What You Should Know About Assault Charges in New York State

Assault and assault-related charges in the Rochester area need to be taken extremely seriously because they can result in life-altering penalties in the event of a conviction. Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony assault charges, it is essential to seek advice from a Rochester criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to begin strategizing about the best options for your defense. In the meantime, the following are some key things you should know about assault charges in New York State.

Assault Can Be Charged in the First, Second, or Third Degree

Under the New York Penal Code, assault can be charged in the first degree, second degree, or third degree.

First degree assault charges typically require the prosecution to prove an intent to cause serious physical injury with a deadly weapon or to disfigure another person, or behavior that shows a “depraved indifference to human life,” and resulting serious physical injury to another person. First degree assault is a Class B felony in New York. Assault in the second degree also requires intent to cause serious physical injury and actually causing injury, or engaging in reckless behavior that results in serious physical injury. There are many other circumstances as well that can result in second degree assault charges. It is a Class D felony.

Assault in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor, and it requires the prosecution to show that a defendant intended to cause physical injury and did so or recklessly caused physical injury, or caused physical injury by means of a deadly weapon due to criminal negligence.

Penalties Will Vary Depending Upon the Specific Offense

If you are convicted of an assault charge in New York, the penalties will vary depending upon the specific offense and other factors, such as whether or not you have a prior criminal record. For example, a Class A misdemeanor can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail for a third-degree assault conviction, while a Class B felony can result in a sentence of up to 25 years in prison for a first-degree assault conviction. Given the severity of the penalties for assault charges, it is critical to have a lawyer on your side.

Multiple Defense Strategies May Be Available to You

For any case involving assault or assault-related charges, it will be critical to work with a criminal defense lawyer to develop a defense strategy that is tailored to the facts of your case. Multiple defense strategies may be available to you, and you should work with an attorney to determine which type of defense is most applicable to your case. Some of the defense strategies are affirmative defenses, which means the defenses are justifications for having engaged in the behavior that led to the assault charges. Generally speaking, the following are potential defense strategies when you are facing assault charges:

  • Self-defense;
  • Defense of a third party;
  • Mistaken identity;
  • Entrapment; or
  • Violation of your rights led to the arrest.

Our firm can determine the best defense strategy for your case, giving you the best chance of beating the charges you are facing.

Contact a Rochester Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you are facing assault or assault-related charges in Rochester, it is critical to begin working with a Rochester assault defense attorney as soon as possible to develop an effective defense strategy. An experienced criminal defense lawyer at our firm can assist you. Contact King Law for more information.


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