Assault comes in both misdemeanor and felony varieties. In this article we’ll talk about felony assault but know that a misdemeanor assault charge is no joke as it can still result in a year spent in jail, up to three years of probation and a fine for $1000.

Assault is defined in the state of New York as occurring when a person injuries another person without some form of legal justification. There are a range of legal justifications that could be relevant to a case, such as self defense or when a law enforcement officer is required to use force in the process of performing their duties. When these justifications aren’t present, an assault has occurred.

How is Assault Defined on Long Island?

Felony assault requires that the victim of the assault suffer a physical injury. The seriousness of the injury is important in determining whether a second degree or a first degree assault has taken place. It is also important to understand what is meant by acting intentionally, acting recklessly or performing the assault with a deadly weapon as these factors all play into the severity of the assault case at hand.

When it comes to assault a physical injury occurs when a victim suffers some form of pain or injury. As the name implies, this injury or pain must be of a physical nature and therefore mental pain or distress does not count. A physical injury in the state is defined as an impairment of physical condition or substantial pain. In addition, a serious physical injury is one that includes a substantial risk of death. It also includes injuries that cause death, long-term disfigurement, ill health or the impairment (or even complete loss) of an organ.

An action is determined to be intentional if the person assaulting the other wants an injury to occur. This does not necessarily mean that the defendant intended to injury the victim. If the defendant wanted to injure one person but the victim got in the way, this would still be seen as an intentional assault because the goal of the assault was to cause injury even if it wasn’t to injure the specific person that it did.

An action is determined to be reckless if the defendant was aware that their actions could result in an injury but they choose to act anyway. They knew that they could cause harm to another but they disregarded that knowledge in their actions and thereby they were reckless.

Either degree of assault could be performed with a deadly weapon. These are weapons that easily cause injury such as a knife or brass knuckles. A deadly instrument can also be used in an assault in these include vehicles or objects which aren’t directly weapons but can be used to cause a serious injury.

What are the Degrees of Assault on Long Island?

Felony assault on Long Island can be a second degree assault or a first degree assault.

  • Second Degree Assault: Under N.Y Penal Law § 120.05 there are quite a few scenarios which result in a second degree assault. Intentionally causing a serious physical injury. Intentionally causing a physical injury with a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument. Intending to prevent emergency crews, nurses, police officers or other important persons from performing their lawful duties by control of an animal. Recklessly causing serious physical injury with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. Giving a drug to someone without their consent with the intent of causing injury or stupor. Causing physical injury while attempting to commit another felony. Causing physical injury with intent on a victim under 11 years old by a defendant 18 or older. Intentionally causing injury to a victim under 7. Causing injury on school grounds to an employee of the school district.
  • Intentionally injuring a train operator or other employee responsible for the operation of a train or bus, or traffic agents of any kind. Intentionally causing physical injury to somebody who is older than 65 by a defendant who is at least ten years younger.
  • First Degree Assault: First degree assault is a less common charge than second degree assault because it only occurs when the victim suffers a serious physical injury or when they are severely disfigured by the assault or lose a body part due to it. In most cases first degree assault requires that the defendant acts with intention though there is an exception. If the assault causes serious physical injury from a reckless action that carries grave risk of death then first degree assault may be charged.

What are the Penalties for Assault?

Felony assault falls under the category of “indeterminate” term penalties. This means that there is no one-size-fits-all consequence of an assault. Instead, the penalty for the assault is determined by the judge based on the circumstances of the case in question. An indeterminate term will have a minimum and a maximum prison sentence. The minimum time must be served before you can be eligible for parole. If parole doesn’t happen then the maximum term will be served.

A second degree assault is a class D felony which has a minimum term of 3 years and a maximum of 7. If the defendant committed the assault without a prior record then a judge may be able to impose a definite period of incarceration for one year or less.

A first degree assault is a class B felony which results in a minimum sentence of 3 years and a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

What Should I Do if I’m Being Charged with Assault?

If you are being charged with assault then you must take it seriously. A felony assault invariably results in time behind bars. But the difference between a severe assault charge and a lesser one is often as simple as proving a lack of intent in the action taken. This can be hard to prove to a court if you don’t know what you’re doing.

That’s why it is so important to get an experienced attorney that knows how to present the facts of your case in front of a judge. Here at Mirsky Law Firm we’re dedicated to doing everything we can to help you win your case so give us a call at (516) 299-6187 to see how we can help you with your charges.