Criminal cases involving charges of assault are taken very seriously by prosecutors in New York and carry the potential for jail, probation, and the indelible mark of a permanent criminal record on the part of the accused. Due to the frequency with which assault cases arise in this City, the New York criminal defense firm of The Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo have extensive experience defending assault crimes in New York - and with great success.
Whether it stems from a fight in a bar, an incident of road rage, a work-place altercation, or a domestic incident, the degree of assault which is charged in any particular case will depend on three primary factors:
- The extent and seriousness of any physical injury sustained by the complaining witness or victim;
- Whether a weapon or dangerous instrument is alleged have been used during the commission of the incident, and/or
- Whether the injured person falls in a protected category (such as a police officer or train conductor.
Below is a partial list of some of the more common Assault crimes and their punishments:
- Assault in the First Degree (Penal Law 120.10) - Includes, for example, causing serious physical injury by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument with intent to do the same, or disfiguring or permanently disabling another. This crime is a Class B "violent" felony and is punishable by up to 25 years in prison followed by post-release supervision.
- Gang Assault in the First Degree (Penal Law 120.07) - Applies when three or more people cause serious physical injury to another person with the intent to do same. This crime is a Class B "violent" felony and is punishable by up to 25 years in prison followed by post-release supervision.
- Gang Assault in the Second Degree (Penal Law 120.06) - Apples when three or more people intend to cause physical injury to another person and actually cause serious physical injury to that person. This crime is a Class C "violent" felony and is punishable by up to 15 years in prison followed by post-release supervision.
- Assault in the Second Degree (Penal Law 120.05) - Includes causing serious physical injury with intent to do same, causing physical injury with a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument, or causing physical injury to a police officer during an attempt to prevent them performing a lawful duty. This crime is a Class D "violent" felony and is punishable by up to 7 years in prison followed by post-release supervision.
- Assault in the Third Degree (Penal Law 120.00) - Includes causing physical injury with intent to do same, recklessly causing physical injury, or negligently causing physical injury by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. This crime is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 1 year in jail.
The close attention prosecutors pay to assault cases in New York can only be matched by a zealous defense, and so each case requires a unique approach by the lawyer fighting for the rights of the accused. Defending an assault case may involve an assertion of self-defense (or the defense of a third person), filing a motion to reduce or dismiss based on the insufficiency of allegations of physical injury, or the mounting of an aggressive challenge to the prosecution's ability to prove the defendant's identity altogether. Most assault cases also require thorough pre-trial (or even pre-arrest) investigation whereby witnesses are interviewed and potential surveillance evidence is collected. In our experience, such a diligent defense investigation is often necessary to prove innocence and exculpate the accused.
If you have been accused of an assault crime anywhere in New York, it is important that you seek the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney with extensive experience handling assault cases immediately. A conviction for assault on one's criminal record can serve as a tremendous deterrent to anyone performing a background check (especially employers). As experienced defense attorneys and former prosecutors, the New York attorneys at The Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo understand the serious nature of assault and how best to defend your case. With extensive knowledge of the law and the legal system, our team has been able to successfully resolve countless cases by sparing their clients every having to step foot in a jail (and by preserving their records).
For more information about how best to defend your assault case, and to schedule a free case evaluation, contact The Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo at 212-344-5180.