Criminal assault is one of the most serious crimes that an individual can be accused of. Assault, whether it be simple assault, physical assault, aggravated assault, or sexual assault, will tarnish your record, prevent you from getting certain jobs, and will result in the future limitations of your rights as a United States citizen.
If you or a loved one was arrested in New York for any type of assault or violent crime, then contact the Sullivan & Galleshaw law firm immediately. We work hard to make sure our clients receive favorable outcomes in their cases. Our defense attorneys work tirelessly for every single client, and represent him or her to the fullest extent that the law offers, no matter the criminal charge or underlying crime in the case.
Assault Charges in New York
Assault has many definitions. The most common definition of assault is to make a physical attack on another human being. New York criminal law prohibits the varying forms of assault that are outlined in the New York Penal code.
The basic requirement for any assault conviction is that the defendant caused some sort of physical injury to the victim. In order to determine whether an assault charge has the qualifying requirement of a physical injury, there are certain factors that the legislature, the judiciary, and prosecutors point out as “assault identifiers.”
These factors include the seriousness of the injury, whether there was the use of a deadly weapon, and the mental culpability of the defendant while in the act of the alleged assault. Mental culpability is extremely important, and is considered the “mens rea” element of the crime. Each criminal conviction requires a “mens rea,” which is the intention or knowledge of wrongdoing while the action or illegal conduct of the accused is occurring. Therefore, where intent to cause serious physical injury is an element of the underlying criminal offense, the prosecution must prove that this intent existed.
New York – Assault Penalties and Sentences
In regards to the varying types of criminal assault (simple assault, aggravated assault, physical assault, sexual assault), each criminal charge has differing underlying elements. Each type of assault also comes with varying criminal sentences and penalties, depending on the seriousness of the crime.
For example, a person commits aggravated assault when he or she causes physical injury by means of a deadly weapon or physical instrument. A common type of aggravated assault is bashing a victim over the head with a blunt object, such as a firearm.
Aggravated assault can be either a first degree assault or second degree assault depending on the victim and the crime itself. If the victim is a police officer, then the assault charge will always be a first degree felony offense.
A first degree felony assault can carry up to 30 years of prison time, while an aggravated assault may carry up to 25 years of imprisonment. Second degree assault is a class D felony, and imposes a term of anywhere between 2 and 7 years of prison time. As you can see, even second degree assault charges are extremely serious crimes. Class E felonies require prison time of anywhere from 1.5 years to 4 years, and typically fall under the second degree assault charges.
An assault charge may also be pleaded down to a misdemeanor. Third-degree assault is a lesser offense charge, and typically results in a class A misdemeanor. As you probably already know, misdemeanor charges are much less serious than felony charges. A person is guilty of assault in New York in the third degree where he intentionally or recklessly causes injury to another person, or if he is criminally negligent with a weapon. Third degree assault is punishable by no more than a year in prison or a fine of up to $1,000.
Depending on the severity of your case, pleading down to a third degree assault charge may be the best option for you. If you have been charged with an assault crime in New York, then you need to contact the Sullivan & Galleshaw law firm as soon as possible. Pleading down your charges is only one option in the vault of defenses that might be available to you.
Sullivan & Galleshaw, Attorneys You Can Trust
If you or a loved one has been arrested under suspicion of assault charges in New York, then you need to contact our law firm right away. The time that you may have to assert a defense against an assault charge may be running out. Every single day that you wait to contact an attorney matters, because as the date of the incident and/or arrest gets further away, the evidence that may help your case becomes less and less valuable.
In order to secure the best outcome for your case, contact the attorneys at Sullivan & Galleshaw. If you or a loved one has been arrested for assault, you have an absolute right to an attorney to defend you in your case. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with the experienced criminal defense lawyers of Sullivan & Galleshaw, call 877-311-HURT (4878) or contact us online today.