In New York, when you physically injure someone – even in self-defense – you can be charged with misdemeanor or felony assault. Several factors influence prosecutors as they determine which specific charges to pursue. Some of these factors include – how badly the other person was injured, whether the assault occurred during the commission of a crime; and whether a weapon or dangerous instrument was used during the commission of the offense. While these are just some of the factors that determine the degree of assault that you are charged with, there are many other factors that may potentially impact your charges as well.
As a dedicated defense attorney with years of experience, Mike Schillinger understands that there is always more than one side to a story. He wants to hear your side. While the prosecutor might try and minimize what you have to say, Mike will not. You have a constitutional right to a present your defense, and simply being arrested does not make you guilty. Astoria assault lawyer Mike Schillinger is the guy you want fighting for you in court.
Defining the Levels of Assault in New York
Assault charges are brought against people accused of intentionally, recklessly, or negligently causing, or attempting to cause, a physical injury to another person.
Misdemeanor assault charges in New York State fall under New York Penal Code § 120.00. The most common misdemeanor assault charge that we see is under PL § 120.00(1) for intentional assault. Essentially what must be alleged here is that you both intended to, and did in fact, cause physical injury to another person. With that being said, a person can also be charged with misdemeanor assault if they recklessly cause physical injury to another person, or if they act criminally negligent and cause injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. Assault in the third degree is a Class “A” misdemeanor, and as such, is punishable by up to one year in jail, probation for three years and/or significant fines.
When the alleged victim of a crime sustains serious physical injuries, a weapon is used, more than one person is involved in the assault, or even if the alleged victim falls under a certain specialized category, prosecutors can potentially charge the assault as a felony. To determine the severity of the assault charge, the legal system considers several variables, including:
- Physical injury – Has the alleged victim sustained a physical injury that includes substantial pain?
- Serious physical injury – Does a person’s injuries put them at a substantial risk of death or do they cause death, disfigurement, or was the injury one that will be protracted?
- Intentional injuries – Did the defendant mean to cause injury, even if someone other than the target was hurt?
- Reckless injuries – Did the defendant know the injuries probably would have occurred as a result of the assault?
- Deadly weapons – Did the defendant use a weapon such as a loaded gun, a knife, a dagger, brass knuckles, a billy club, or a blackjack?
- Dangerous instruments – Did the defendant use an object that can cause deadly injury, although it may not usually be considered a weapon?
Someone charged with assault should immediately contact a seasoned criminal defense lawyer who can assess their case and begin fighting for the best outcome.
Penalties for Felony Assault
Depending on the specific facts of your case, you may potentially be charged with a few different classes of felony in New York State. Additionally, that felony may be classified as a violent or non-violent felony. Under New York Penal Law § 70.00, convictions for Class B violent felonies carry a sentence of at least five years and up to 25 years in prison, while Class D violent felonies carry a sentence of at least two but no more than seven years in prison – if you are not a predicate felon. However, individuals who stand previously convicted of a violent or non-violent felony offense can potentially have their sentencing times raised depending on the specifics of their record. However, defendants who are not violent or repeat offenders may receive a jail sentence of one year or lessWith tWi
Defenses to Assault Charges
Because the stakes are so high when people are charged with assault, a hardworking defense attorney like Mike Schillinger can determine suitable defenses to your assault charges that could result in a case dismissal, a reduced sentence, probation, or non-custodial solutions. For example, Mike may argue that you defended yourself against an attack by another person. When an alleged victim has no physical marks and did not seek medical treatment after claiming to be assaulted, Mike can also challenge the element of physical injury.
An Assault Attorney in Astoria Will Fight for Your Freedom
When you are accused of attacking someone, you need a tenacious advocate in your corner. The charges are serious and can greatly impact your future if you are incarcerated and leave prison with a criminal record. Even when you lose your temper and hit someone, mitigating circumstances can work in your favor.
Mike Schillinger will fight for you. You have rights, and you deserve your day in court with someone who is on your side. Call today to discuss how Mike Schillinger, an Astoria assault lawyer, can help you.