NYC Assault In the First Degree Lawyers
According to New York law, there are three classifications of assault, which include assault in the first, second, and third degree. Of all the assault offenses, assault in the first degree is the most serious. This offense is a Class B felony that is punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
There are specific components that will mandate an assault in the first degree charge. These factors include an individual who assaults another with the use of a dangerous or deadly weapon and causes significant injury to the victim or a third party. According to the criminal statue in New York, there are many examples of what is thought to be a dangerous weapon. New York law defines a dangerous weapon as a dagger, plastic knuckles, brass knuckles, metal knuckles, a knife, and guns. An automobile is another example of a dangerous instrument, which is as any object that has the ability to cause serious injury or death to another individual.
With the case of People v. Johnson, 967 N.Y.S.2d 217 (2013), the defendant was charged and convicted of assault in the first degree because she assaulted an individual in a way that physically impaired the victim’s face. While the defendant argued that the victim never actually saw a knife, the jury still convicted the defendant based of the victim’s injuries and testimony.
In the case of People v. Dietz, 947 N.Y.S.2d 891 (2013), the defendant was charged and convicted on assault in the first degree because he hit a victim on the face with a glass bottle. As a result, the jury determined that the defendant was intentionally and seriously attempting to cause permanent disfigurement to the victim’s face.
The defendant in the People v. Miller, 966 N.Y.S.2d 88 (2013) was found guilty of assault in the first degree for intentionally and recklessly driving in an effort to evade law enforcement officials. During the course of these events, the defendant hit a pedestrian that resulted in serious physical injuries. It was determined by the jury that the defendant was guilty because his actions were seen as reckless behavior toward human life.
When an individual assaults another while a felony is being committed, which causes serious physical injury, he or she will be charged with assault in the first degree.
What are Defenses to an Assault in the First Degree Charge?
For a jury to find an individual guilty of assault in the first degree, the prosecution must prove that the victim’s injuries were so serious that it could have caused death or permanent physical impairment. When a defendant can prove that the victim’s injures were not serious, it could be an effective defense to an assault in the first degree charge. However, in this situation, an individual may still be charged with assault in the third degree, but the penalties for this offense are not as severe.
According to New York law, self defense is another valid defense in an assault in the first degree case. When using this defense, an individual must prove that the injuries caused to the other person were due to the fact that the defendant acted to protect himself or herself from imminent physical danger.
If you are convicted of assault in the first degree in New York, you may face prison sentence, a fine, probation. Moreover, an individual may also be served an Order of Protection due to a first degree assault charge. It is vital to seek help from a criminal defense attorney who has experience handling first degree assault cases, as a skilled attorney can significantly increase the chances of a positive outcome in court.