Assault charges in New York can be overwhelming, especially if you are facing a felony. Prosecutors will determine whether the accused should be charged with a felony by considering several factors.
Defining assault in New York
Some states consider a reasonable, imminent threat of physical harm a form of criminal assault, even if there is no physical contact or physical injury. However, in New York, intentionally or reckless physical contact and injury to another person are both requirements for misdemeanor and felony assault charges.
Under N.Y. Penal Code 120, there are general assault charges in the first degree, second degree, and third degree.
- First degree: Class B felony resulting in up to 25 years in prison.
- Second degree: Class D felony resulting in up to seven years in prison.
- Third degree: Class A misdemeanor resulting in fines and up to one year in jail.
What factors are considered for a felony assault charge?
As prosecutors evaluate whether to charge the accused with a felony, they will consider several factors. Some of these factors include:
- Severity of injuries to the alleged victim.
- Whether the alleged victim was a “special victim” (e.g., law enforcement officer, peace officer, or child aged 10 or younger)
- Whether the defendant used a dangerous weapon or object to injure the alleged victim.
- Whether the defendant intended to permanently disfigure the alleged victim.
- Whether the defendant acted with depraved indifference to human life.
- Whether the defendant’s reckless actions created a risk of death or caused serious injury.
If you are facing the possibility of a felony assault charge, it can be beneficial for you to consult with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can review your case and come up with a defense strategy that works best for you.