For New Yorkers who are arrested and charged with assault, there will be an inevitable fear that they might end up being convicted and sent to jail. Assault can be a serious charge, but it is important to understand that the circumstances will largely dictate the level of penalties. For example, some forms of allegations involving assault will result in an aggravated assault charge. Having a grasp on the law and how to face the charges is an important part of formulating a strong and viable defense.
In general, for a person to be convicted of assault, it must be shown that the incident caused physical injury to the victim. However, there are several factors that will be used to determine the severity of the charges including if a weapon was used and how mentally deserving of blame the defendant is. A key factor in an assault charge is intent. If the arrested person intended to cause injury to the victim, it will make the charges more serious.
With aggravated assault, the person will be viewed as having intended to cause serious physical harm to a person about whom it was known or should have been known was a peace officer or a law enforcement officer who was in the process of performing his or her duties and the injury was caused by a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon. If a person who is at least 18-years-old commits third-degree assault on someone who is younger than 11-years-old and was convicted of the same offense in the previous three years, it will also be aggravated assault. For aggravated assault on a peace officer, the conviction will result in a sentence of 10 to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
For those who are dealing with accusations of having committed aggravated assault, there are various defenses that can be used such as the absence of injury in the victim; the lack of intent to cause injury; and justification such as self-defense or defending others. It can be a worrisome time for those who are arrested and are dealing with assault charges. This is made worse when it is aggravated assault. Before doing anything, a person who is accused of aggravated assault should protect his or her interests by discussing a defense with a lawyer who has experienced in helping clients accused of violent crimes.
Source: statelaws.findlaw.com, “New York Assault and Battery Laws,” accessed on Jan. 8, 2018