In New York, over the past several years, assault went from being assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree and assault in the third degree to nearly 10 different types of assault! It’s anywhere from assault in the third degree, which is the minimum, that’s the misdemeanor, assault in the first degree which is a B felony, so between an A misdemeanor and a B felony there are several other crimes ranging to now assault of a child, reckless assault of a child, vehicular assault, aggravated vehicular assault, there is gang assault, assault on a police officer and aggravated assault upon a police officer. After those, we have further aggravated assault upon a person less than 11 years old.
In New York, the area has really grown unfortunately by necessity over the past 30 to 35 years to encompass all these different areas. So, it’s no longer just a simple assault. Assault now gets broken down into what type, who’s the victim and who is the perpetrator. As we can discuss the various degrees of injury and the instrumentality or the weapon or how did the person get hurt, all of those also come into play. It’s a very complicated area, and that’s why it’s so important that people hire an attorney who not only has been practicing criminal law for many years but who actually knows this area of the law to properly defend these charges.
How Are Assault Charges Categorized As Either Misdemeanors Or Felonies?
Starting with just assault in a third degree, that’s a Class A misdemeanor, it’s got a very simple definition and there are subdivisions of that but it starts with just a degree of physical injury. It says a person would be guilty of an assault in the third degree when with intent to cause physical injury to another person, he causes that injury to that person or a third person. How could that happen? Say I’m really mad at you and I mean to punch you in the nose and I miss you and I punch somebody else in the nose and I caused injury to that person, that’s an assault on that person or I can recklessly cause physical injury to another person and the last one would be with criminal negligence.
You can cause physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument. So there are different definitions and different tools, weapons or instrumentalities that can be used to do this. It really has a number of elements that are necessary in order to really have an assault, and the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor would be just exactly what those elements are. When you pick and choose, like going to the buffet, depending on what you have on your plate when you dine will determine what the charge is and whether that charge would be a felony or a misdemeanor.
There Has To Be An Injury To Someone In Order For An Assault To Have Taken Place
There has to be an injury, but it depends on, what an injury is or what constitutes an injury. Does somebody have to be injured; the answer is yes, they have to be injured but the degree of the injury would then determine what kind of an assault you have. So, if a person is just claiming that they felt pain, that’s enough for an injury. So, if I push you, that’s not an assault but if I push you in such a way where it causes you pain, that becomes an assault and then substantial pain becomes another level.
Depending on what I used, if anything, to cause that; did I use my hand or did I hit you with a stick or a board or a weapon or did I stab you, all of these things again come into now making a contact between two people, whether that’s an assault or not. But the first thing that has to happen is there has to be some sort of an injury.
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