New York Assault Crimes: NY Penal Law Article 120

by ECL Writer
New York Assault Crimes

New York Assault crimes are a serious offense that is taken very seriously. NY Penal Law Article 120 outlines the various types of assault crimes that are punishable by law in the state of New York. From simple assault to aggravated assault, there are many different degrees of assault that can result in serious consequences, including fines and imprisonment.

In this article, we will take a closer look at NY Penal Law Article 120 and what it means for those who have been accused of assault in New York. We will explore the various types of assault crimes, the penalties associated with each, and what defenses are available to those who have been accused of committing assault. Whether you are facing assault charges yourself or simply want to learn more about New York assault laws, this article will provide you with a comprehensive overview of NY Penal Law Article 120 and its implications.

Whether you are facing felony or misdemeanor assault accusations, it is crucial that you hire a capable attorney who can carefully evaluate your case, build the best possible legal defense, or seek to have the charges dropped. While the dread of being charged with a crime, having an NYPD investigator knock on your door, or even receiving an NYC Desk Appearance Ticket may be paralyzing, delaying the implementation of the appropriate course of action can have disastrous consequences.

Overviews Of New York Assault Crimes

There are three distinct levels or degrees of assault according to New York penal law. These offenses are covered under Penal Law sections 120.00, 120.05, and 120.10, which are all codified in Article 120. You should discuss the specific aspects and consequences associated with each of these crimes with your attorney.

Third Degree Assualt Crimes

According to Criminal Code 120.00(1), Assault in the Third Degree, a Class “A” misdemeanor, is predicated on the idea that you intentionally hurt your target person and caused “physical injury” to them. Similar to Criminal Code 120.00(2), this paragraph and theory are based on the charge of careless, not intentional, activity. But, this subsection and theory are based on the bodily injury you are accused of causing entailed “severe pain.” The claim that a person punched someone once, or a certain number of times, and that the victim subsequently felt “severe pain” as a result of that punch may be the most typical example. These wounds frequently have bruising or redness, and they might even bleed a little, but they don’t have any lasting effects.

Second Degree Assualt Crimes

The more serious misdemeanor charge is much less harmful than Penal Code 120.05, Assault in the Second Degree. This level actually qualifies as a “violent criminal offense.” Although there are many subsections that allow for other hypotheses, the first three subsections are where the majority of these class “D” felonies are charged. If the evidence demonstrates your intent to cause, and you actually did cause a “severe physical injury,” the District Attorney should anticipate prosecuting you for Penal Code 120.05(1) after your arrest.

Moreover, you might be charged with this after being detained on suspicion of using a “deadly weapon” or “dangerous instrument” to inflict a less severe physical injury. Again, this offense is established by Criminal Code 120.05(2), and the punishment you could receive is the same.

There are other felonies that the District Attorney can bring before a Grand Jury, even though they may not be as frequently charged in a felony complaint or indictment. They include Criminal Code 120.05(3), which prohibits purposefully injuring certain workers—such as nurses, firefighters, paramedics, police officers, and other types of workers—while they are executing their vital duties in order to keep them from doing so. In violation of Criminal Code 120.05(4), using a potentially harmful object to inflict on another person a less severe physical injury qualifies as reckless behavior.

According to Criminal Code 120.05(8) and Penal Law 120.05(9), you must have been older than eighteen when you intentionally caused physical harm to a person ten years of age or younger. You must also have attempted to intentionally cause a physical injury but recklessly caused a significant one.

You must review all of the additional divisions and theories with your own criminal attorney. Being charged with additional crimes in a criminal court is still possible after one’s arrest.

When the injuries are more severe and qualify as “serious physical injury,” or when a weapon—which can be anything from a shattered bottle to a shoe—was used in the conduct of the crime, the charge is elevated to this class “D” felony.

First Degree Assault Crime

Whether you are facing a felony arrest, indictment, or trial, assault in the first degree, Penal Code 120.10, is without a doubt the most serious of these accusations. Penal Code 120.10 does have some similarities to the less serious felonies, but it has much more power and a much higher chance of imprisonment than almost any other crime covered by the Penal Law. Criminal Code 120.10 has numerous subsections and other plausible causes of action, just like minor crimes, but the most common offense is the deliberate inflicting of substantial physical harm that results in long-term, severe consequences to health or even disfigurement.

One theory allows for your prosecution in NYC or any Hudson Valley county if a combination of the two circumstances for Assault in the Second Degree both exist, namely if you intentionally cause serious physical harm to another person and you do so while using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, which is a very common violation codified in Penal Law 120.10(1). Also, according to Criminal Law 120.10(2), a person may be charged with this offense if they plan to permanently cripple or gravely disfigure another person.

Penalties And Punishment To New York Assault Crimes

If found guilty, the punishments are determined by the seriousness of the charge and the offense’s related classification. Third-degree assault is classified as a “A” misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of one year in a county jail like Rikers Island, a maximum sentence of three years of probation, or less severe punishments like a conditional release, fines, community service, and/or surcharges. Because second-degree assault is a “D” violent felony, it carries a statutory minimum sentence of two years and a maximum of seven years in state prison or five years of probation. First-degree assault is a class “B” serious crime punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a minimum of five years.

Related Offenses And Collateral Issues

Under Criminal Law, the term “assault” has a wide range of interpretations and variations. It’s interesting to note that the name in New York refers to what is typically referred to as Battery elsewhere. As one of the broadest and most general categories of crime, offenses come in a wide variety of “flavors,” each of which is distinguished and regulated by law. The NY Penal Law specifically mentions numerous additional offenses in addition to the different degrees, such as Reckless Assault of a Child, PL 120.02, Vehicular Assault, PL 120.03, Gang Assault, PL 120.06, and Assault on a Peace Officer, Police Officer, Firefighter, or Emergency Medical Services Professional, PL 120.08.

Regardless of the crime you are charged with, you should be aware that an arrest can have an impact on your immigration status, your ability to work for the City of New York, the MTA, or other governmental organizations, as well as your ability to maintain your FINRA license or other professional certification.

Defenses to New York Assault Crimes

A defense that may succeed in one instance may fail in another. Each defense must be evaluated by your criminal defense attorney because it is case-specific. Some probable legal theories and defenses against the offense and other crimes listed in the Penal Code include the following:

  • Degree of Injury Not Sufficient
  • Self Defense
  • Improper Identification (Lineup, Show up, etc.)
  • Search & Seizure Issues
  • Coerced or Improper Statement / Admission

Once more, the list above is merely a portion of possible defenses and only includes general notions. These overarching ideas may or may not apply to your defense. In any case, if you are detained on these allegations, each of these issues may need to be discussed with a lawyer.

Hiring A New York Criminal Defense Lawyer For Assault Crimes

The first thing you should do if you are accused of assault in New York is to hire a criminal defense attorney. The major offense of assault has harsh punishments, such as jail time, fines, and a criminal record. Understanding your legal rights, putting together a solid defense, and negotiating with prosecutors for lower charges or fines are all things that a New York criminal defense attorney with experience in assault cases can assist you with.

Finding a criminal defense attorney with a solid grasp of New York criminal law and a track record of success in assault cases is crucial when making this decision. Choose a defense attorney who has handled cases involving both misdemeanor and felony assault and who is acquainted with the local judicial system and prosecutors.

Together, you and your attorney will gather information, speak with potential witnesses, and craft a defense plan that is appropriate for your particular situation. Moreover, they could try to get the charges dropped entirely or bargain with the prosecution for lesser punishments or charges.

A criminal defense attorney can also give you advice on how a conviction might affect your future relationships, career, and housing. They can guide you through the difficult legal procedure and make sure your rights are upheld at every turn.

In conclusion, engaging a criminal defense attorney is essential to achieving the best outcome for your case if you are facing assault charges in New York. You may be assured that your legal rights are being upheld and that you stand the best opportunity of avoiding or lessening the effects of a conviction with the proper attorney by your side.

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