New York City Assault Lawyer
Serving Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island
An assault charge, no matter how seemingly minor, is something that can tarnish someone’s record for a long time. Some charges carry the potential for lengthy prison sentences. Whether it’s the loss of freedom, reputation, or both, a New York City assault lawyer can be there to fight for their legal rights and their acquittal.
Everyone deserves a fair trial. Defendants should have an attorney who is experienced in criminal defense and believes in the concept of innocent until proven guilty. Maryam Jahedi Law Firm P.C. has spent over ten years fighting to protect the constitutional rights of people across New York City.
Call our New York City office today at (646) 798-7118 or contact us online to set up a consultation.
The district attorney will choose between three degrees of assault when filing criminal charges. First-degree assault is the most serious, with second and third-degree charges falling behind it.
1st Degree Assault
Assault can be considered in the 1st degree if it involves a “deadly weapon or dangerous instrument,” per the New York criminal code. A gun is certainly one example of such a weapon, although prosecutors can apply this language to anything capable of causing death or serious injury.
The intent of the defendant will also be considered. A person who directly uses a blunt object to hit someone was quite likely attempting to render serious injury. Even when the intent is not evident, 1st-degree assault can be the charge if the defendant’s actions were demonstrably reckless. A prime example would be a person that drives extremely fast (let’s say by going 60mph in a 20mph school zone) and hits someone. The driver’s intent might not have been to cause serious injury, but serious injuries did happen and could have been reasonably foreseen.
Finally, an assault that takes place within the context of committing a felony crime is eligible for 1st-degree classification.
A 1st-degree assault conviction has a minimum sentence of five years in prison. That’s even if the defendant had no prior criminal record. There is a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, although if the defendant has prior felony convictions, 1st-degree assault can mean life behind bars.
2nd Degree Assault
A 2nd-degree assault charge presumes the victim was seriously injured. The language serious injury has legal significance. The State of New York specifically defines injuries as serious when there is a substantial risk of death, long-term disfigurement, or the impairment of an organ.
These parameters can be compared to those outlined for physical injury, which only requires some level of impairment or significant pain. A prosecutor that files 2nd-degree assault charges must show that the victim suffered serious–not simply physical–injuries.
Convictions for 2nd-degree assault typically result in prison sentences of at least two years, although not more than seven years.
3rd Degree Assault
The lowest charge on the ladder requires physical injury to be present. Depending on the circumstances, this can be significant. A victim that was punched in the face might not have been hurt badly enough for there to be even physical injuries. Having said that, even a black eye can be enough to make a formal 3rd-degree assault charge possible.
3rd-degree assault is a misdemeanor offense, in contrast to 1st and 2nd-degree, which are both felonies. But even this misdemeanor conviction could result in up to a year in prison. And it will most certainly become a part of the defendant’s permanent record and trail them around for the rest of their life.
The consequences of an assault conviction may be serious, but there can be hope–the lawyers at Maryam Jahedi Law Firm P.C. have spent over ten years helping clients either mitigate charges or fight for outright acquittal.
Call our New York City office today at (646) 798-7118 or contact us online for help.
How to Defend Against an Assault Charge in New York
A New York City assault lawyer has several options to use in criminal defense. The severity of the injuries is crucial in determining what the charges will be. Even a defendant that might be guilty can find wiggle room if it can be proven that the injuries are less severe than claimed. This provides an opportunity for plea-bargaining and a possible reduced charge.
The defendant might also go for complete acquittal and cite self-defense. The State of New York allows people to use “reasonable force” as a means of protecting themselves from “imminent physical danger”. To cite self-defense, a lawyer will have to show that a reasonable person would have felt threatened by the situation and that the actions taken were proportionate to that threat.
Finally, there’s always the possibility of mistaken identity. This can be applicable in cases where large-scale fighting broke out (e.g., in a bar or other crowded public area). The police and prosecutors might simply have the wrong person. A New York City assault lawyer might press authorities to provide physical evidence (DNA, fingerprints, etc.) which shows the defendant is really the one who committed the crime
Maryam Jahedi Law Firm P.C. has over ten years of experience fighting for defendants across the five boroughs of New York City.
When your record, reputation, and rights are on the line, let us be the ones to take up your legal defense. Call our New York City office today at (646) 798-7118 or contact us online to set up a consultation.