Westchester County Assault Lawyer

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Westchester County Assault Attorney

Facing an assault charge is a terrifying ordeal. It can be made all the more difficult if you are on your own, dealing with a situation you may not know how to handle. Assault can mean so many different things and can represent so many different kinds of situations. If you have been charged with assault in Westchester County, you may want to reach out to a Westchester County assault lawyer to find out what your options are going forward.

Best Westchester County Assault Lawyer

How To Define Assault

Under New York state law, an assault occurs when one party injures another party with intent and without legal cause. Whether that intent is to hurt or to kill is irrelevant. The assault that did occur is what matters.

An assault can garner a misdemeanor charge or a felony charge depending on the severity of the case and whether or not there was a deadly weapon involved. If you are confused about the various natures of assault, you should consult a criminal lawyer who can help you understand your position.

Felony Assault

Felony assault can be categorized into two separate levels:

  • A Class D felony has penalties that range from probation to a maximum of seven years in jail.
  • A Class B felony carries a minimum prison sentence of at least three years and could potentially jump up to 25 years in certain cases.

In a felony assault case, the victim has to have suffered a physical injury of some sort. First-degree assault requires a more severe, very serious injury, while second-degree assault requires a more minor injury. In both cases, the injuries were caused by reckless behavior that may or may not have been intentional and were caused by a deadly weapon of some sort.

The physical injury must be an actual, real pain. Mental or emotional trauma does not count as assault. The injury must be tangible, like a bruise, a cut, a burn, or a broken bone. Under New York law, a physical injury is defined as an impairment that causes physical pain. Under the same laws, a serious physical injury is defined as an impairment that runs the very real risk of death, long-term physical effects, or permanent disfigurement.

First-Degree Assault

First-degree assault is considered the most serious assault crime that you can be charged with. An assault is only considered first-degree assault if the victim was seriously injured in a way that resulted in permanent damage or disfigurement. First-degree assault can occur largely in four distinct situations:

  1. The victim intended or otherwise, suffers a physical injury caused by a deadly weapon that the assaulter intended to wield in order to hurt someone. It doesn’t matter if the injured person was the intended victim or a bystander who inadvertently got in the way. It is first-degree assault if anyone gets seriously hurt as a result of someone wielding a deadly weapon with intent to injure or kill.
  2. The perpetrator causes serious physical harm while engaging in reckless conduct that carries with it a serious risk of death. Reckless conduct can be anything that irrationally puts people in a large amount of danger, like driving a vehicle into a crowd.
  3. The perpetrator intentionally disfigures or brutally maims another person, such as amputating a limb, destroying an organ, or otherwise permanently causing a disfigurement. This can also carry a potential charge for torture in certain situations.
  4. The perpetrator assaults a bystander while fleeing the scene of another crime or trying to distract from another crime. This could be attacking someone whilst fleeing the scene of a robbery or running from the police.

Any assault crime that fits one of these four criteria can be considered first-degree assault and carry with it the most serious assault charges that can be leveled against an individual in New York.

Second-Degree Assault

Second-degree assault is still a serious crime but is a lot more open to interpretation than first-degree assault. Under New York state law, second-degree assault is divided up into twelve distinct situations:

  1. The perpetrator intentionally caused a physical injury.
  2. The perpetrator caused a physical injury in order to prevent police from performing their duty.
  3. The perpetrator used a deadly weapon to cause a physical injury through reckless conduct.
  4. The perpetrator used a deadly weapon to cause a physical injury with intent.
  5. The perpetrator committed an assault in order to flee another felonious crime or further said crime.
  6. Giving someone a controlled substance without that person’s consent with the intent of causing them harm.
  7. An adult over the age of 18 intentionally injures a child under seven years of age.
  8. The perpetrator causes bodily harm to another after being incarcerated or convicted of a crime.
  9. The perpetrator intentionally causes harm to someone operating a public transport, like a bus or a train.
  10. The perpetrator deliberately caused harm to a student or school employee while on school grounds.
  11. The perpetrator, who is at least 10 years younger than the victim, deliberately caused harm to an elderly person over the age of 65.
  12. The perpetrator who is at least 18 years old causes intentional, reckless injury to a victim younger than 11 years old.

An experienced assault attorney will be able to decipher where your case belongs if it does indeed fall under the umbrella of second-degree assault, which is quite broad. A second-degree assault charge carries with it a potential prison sentence of three to seven years, or possibly less if the perpetrator is a first offender.

The most effective defense strategy against second-degree assault is to claim that you only acted in self-defense. The burden of proof for a self-defense claim falls on the perpetrator and their legal counsel. If you and your assault lawyer believe that building a case based on self-defense is the way to go, then you must first prove that your assault incident happened that way.

Under New York state law, menacing does not technically carry an assault charge as it does not involve any actual physical contact. Menacing involves placing another person in a potentially dangerous situation where they are reasonably afraid for their life. If someone is going to be charged with menacing, they will likely have to have a record of assault or another charge of menacing from within the past 10 years.


Q: How Much Is an Assault Charge in New York?

A: Different degrees of assault charges carry with them different penalties and sentencing. It depends entirely on the degree of your charge, the circumstances surrounding your case, and whether you were able to reach a plea deal with the prosecuting attorney.

First and second-degree assault charges all vary in their penalties, with jail time ranging between 5 and 25 years depending on the specific case. Claiming self-defense may help lessen your sentence if you are facing a second-degree assault charge.

Q: What Happens When You Press Charges on Someone for Assault in New York?

A: When you press charges on someone for assault in New York, the proper authorities will investigate the situation and determine if the charge is viable. If the charge is found to be viable, a warrant will be issued for the assaulter’s arrest. Law enforcement will locate and detain the assaulter, at which point the assault will be investigated. If evidence is found linking them to the assault, a case will be built against them.

Q: What Are the Degrees of Assault in New York?

A: Under New York state law, assault is sectioned into three separate degrees of severity: First-degree assault, which is the most serious of the charges and thus is penalized the harshest. Second-degree assault is more broad and still considered quite serious. Third-degree assault is the least penalized and is largely charged as a misdemeanor. Still, all three represent a possible assault charge on your record.

Q: What Is the Sentence for Assault in the First Degree in New York?

A: The maximum sentence for assault in the first degree in New York is 25 years in prison. Assault in the first degree is also considered a violent felony, which carries with it a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison. Your sentence may also carry with it a hefty probation period of 5 years minimum.

Find the Westchester County Assault Lawyer You Need

Dealing with an assault charge is never easy. Every situation is different. You may have acted valiantly or sought to protect someone. You may have reacted poorly in a bad situation. You may have fully intended to hurt someone. Every case is specific and requires an experienced attorney to unravel and help guide you through it.

At Greco Neyland, PC, we conduct a thorough investigation into your case to ensure you receive a well-researched and prepared defense. We understand your frustrations and can offer you sound guidance whenever you need it. Contact us to schedule a consultation as soon as you can so we can fight this together.

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