New York Assault NY Penal Law § 120 – Kushner Law Group

New York Assault NY Penal Law § 120 is one of the most common types of criminal charges prosecuted in New York City, and it is an important element to many other crimes. Simply put, assault is causing physical injury to someone. This injury can be caused by reckless actions, or even by negligent inaction. In the state of New York, the crime of assault is codified in NY Penal Law § 120. While there are many variations of the crime, there are only three degrees of assault ranging from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class B felony.

Assault in the Third Degree

Assault in the third degree occurs when someone:

1. with intent to cause physical injury to another person, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person; or

2. He recklessly causes physical injury to another person; or

3. With criminal negligence, he causes physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument

This means that assault in the third degree occurs whenever someone injures another person through their reckless actions, or negligent inaction. Additionally, assault in the third degree is classified as a Class A misdemeanor.

Assault in the Second Degree

Assault in the second degree occurs when someone:

1. With intent to cause serious physical injury to another person, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person; or

2. With intent to cause physical injury to another person, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument; or

3. With intent to prevent a public servant from performing a lawful duty, he or she causes physical injury to such person

4. He recklessly causes serious physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument; or

5. For a purpose other than lawful medical or therapeutic treatment, he intentionally causes stupor, unconsciousness or other physical impairment or injury to another person by administering to him, without his consent, a drug, substance or preparation capable of producing the same; or

6. During and in furtherance of the commission or attempted commission of a felony, other than a felony defined in article one hundred thirty which requires corroboration for conviction, or of immediate flight therefrom, he, or another participant if there be any, causes physical injury to a person other than one of the participants; or

7. Having been charged with or convicted of a crime and while confined in a correctional facility, as defined in subdivision three of section forty of the correction law, pursuant to such charge or conviction, with intent to cause physical injury to another person, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person; or

8. Being eighteen years old or more and with intent to cause physical injury to a person less than eleven years old, the defendant recklessly causes serious physical injury to such person; or

9. Being eighteen years old or more and with intent to cause physical injury to a person less than seven years old, the defendant causes such injury to such person; or

10. Acting at a place the person knows, or reasonably should know, is on school grounds and with intent to cause physical injury, he or she:

(a) causes such injury to an employee of a school or public school
district; or

(b) not being a student of such school or public-school district, causes physical injury to another, and such other person is a student of such school who is attending or present for educational purposes. For purposes of this subdivision the term “school grounds” shall have the meaning set forth in subdivision fourteen of section 220.00 of this chapter; or

11. With intent to cause physical injury to a New York State employee, while such employee is performing an assigned duty, he or she causes physical injury to such employee

12. With intent to cause physical injury to a person who is sixty-five years of age or older, he or she causes such injury to such person, and the actor is more than ten years younger than such person; or

13. Being confined to a secure treatment facility, as such term is defined in subdivision (o) of section 10.03 of the mental hygiene law, and with intent to cause physical injury to an employee of such secure treatment facility performing his or her duties, he or she causes such injury to such person; or

14. With intent to prevent or obstruct a process server, as defined in section eighty-nine-t of the general business law, from performing a lawful duty pursuant to article three of the civil practice law and rules, or intentionally, as retaliation against such a process server for the performance of the process server’s duties pursuant to such article, including by means of releasing or failing to control an animal evincing the actor’s intent that the animal prevent or obstruct the lawful duty of the process server or as retaliation against the process server, he or she causes physical injury to such process server.

This means that assault in the second degree occurs in the same method as assault in the third degree; however, the important difference between the two are the instrument used in the assault, the status of the defendant, and the status of the victim. This crime is classified as a Class D felony.

Assault in the First Degree

Someone is guilty of assault in the first degree when:

1. With intent to cause serious physical injury to another person, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument; or

2. With intent to disfigure another person seriously and permanently, or to destroy, amputate or disable permanently a member or organ of his body, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person; or

3. Under circumstances evincing a 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

4. 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.

The biggest difference between a second degree felony and a first degree felony is the seriousness of the injury. Serious physical injuries, and physical injuries with long lasting, or even permanent affects will usually be classified as a first degree assault. First degree assault is a Class B felony.

Common Defenses

Some of the defenses used in assault cases include:

1. Demonstrating that the defendant did not have intent to injury the victim. If the person injured was not an intentional target, nor the result of a failed attempt at injuring someone else, it can be proven that the assault lacked intent.

2. Demonstrating that the defendant was merely acting in self-defense. If the defendant injured the victim in self-defense, then it would not be an assault.

Sentencing

While judges will consider criminal history and other circumstances when determining sentencing as a Class A misdemeanor third degree assault faces up to 1 year in jail, fines, and probation. Second degree assault, as a Class D felony, faces up to 6 years in jail, as well as fines. Finally, first degree assault which is a Class A felony can face up to life in prison.

Please see the link below to better understand the laws that may influence the charges levied against you. http://ypdcrime.com/penal.law/article120.htm?zoom_highlight=assault

The Kushner Law Group is well positioned to defend and manage crisis situations pertaining to Assault investigations and prosecutions by taking a holistic approach from start to finish by mitigating damages and defending client’s rights. We strive to protect your legal rights because we are a team of like-minded legal professionals with years of experience and the knowhow to protect your rights in both State and Federal Courts. To learn more about the Kushner Law Group, please click here.. Call us now for a free consultation at (718) 504-1440.

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