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Brooklyn Assault Lawyers

January 31, 2019 Federal Criminal Attorneys

In New York and most States, assault happens when an individual hits, kicks, slaps, pushes or verbally threatens another individual. The state of New York imposes harsh penalties to persons charged with assault. Each of these crimes carries a different form of punishment. Offenders stand to face a misdemeanor or a felony charge. Several factors contribute to the kind of punishment to be issued. The courts will consider the extent of physical harm. The weapon used to inflict harm, whether the victim was in a position to defend themselves and the impact of the injury on the victim.


Degrees Of Assault


There are several degrees of assault depending on the severity of the injury and if a weapon is used. In New York assault in the third degree may involve pushing someone and causing a bruise or punching someone and causing a black eye. These acts are treated as a Class A misdemeanor. If found guilty and convicted, this will appear on your record.


Second-degree assault in New York is classified under Class D felony. An example is punching someone so hard that you cause a finger to break or inflicting an injury that requires several stitches. These acts can attract a jail term of up to seven years. The charge will also remain in your record.


First-degree assault is classified as a Class B felony. For a conviction, intent to cause harm needs to be demonstrated. This type of charge often involves the use of a deadly weapon or other dangerous instruments. First-degree assault carries a mandatory prison sentence of 5 years in prison (minimum) and up to 30 years (maximum). Stabbing someone with a knife and causing serious internal injury can fall under first-degree assault.


Possible Defenses In Assault Charges


The circumstances surrounding the assault charge may differ. It is best to consult early with an assault defense lawyer to determine the best defense in your case. The lawyer will examine the facts of your case. The analysis will inform the defense approach. The possible defenses in assault charges include:


Self Defense


If you have reasonable grounds to believe that you were under attack and acted in self-defense, then you can have the charges dropped. To prove this, you must show the threat of harm or unlawful force. The defense must also demonstrate a reasonable basis for the perceived fear. While self-defense is a common strategy in assault cases, the force used to defend yourself must be reasonable.


Defense of Others


It is similar to self-defense, the only difference is that in this case, the person acted in defense of others. This means that they perceived a real threat and acted so that others are not harmed. The same arguments and limitations used in self-defense also apply to defense of others.


Defense of Property


If you acted on the fear that your home or any other property was under attack, then you can use the protection of property to argue your case. The limitation for force, in this case, is stricter when compared to self-defense. The force applied must be reasonable depending on the perceived threat of damage.




The necessity defense applies when someone commits an act that can be deemed as assault, but they did it out of necessity. It means that there was no other alternative to avoid private injury or greater public harm.


Failed mental state


Lack of mental state can be used a defense if someone acted recklessly and caused harm due to a failed mental state. This defense needs to be proved medically. A psychiatrist can be asked to testify to the lack of mental state at the time the accused committed the crime.




Consent is used as a defense if the victim voluntarily consented to an activity that can cause bodily harm. An example is wrestling or football.


Get Help From a Brooklyn Assault Lawyer


An assault on your record can have far-reaching consequences. Today, almost all organizations and institutions conduct background checks. A conviction will limit your chances of getting employed or even enrolling in certain institutions. Protect yourself and your future interests by working with an assault lawyer. Their expertise and defense can make all the difference in an assault charge.



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