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Assault Explained

Assault and Battery Defense in New York City

Any assault charge in New York is very serious.  The penalties for the various levels of assault range from simple probation up to several years in jail and anyone facing this charge needs to be in touch with an experienced New York criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

The State of New York, as do many other states, separates the crime of assault into various levels according to what occurred in the incident.  Basic assault is defined as the defendant causing physical injury to another.  Higher levels of assault with higher penalties require intent on the part of the person charged and in some cases, the use of a deadly weapon, the age or mental ability of the victim and whether or not the victim was a police officer or other type of law enforcement officer.  Only a criminal defense attorney in New York with a great deal of experience can help you discern the vital facts in your situation and help you to succeed in court.

1st, 2nd and 3rd Degree Assault in NY

In first degree and second degree assault cases, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant specifically intended to cause serious physical harm to the victim.  In first degree and second degree assault this must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.  In this type of case, your experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to implement the defenses in your favor, such as self defense, etc. that will keep the prosecution from meeting that high burden.  We are the best criminal defense attorneys in New York City.

Some of the lower levels of assault, third degree and some second degree assault, only require that the prosecution prove that the defendant acted recklessly with a dangerous weapon or was criminally negligent with a dangerous weapon.  They do not have to prove that the defendant had intent in mind to cause the injury.  While these lower levels have a lower threshold of proof, they still have some pretty severe penalties.  You need to rely on a NY assault defense attorney who has tried several of these cases to ensure that you do not receive an unjust penalty.  The Law Office of Bukh Law Firm, PLLC has experienced and excellent criminal defense attorneys that can do just that.

NEW YORK AGGRAVATED ASSAULT CHARGE is the most extreme degree of assault, consisting of attempts to cause serious bodily injury, attempts to have sexual activity with someone younger than 14, or attempt to cause bodily injury with a deadly weapon. This charge is usually accompanied by AGGRAVATED BATTERY, doubling the chances for a conviction in court. People charged with aggravated assault are not murderers and, although they may have made some very bad decisions, they are not irredeemable.

NY Assault Charge

Assault Attorney is in Demand in NY

Aggravated assault in New York is a very serious crime and anyone charged with this needs to have the best NY criminal defense attorney to be on their side during all proceedings.  Two items make an assault into an “aggravated” assault:

  1. That the victim of the assault was a person that the defendant should have known was a police officer or “peace” officer in the performance of their duty and that the injury was caused with a dangerous weapon or “instrument”. §120.11 of the New York Penal Code and is a Class B Felony.
  2. That the defendant is over 18 years old or older and commits third degree assault on a child less than 11 years old and has been convicted of the same or similar crime in the last 3 years.  §120.12 of the New York Penal Code and is a Class E Felony.

A defendant charged with an aggravated assault needs to reach out to an experienced law firm such as the Law Office of Bukh Law Firm, PLLC, which is known for its success in criminal defense in such serious cases.  There is no need to stand alone against this type of serious with serious penalties, our experienced criminal defense are able and ready to help and can be contacted 24 hours a day.

Assault Charge Statutes and case examples:

§120.00 Assault in the Third Degree

This level of assault includes the elements that the defendant INTENDED to cause injury to a victim and did cause injury; RECKLESSLY caused injury to the victim, or NEGLIGENTLY caused injury with a dangerous weapon or “instrument”.  This is a Class A Misdemeanor and the maximum sentence would be fines and one year in jail.


A conviction in a case of assault in the third degree was as simple as the defendant punching the victim in the face.  The court found and the Appeals Court agreed that this amount of physical injury created enough pain in the victim to rise to the level of third degree assault.  The defendant did announce her intent just prior to hitting the victim.  She was sentenced to 15 days in jail.  People v. Lang, 2011 NY Slip Op 01329 decided February 22, 2011.

§120.05 Assault in the Second Degree

The defendant can be charged with this more serious type of assault if they caused injury and INTENDED to cause serious physical injury; caused injury by the use of a dangerous weapon and intended to cause serious physical injury; and finally, caused injury with a dangerous weapon used RECKLESSLY.  This is a Class D Felony and could have a jail sentence of up to 7 years.  Another important issue is that now the defendant will have been convicted of a felony which will create a criminal record that they will carry always.


In this case the statement of fact relates that the defendant spent many hours beating up his girlfriend.  According to the court he was “slapping, punching and choking her, beating her with a belt and metal broomstick, pulling out clumps of her hair and attempting to pull her tongue out.”  Obviously she suffered injuries and was sent to the ER.  Even though the defendant did appeal it was denied because the appeals court felt there was sufficient evidence for him to go to jail for the offense of assault in the second degree for 7 years with 5 years of post release supervision.  People v. Davenport, 58 A.D. 3d 892.

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§120.10 Assault in the First Degree

Naturally this is the most serious level of assault charges.  In order to be charged a defendant needs to have INTENDED to cause serious physical injury and succeeded a doing so; intended to disfigure someone permanently, destroy them or disable them permanently; acted with DEPRAVED INDIFFERENCE to human life and RECKLESSLY conducted themselves in a way that created a risk of death and caused serious injury and finally, caused serious physical injury to the victim in the commission of a felony or in flight after such a felony.  This is a Class B Felony and can carry a penalty of 25 years in prison.


The facts in this case show that the defendant was arrested after stabbing his mother several times.  She survived the attack and so the defendant was convicted of assault in the first degree among other charges and sentenced to 15 years in prison.  Obviously he had a dangerous weapon and the intent to seriously injure his mother and the Appeals upheld his sentence.  People v. Ture, 2012 NY Slip Op 2530, decided April 5, 2012.


As these statutes, discussion and case examples show, to be charged with assault of any type is serious business in NY.  Anyone who is charged with assault cannot go it alone, they need the support and representation of the best criminal defense team around and that would be the Law Office of Bukh Law Firm, PLLC.  We are the attorneys that will believe your version of the facts and create the best defense for any assault charge.  Every client is a very important individual case with us, and every client gets the upmost in legal representation that we can give and that is the best in New York City.  We will do everything possible to get your case dismissed so that no criminal record will follow you, but in the case that this doesn’t occur, our experienced trial attorneys will represent you with success in court. We are with you all the way.

Since we know that trouble can happen at any time, we can be contacted 24 hours a day to help you in your situation. The general public has very little, if any, compassion or leniency to those facing a charge of this nature. It is extremely important therefore, that individuals charged with such crimes immediately seek legal counsel from a  New York City assault attorney who is capable of ensuring them fair treatment under the law.

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