NYC Assault in the Third Degree Lawyers
One of the most common criminal offenses perpetrated in the state of New York is assault. There are a number of crimes which fall under the “assault” umbrella. To qualify as an assault, a crime must involve the reckless or intentional injury of another person.
Three types of assault charges are outlined in the state penal code. The least severe of the charges is third degree assault. This is the charge that will be leveled against you if you cause injury to another person, but that injury is comparatively minor. Punches that cause black eyes or break a nose are usually considered to be third degree assault. Third degree assault is commonly perpetrated in domestic violence situations. It qualifies as a misdemeanor, so the longest jail sentence you might receive is one year.
Even misdemeanor convictions can have problematic effects for your future. Employers will find the conviction when they do a criminal background check. You might also face jail time and difficult probation terms. For this reason, it’s important to contact a New York defense lawyer as soon as you can. Spodek Law Group is a group of lawyers with over forty years of experience navigating the criminal justice system. A representative from the group can review your case, examine your options, and provide you with the best legal defense for the circumstances.
Third Degree Assault Definition
The penal code in New York has three assault charges: first degree assault, second degree assault, and third degree assault. Of these charges, first degree assault is the most serious while third degree is the most minor. It qualifies as a class A misdemeanor. Class A misdemeanors are the most serious type of misdemeanor, and as such, come with a potential jail sentence of one year. That said, they have much more lenient sentencing than felonies, for which you might spend several years in prison.
Third degree assault is a charge that can be leveled against you in the following circumstances:
- You intentionally cause a physical injury to another individual
- You injure an extraneous third party while attempting to injure another individual
- You injure another individual due to recklessness
- You injure another individual due to negligent use of a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon
Deadly weapons are defined in the law as weapons that are easily able to cause a serious physical injury or death. The criminal statute outlines several examples, including but not limited to: knives, daggers, plastic knuckles, metal knuckles, and firearms.
Dangerous instruments are defined as instruments, articles, or substances that have the capability of causing serious injury or death. One example is a vehicle.
Third degree assault is the most common charge when a person starts a physical fight with another individual. To be charged with assault, the victim needs to suffer an injury or injuries which cause quantifiable pain or impairment. The injury does not need to be life-threatening or serious to qualify as assault.
Assault Charge Defenses
When you are charged with assault, the prosecution will need to prove that a physical injury was sustained by the victim. The injury does not need to be severe, but it must have evidence beyond the complaint of the witness.
You can also defend yourself against an assault charge if you were acting in self-defense. New York law permits the use of reasonable force for your self-protection or the protection of another person, provided you’re in imminent physical danger. This defense cannot be raised, however, if you cannot prove to the court that you were facing imminent physical danger.