What Are the Penalties for Felony Assault in New York?

Unfortunately, you may find yourself in a situation where an argument escalates into a physical altercation. Depending on the specific circumstances of the scuffle, you may find yourself facing an assault charge. Assault can cover a wide range of offenses, all of which can result in long-lasting consequences. Facing an aggravated assault charge is a severe matter. As such, if you’ve been charged with assault in New York, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of a seasoned Rockland County Assault Attorney who can help explore all available defenses that could result in lesser punishment or even a dismissal of your case. 

What is Felony Assault?

When a person injures someone without legal justification, it’s considered assault. Assault charges are broken down based on various degrees of severity. In New York, assault can come in many different forms, which can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Whether you face a misdemeanor or felony offense will depend on several factors, including the severity of a victim’s injuries, whether the defendant used a weapon or dangerous instrument during the attack, and, in some cases, whether a victim is afforded special protection by New York law.

There are two types of felony assault you can face in New York: second-degree and first-degree. Both felony offenses require that a victim suffers a “physical injury” as a result of the attack. It’s crucial to understand that it can often be challenging to differentiate between second-degree and first-degree assault because of how a “physical injury” is defined under New York law. Second-degree assault occurs when a victim suffers simply a “physical injury,” while first-degree assault occurs when a victim suffers a more severe “serious physical injury.” For both degrees, the injuries must have been caused either intentionally, recklessly, or with the intent to harm the victim.

In this context, a “physical injury” occurs when a victim suffers at least some form of physical injury or pain, not mental. On the other hand, a “serious physical injury” occurs when a victim is at substantial risk of death, or the attack causes death, long-term disfigurement, ill health, or loss or impairment of an organ. Ultimately, the injuries sustained from second-degree or first-degree assault are caused by either a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument.

What Are the Potential Penalties for Aggravated Assault in New York?

As mentioned above, some assault crimes are misdemeanors, while others are felonies. Felony assault charges are penalized much harsher than misdemeanors. Second-degree assault is a Class D felony, which is charged when a victim suffers a serious injury. A judge can impose a maximum prison sentence of at least three to no more than seven years and a fine of up to $5,000. First-degree assault is a Class B felony, which is charged when a victim suffers a serious physical injury. A judge can impose a minimum of three years, a maximum of 25 years imprisonment, and a $5,000 fine.

Given the high stakes of an aggravated assault charge, please don’t hesitate to contact an adept attorney from The Law Office of Carl Spector, who can help defend your rights and interests.