Serious assaults often carry prison sentences and/or significant fines, in addition to possible restraining orders and community service requirements.
Every state has laws against assault and battery. Contact between two individuals must occur for conviction to occur; however, intent can also play a vital role. There are two types of assault in various states: basic and aggravated. Other states divide assault into four categories: domestic, sexual, severe, and simple. It is important to research local laws to comprehend what constitutes assault and what penalties might result from being charged with assault.
What Is Assault?
Though assault and battery are often used interchangeably, New York law distinguishes between them. Battery requires physical contact between attacker and victim and constitutes more serious crimes. Under assault’s criminal definition, however, physical contact between two isn’t necessarily required to make charges applicable; rather a defendant simply needs to place someone under reasonable apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact; intent by tortfeasor is irrelevant but their conduct must have caused such fearful apprehension of harm occurring is.
Prosecuters must prove that defendants were acting either intentionally or recklessly depending on the level of assault charge; this is typically necessary with more serious offenses such as second and third-degree crimes.
For most types of assault charges (generally third and second degree assault charges), the victim must believe they will come into contact with harmful or offensive elements. However, some lower level charges (third and second degree) only require proof that an act caused apprehension without fear.
Assault Charges In New York City
New York City prosecutes assault crimes at several different levels. Third degree assault charges are the most prevalent type, and typically arise when someone is hit, slapped, kicked or pushed against their will – often family disputes that turn physical.
To charge someone with second or first degree assault, the prosecution must establish that:
These individuals must have had the intent and ability to cause serious physical injury; succeeded in doing so; intended to disfigure, destroy or disable their victim permanently; or showed depraved indifference towards human life by recklessly engaging in conduct that put lives in danger and caused physical injury to people. Prosecution for such offenses requires proof beyond reasonable doubt of each element which will allow conviction against these defendants. Defending against such cases can be dauntingly challenging.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can employ various strategies to keep the prosecution from meeting this high burden of proof. Conviction for any level of assault can have detrimental repercussions in terms of stigmatization and difficulty finding employment when background checks reveal this charge against someone.
Third-Degree Assault Charges
Assault in the Third Degree occurs when someone intentionally or recklessly causes physical harm to another. A conviction of Assault in the Third Degree carries up to a one year prison term and fine; if you or someone you know has been charged with Assault in the Third Degree, speaking with an experienced NYC criminal defense attorney could result in reduced charges, or possibly dismissals altogether, depending on circumstances and your history.
People commit intentional injury when they intend to do so and actually do it. Recklessly acting individuals ignore significant and unjustifiable risks that their conduct might create or disregard assaultive circumstances that arise due to it. Therefore it is imperative that you seek legal advice as soon as possible in order to defend against these charges as witnesses must be located, surveillance cameras located, and deadlines met in order for your lawyer to provide the strongest defense.
Aggravated Assault Charges
Aggravated assault is a violent felony offense, with conviction often carrying decades in jail and permanent records. Hiring an experienced New York City criminal defense attorney to assist can help mitigate such consequences by challenging evidence against you and seeking dismissal of charges against you.
Accumulated assault occurs when one commits an assault and causes serious physical injury to another person. This includes injuries which present a significant risk of death and cause long-term disfigurement, organ dysfunction or major body part loss as well as injuries requiring hospitalization.
An assault with deadly weapons or dangerous instruments qualifies as aggravated assault; generally any object which has the ability to cause serious bodily harm qualifies, including objects not usually thought of as weapons, like guns and brass knuckles. Furthermore, someone committing this type of attack with intent against police officers or peace officers with on-duty status can commit aggravated assault; for this offense to apply the perpetrator must know or reasonably should know they were on-duty as opposed to simply not knowing.
Assault Charges In California
Felony assault charges in California differ considerably from misdemeanor assault charges. To be charged with felony assault, the prosecution must prove you intended to use force against someone and knew it would likely lead to great bodily injury; unlike misdemeanor charges, conviction of felony charges can have serious repercussions for your future, interfering with employment opportunities, immigration status and professional licensing status.
Defense against assault charges becomes easier if you can demonstrate that your alleged victim was incapable of inflicting violence or force against them. For example, if you lost your temper and spat in the face of a store clerk without intending to hurt her it may qualify as assault even though no injury could have resulted.
Identity of alleged Victim(s)Plays an integral role in determining penalties associated with assaulting them; for instance if your alleged victim(s) were police officers, healthcare workers or other public employees you may face more stringent punishment than usual for your assault conviction.