying charges of assault in New York. These include:

  • 3rd degree assault
  • 2nd degree assault
  • 1st degree assault

Prosecutors determine which charges to apply in each case, guided by factors such as the seriousness of the injury, mental culpability of the defendant and whether dangerous weapons were used.

Third-Degree Assault

This is a misdemeanor charge. It occurs when assault leads to physical injury that isn’t serious enough to warrant a more serious charge. The prosecutor can charge you with third degree assault if he/she believes you:

  • Intended to injure someone else and did
  • Recklessly inflicted injury on someone
  • Negligently inflicted injury on another using a deadly weapon

This charge carries a maximum jail term of one year and fines of up to $1,000.

Second-Degree Assault

This charge is more serious. It is considered a Class D violent felony meaning, if convicted, it will appear in your criminal record for life.

The prosecutor will charge you with this if he/she believes you:

  • Intended to inflict serious injury on another and actually did so
  • Caused physical injury to another using a dangerous weapon/instrument
  • Recklessly caused serious physical injury to another using a dangerous weapon/instrument.

Notice the description of injury changed to serious physical injury, not just physical injury. New York law describes physical injury as inflicting substantial physical –not mental – pain while serious physical injury causes substantial risk of death, long-term disfigurement, ill health or loss of an organ. Beating a person for a long time will cause serious physical injury, whereas punching someone once can cause physical injury.

Second-degree assault carries a sentence of 3 – 7 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

First-Degree Assault

This is the most serious assault charge. A prosecutor will charge you with this if he/she believes you:

  • Intended to inflict physical injury and actually did so using a dangerous weapon/instrument
  • Intended to disable, disfigure or amputate another person permanently and actually caused such injury
  • Recklessly engaged in conduct that posed a grave risk of death to another, eventually causing serious harm
  • Caused serious physical injury in the course of committing a felony or while escaping after committing one.

This charge carries a sentence of 3-25 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Talk To A New York Criminal Defense Attorney

Assault laws can be complex. In some, the prosecution will have to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt, in others they won’t. In some intention on the part of the defendant is required to support a conviction, in others it isn’t. These legal hurdles may work in your favor as the defendant. You may think your charge is unbeatable but it actually is.

Some prosecutors may convince you to take a plea when they know they don’t have enough evidence to support a conviction. Doing so will expose you to severe penalties. Do not waive your right to fair trial before talking to a qualified New York assault attorney. The criminal defense attorneys at Ianniello Andersen, P.C. can help. Serving clients in the Albany, Clifton Park, Glens Falls, Saratoga Springs, Troy, and the entire Northeastern NY areas at (518) 350.7755.


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