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New York Assault Defenses
The severity of an assault case depends on the circumstances of the alleged crime. In New York, assault can range from a minor offense to a felony.
If you have been accused of assault, you will want to hire a New York criminal lawyer to assess your case and help you come up with a defense strategy.
New York Assault Basics
Assault comes in many different forms, from domestic disputes to bar fights. The severity of the assault will depend on several factors, including whether a weapon was used and who the assault was against.
In general, assault in New York is defined as when someone intends to and causes injury to another person or an individual recklessly causes injury to another person.
Assault can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. In New York, assault in the third degree, which is the most basic form of assault, is classified as a class A misdemeanor. Such a misdemeanor usually doesnt entail any more than one year in jail at most, a fine, or a combination of both.
There are other types of New York assault crimes that are more severe than third-degree assault. For example, assault in the second degree occurs when someone uses a deadly weapon when committing assault or causes serious physical injury to another. This type of assault is a class D felony. First-degree assault occurs when very serious injury (such as disfigurement or amputation) is attempted on and suffered by another person. This crime is classified as a class B felony and may be punishable by multiple years in prison.
Defenses Against Assault
If you have been accused of assault, there are a couple of defenses you and your New York assault lawyer may be able to use to help prevent you from being found guilty.
First, you may be able to dispute the facts of the case. The prosecution (the party in charge of proving your guilt) will present evidence such as witness testimony or video. If you can dispute this evidence, either by having your attorney cross-examine the witness or point out flaws in the evidence, you may be able to create enough doubt in the minds of the jurors for them to find you not guilty.
Another defense against assault charges is self-defense. Under New York assault laws, if you were using reasonable force to defend yourself or someone else from imminent physical danger, then the force you used is justified under the law. To use this defense, you must present evidence that your safety was threatened.
Finally, if you cannot come up with a reasonable defense against the assault charges, you and your attorney may be able to negotiate a plea arrangement with the prosecution. A plea arrangement is when you agree to plead guilty to a lesser crime in exchange for a lighter sentence. This allows you to bypass the trial process and serve a reduced sentence.
Creating a Plan
No matter what type of assault you have been accused of committing, you and your lawyer will want to work on a defense strategy as soon after your arrest as possible. And if new evidence comes to light, you and your lawyer will want to alter your defense accordingly.
The point is that you must find a knowledgeable New York assault attorney who understands the facts of your case and the defenses available to you. After all, depending on the seriousness of the charges, you could be facing many years in prison.