What To Do And Know When You Have Been Charged With Assault

judge slamming gavel

Know The Basics

In New York, the most basic thing to know about the crime of assault is that it occurs and will be charged when a person injures someone else without legal justification. Legal justification is more commonly referred to as ‘self-defense’.

Assault can be charged as either a misdemeanor or differing levels of felonies. The different levels (know as different degrees) of assault depend on several factors, including the severity of a victim’s injury, whether the defendant used a weapon or object to cause an injury, whether the defendant caused the injury while committing another crime, and (in some cases) whether a victim is provided special protection by New York law. A more detailed description of the different degrees of assault is outlined below.

What To Do If You Have Been Involved In An Altercation

  1. Recognize What Has Happened

Often incidents and altercations that land people in trouble with the law develop rapidly and are of short duration. In the chaos, people do not often grasp the details or significance of what happened, and this confusion can have legal consequences when the police start asking questions. If the police are called and are asking questions, then that means that they are investigating a possible crime. If you were involved in the alteration and the police are questioning you, there is a good chance that you are the one being investigated and might be arrested.

  1. The Best Advice: Remain Silent!

You have an absolute right to remain silent and not answer questions. Also, you do not have let the police search your home, car or other location. If the police do not have a warrant, the only way that they can gain access to search for evidence is if you consent. Do not consent.

Remember, you do not have to be rude or confrontational with the police. All you have to do is tell them that you want to remain silent and speak with a lawyer.

  1. Call A Lawyer Immediately

Speaking to a lawyer who knows the law and what to do is crucial. And do not wait until you are arrested. If you are being questioned or under investigation, it is always advisable to have a lawyer to protect you. Their intervention on your behalf may prevent you from being arrested. If you are arrested, call a lawyer immediately, preferably before your arraignment. It is always best to have a lawyer at your arraignment so they can deal with your bail in front of the judge.

More To Know About Assault In New York

The severity of an assault charge depends on how serious the injuries are and can be compounded if a weapon was used or if the assault occurred against a police officer.

Assault in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor in New York state – a criminal offense. If you are convicted of assault in the third degree, you will have a criminal conviction on your record. Someone who commits an assault in the third degree has physically assaulted another person, causing physical injury without that other person having given consent for the physical contact.

Assault in the second degree is a Class D felony in New York state, and it is punishable by up to seven years in a state prison. Someone who is charged with assault in the second degree has committed the crime of misdemeanor assault.

Assault in the first degree is a Class B violent felony. This charge requires that intent of the other two degrees of assault is present, except that the intent to cause serious physical injury to the other person is carried out with the use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. Assault in the first degree carries a mandatory minimum of five years in prison with a maximum of 30 years.

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