NYC Assault on a Firefighter Lawyers
A wide variety of crimes fall under the “assault” umbrella in New York. New York state law defines assault as the reckless or intentional physical injury of another individual. Assaults might be committed with fists, knives, guns, vehicles, or other means. Your intention, the way the assault was instigated, and the severity of the injuries to the victim will all affect the charges that are leveled against you. Severe cases of assault are felonies that carry potential penalties of years in prison. When the victim is a part of a protected class of people, any kind of assault is a felony, regardless of the method with which it was accomplished or the extent of the injuries.
Firefighters are one of the classes protected under this legislation. A firefighter saves lives when they do their job. If a firefighter is stopped or weakened from the ability to do their duty, regardless of whether the weakening happens as a result of their profession, their ability to save lives is hindered.
Assault against a firefighter, therefore, is one of the most severely punished assaults outlined in the New York penal code. If you are convicted, you will be sentenced to at least two years in prison. Depending on the circumstances of the assault, you might be sentenced to life in prison.
The severity of the charge means that contacting a defense attorney is imperative. Your future depends on it. Spodek Law Group is a group of New York City lawyers with experience navigating the criminal justice system. One of these attorneys can review your case and provide you with the best criminal defense and options.
Assault on a Firefighter Elements
Two separate felony assault charges relate to the injuring of a firefighter. You will probably be charged with both if you were involved in an assault on a firefighter.
The first charge is second degree assault. In circumstances where you assaulted the firefighter specifically to keep the firefighter from being able to perform their responsibilities, you’ll face a second degree assault charge. This is considered a class D felony. To be charged, you must have caused some kind of physical injury. “Physical injury” is defined by the law as any injury which causes substantial pain or impairment. Firefighters aren’t the only group of people protected by this charge; other emergency service workers such as EMTs and paramedics are also protected.
The second charge is assault on a fireman. This assault charge will be leveled against you if you cause a serious physical injury to a firefighter while intending to prevent them from performing their responsibilities. This is a class C felony. Serious physical injuries are defined as injuries which create substantial risk of dying, causes the death of a person, causes disfigurement or health impairment, or causes an individual to lose a bodily organ.
Assault Charge Defenses
The type of injury that the firefighter sustained in the assault is significant. To be charged with assault on a firefighter, you need to have caused serious injury. The prosecution will need to prove that the injuries sustained qualify as a serious injury. This means proving that disfigurement or high risk of death was involved.
Your intention in the assault also matters. For the assault to be considered an assault on a firefighter, you need to have intended to impede them from their firefighting responsibilities. This means that you knew they were a firefighter, and that the assault was based around the intended inhibition of the other person. If you assaulted a firefighter while that firefighter was not performing official responsibilities, you have a defense against the charge.