Under New York law, any time a person causes physical injury to another person, they could be charged with assault. The charges they face will depend on several factors including intent, severity of injuries, use of a weapon, and circumstances.
New York penal code divides assaults into three categories: First degree, second degree, and third degree. Third degree assaults are classified as misdemeanors, where as second and first assaults are classified as felonies.
Assault in the third degree
Intentionally, recklessly, or negligently causing physical injury, or substantial pain or physical impairment, to another person can result in a Class A Misdemeanor. A misdemeanor assault conviction can result in up to one year in jail or three years probation.
Assault in the second degree
A second degree assault is more severe than a third degree assault and is classified as a Class D felony. A second degree assault may cover various situations including:
- Intentionally causing a serious physical injury, or injury that could result in death or long-term physical impairment.
- Intentionally causing a physical injury or recklessly causing a serious physical injury with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument
- Intentionally causing physical injury to an elderly person (over the age of 65) who is at least 10 years older than the assaulter.
- Intentionally causing physical injury to a young child (under the age of 7), when the assaulter is at least 18 years old.
A Class D felony conviction could result in a minimum of three years but up to seven years in prison.
Assault in the first degree
A first degree assault in New York is the most severe of all assault charges as a Class B violent felony. Here are some examples of first degree assault:
- Intentionally causing serious physical injury with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
- Intentionally causes permanent disfigurement or disability.
- Recklessly partaking in activity that carries a grave risk of death and causing serious physical injury.
- Commits physical injury to non-accomplice while committing or attempting to commit another felony.
A Class B felony conviction for first degree assault could result in a minimum of three years but up to 25 years in prison.
If you are facing assault charges, it is important to consult with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can advise you on whether to take a plea deal or go to court to fight the charges.