Criminal charges fall into the categories of misdemeanors or felonies. In this respect, assault charges are no exception. Typically, the main factor that determines how authorities bring charges for assault is the extent of physical injury resulting from the alleged assault.
Based on New York Penal Law, Article 10 , “physical injury” is defined as an injury that either causes substantial pain or impairs someone’s physical condition. Statues define “serious physical injury” as injury that puts someone at risk of dying, causes death or serious and long-term disfigurement, health impairment, loss of bodily function or loss of a bodily organ.
A Brooklyn assault case recently became high profile in the news and was captured on video through someone’s camera phone. This case involved a number of girls who beat, punched and kicked a 15 year old girl in a Brooklyn MacDonald’s fast food restaurant. According to the news report, the girl leading the assault was 16 years old, and in addition to the assault, she stole the girl’s cell phone and purse. The girl under attack suffered from a broken nose, black eyes and a police source stated she looked like she had been beaten up by a professional boxer.
Police authorities charged all the teenage girls involved in the assault. New York assault charges are based on the degree of injury and other factors covered in Article 120 of New York Penal Law, which defines third, second and first degree assaults as the following:
- Third degree assault. Intent to cause physical injury that results in physical injury or through recklessness causes physical injury or through criminal negligence causes physical injury when it also involves a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. (Misdemeanor)
- Second degree assault. Serious physical injury resulting from intent to cause serious injury, or intent when using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument and also includes the intent to injure individuals performing specific jobs, such as police officers, nurses, firefighters, paramedics, etc. The age of the assailant and victim are also factors in this charge. (Class E felony)
- First degree assault. Serious physical injury resulting from intent to cause such injury, including through use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, or through reckless actions and depraved indifference to human life where someone is at grave risk of death, resulting in serious injury, or serious physical injury that results during the commission or attempted commission of a felony. (Class B felony)
When you face assault charges, you should consult with an experienced Long Island criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer may be able to influence how you are charged, which can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Attorney David W. Haber brings 17 years of criminal law experience to every case he handles and is strongly committed to protecting your rights.