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Assault Just Because You’ve Been Charged With a Crime, Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Defend Yourself

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Assault Charges Defense Attorney

In a perfect world, all arguments would end with calm dialogue, easy confrontation and a logical solution that appeases both sides. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, and disagreements are simply a part of life.

Severe assault charges become Violent Crimes, which are met with a heavier hand in court. Additionally, any criminal charge can be escalated into a violent crime if assault is involved.

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A confrontation can often end with a violent act. Frustrations can boil over and someone can do physical harm to someone else when emotions get the best of them. If you’ve lost your cool and injured someone else, or if you got into a fight and caused someone to be injured while defending yourself, you may be charged with assault.

There are both misdemeanor and felony assault charges, which will depend on the severity of the injury and the status of the victim.

What Qualifies as “Assault”?

In order for physical contact between two people to be considered assault, a minimum level of physical injury must be demonstrated.

Assault requires the victim to have impairment of physical condition or substantial pain, or it cannot be considered assault.

If a physical contact does not meet that threshold level, it may be considered harassment, which is a violation, instead of an assault. The extent of the injury makes all the difference in assault cases. The more serious the injury to the victim, the higher the level of the crime charged.

Assault Charge Statistics

Assaults, both aggravated and simple, are common crimes across the United States. The organization National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) has compiled a list of statistics from across the country. The statistics show that in 2012 there were 996,106 cases of aggravated assault, most of which (94.8 percent) involved a weapon. Ultimately, 301,065 arrests were made on aggravated assault charges, while in the same year, 930,210 arrests were made throughout the country for misdemeanor level assaults.

What Are the Levels of Assault Charges?

The severity of an assault charge depends on the level of injury, whether a weapon was used, what type of weapon was used, and who the victim was.

The general provisions of the most commonly charged assault crimes are:

  • 120.00 – Assault in the third degree (A misdemeanor) – Assault 3rd is committed when a person intends to cause a physical injury to another person and causes that injury; or recklessly causes physical injury; or negligently causes injury to another person by using a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument.
  • 120.05 – Assault in the second degree (D violent felony) – Assault 2nd is committed when a person intends to cause a serious physical injury to another person and causes that injury to that person or a third party; or causes injury to another person by using a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument; or intends to prevent a police officer, prosecutor, fire fighter, EMT (or multiple other officials) from performing a lawful duty and causes physical injury (notice it does not say serious physical injury) to that official; or intends to cause physical injury to a train operator, bus operator, train conductor (or multiple other municipal employees).
  • 120.10 – Assault in the first degree (B violent felony) – Assault 1st is committed when a person intends to cause a serious physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument and causes that injury to that person or a third party; or with intent to disfigure or destroy an organ or member of the body, he causes such an injury; or with depraved indifference to human life, he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person, and thereby causes serious physical injury to another person; or in the course of and in furtherance of the commission or attempted commission of a felony or of immediate flight therefrom, he, or another participant if there be any, causes serious physical injury to a person other than one of the participants.

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Since 2014, the Law Office of Michael D. Litman has been representing the criminal defense needs of the citizens of White Plains, Westchester County and the New York Metro area. We have the knowledge and the experience to help with all your criminal defense needs.

If you have questions or need to set up a consultation, contact us online or call us at (914) 268-6855. Our firm will work with you from the arraignment all the way through to the trial.

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