Assault and Related Offenses in New York
Like many crimes and offenses in New York, Assault is a general term defined by the circumstances of the alleged offense. Harassment in the Second Degree under Penal Law 240.26 is a violation level offense (as opposed to a misdemeanor or felony); Harassment is punishable by up to 15 days in county jail, or alternatively, a conditional discharge, fine and surcharge.
Assault in the Third Degree is defined as intentionally or recklessly causing physical injury. Assault in the Third Degree is an A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in county jail, 3 years probation, a split sentence of up to 60 days jail & probation, up a to $1000 fine and surcharge.
Assault as a felony, in general, involves some aggravating factor including the use of a weapon, the status of the defendant (as an inmate), the status of the victim (child, senior, police officer) or a greater extent of injury. Felony assault is punishable by up to 5 years probation and state prison.
Keep in mind that when you are charged with any of these offenses, it is quite possible you will be offered a lesser offense from the District Attorney; each case is unique and in some cases, the best strategy may be to fight the charges either procedurally, or at trial. I have had many assault charges dismissed outright based on insufficiency of the allegations, unavailability of witnesses, and in some cases based on the failure of the prosecution to prove an element of the charged offense at trial.
If you have been charged with an Assault or Harassment offense, call me for a free consultation to discuss the unique circumstances of your case at 716-316-3160
-Jeffrey V. Scherer