NYC Assault Lawyer Cody Warner Explains Assault Charges

If you are facing assault charges, NYC Assault Lawyer Cody Warner can help you understand the charges and possible penalties you face. Although NYC prosecutors are aggressive, retaining Cody helps ensure your case is strategically handled so that you are protected and get the best possible outcome. 

Assault Charges Under New York Law

Assault is the crime of causing injury to another person, either intentionally or with reckless disregard for their safety. Like many other crimes, assault charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies depending on the circumstances of the incident. Additionally, certain aggravating factors can lead to more significant penalties. An NYC assault lawyer can help you understand your charges and possible penalties. 

Assault in the Third Degree 

Sometimes referred to as “simple assault,” Assault in the Third Degree (P.L 120.00) is a Class A misdemeanor and the least serious assault charge you can face in New York. If convicted, you could face a sentence of up to one year in jail and a fine of $1,000. 

Assault in the Third Degree  includes the following: 

  1. Intentionally causing physical harm to another person; or
  2. Recklessly causing physical harm to another person; or
  3. Causing physical harm to another person by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument with criminal negligence.

You can be charged with Assault in the Third Degree Third-Degree for causing an accidental injury if the prosecution believes you were acting recklessly or with criminal negligence. The prosecution does not have to prove that you intended to cause injury. 

Assault in the Third Degree should be taken seriously. A conviction will go on your permanent record. Assault in the city is aggressively prosecuted, but an NYC assault lawyer like Cody can ensure that you strategically handle your case. 

Assault in the Second Degree

Assault in the Second Degree (P.L. 120.05) is a Class D felony, and if convicted you could face a sentence of up to seven years in prison or more if you have been convicted of a felony within the last ten years. 

Assault in the Second Degree can be charged in a wide variety of circumstances. Prosecutors most often pursue Assault in the Second Degree in the following situations:

  1. They believe that you intentionally caused serious physical harm that resulted in impairment or substantial risk of death; or
  2. They believe that you intentionally caused physical injury with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. 

Generally, to be convicted of Assault in the Second Degree, the prosecution must prove either that you intended to cause physical injury with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument and did so or that you intended to cause serious physical injury and did so.

A wide variety of other conduct can be charged as Assault in the Second Degree, such as causing physical injury to a city or other public official while having the intent to prevent them from doing their job. New York’s assault laws can be complicated, but Cody is an NYC assault attorney who can explain your charges and map out a strategy for moving forward.

Assault in the First Degree

Assault in the First Degree (P.L. 120.10) is the most serious assault charge in New York. It is a Class B felony, and if convicted, you could face up to 25 years in prison or more if you have been convicted of a felony within the last ten years. If you have been charged with Assault in the First Degree, you should contact an NYC assault lawyer as soon as possible. 

P.L. 120.10 defines First-Degree Assault as follows: 

  1. Intentionally causing serious physical injury with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument that results in impairment or substantial risk of death;
  2. Intentionally disfiguring another person or causing them to become permanently disabled; 
  3. Causing serious physical injury to another person that results in grave risk of death through reckless action that shows a depraved indifference to human life; 
  4. Causing serious physical injury to another person while in the commission of another felony. 

In many cases, the factual distinction between Assault in the First Degree and Assault in the Second Degree can be slight, but the difference in the penalties is significant. Some cases turn on whether the accused had the requisite level of intent and whether the victim suffered serious physical injury. Other cases may depend upon whether the accused was actually using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. To get a fair result, you need an NYC assault lawyer who understands how the law will apply to your case and can determine the best course of action. 

Other NYC Assault Charges

New York has other types of assault charges in addition to Assault in the First, Second, and Third Degree. Typically, these are charges that apply to very specific situations, such as:

  • Gang assault – An assault involving two or more people in addition to the accused. Gang assault can be a first or second-degree charge, both are felonies. 
  • Vehicular assault – This is an assault where the person charged is accused of using a motor vehicle to cause injury to another. Vehicular assault can include driving while under the influence. Vehicular assault can be charged as a first or second-degree offense or an aggravated offense, all of which are felonies. 
  • Assaulting city employees – Assault on judges, police officers, or other emergency responders are felonies in NYC. 

Regardless of the severity of the assault charges you are facing, the prosecution must prove all of the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced NYC assault lawyer like Cody can evaluate the evidence and identify the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. 

Defenses NYC Assault Lawyer Cody Can Raise on Your Behalf

A strategic defense is critical to successfully defending an assault charge. You need a defense that is carefully tailored to the facts and circumstances of your case that refutes whatever evidence the prosecution may have on record. Some of the defenses that may be available in your case include the following: 

  • Alibi – If you were not at the incident location during the incident and therefore could not have committed the crime, then you may have a successful alibi defense. 
  • Self-defense – If your actions were necessary to protect yourself or others from physical injury, you may be able to successfully argue that you acted in self-defense.  
  • Lack of intent – Depending on the offense you have been charged with, an NYC assault lawyer may be able to successfully argue that you lacked the specific intent required to commit the crime. 
  • Insufficient injury – If the prosecution cannot prove that the injuries sustained by the alleged victim rise to the level required by the specific charge, then the evidence is insufficient to support a conviction.
  • No Injury From Weapon – If you are charged with an assault offense that involves the use of a weapon, then the prosecution must prove that you in fact used a weapon to cause the physical injury. If the prosecution cannot prove you had a weapon that caused injury, then you have a strong defense to that charge.

You may have other defenses available to you, particularly if your constitutional rights were violated. Your NYC assault attorney will comprehensively evaluate your and work with you to develop the strongest possible defense. 

Contact NYC Assault Lawyer Cody Warner if You Have Been Charged with Assault

Whether you have been charged with felony or misdemeanor assault, NYC Assault Lawyer Cody Warner can evaluate your case to determine the best strategy for moving forward. If you have been charged with assault, contact Cody to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.