Assault in the Third Degree
A person is guilty of assault in the third degree when:
(1) With intent to cause physical injury to another person, he causes such injury to such 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.
Punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
[N.Y. Penal Law § 120.00]
Assault in the Second Degree
A person is guilty of assault in the second degree when:
(1) He intentionally causes a serious physical injury; or
(2) He intentionally causes physical injury using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument; or
(3) Intending to prevent certain categories of persons from performing a lawful duty. The categories of persons covered are peace officers, police officers, nurses, sanitation enforcement agents, firefighters, EMS paramedics or technicians, or; medical or related personnel in a hospital emergency department, city marshals, traffic enforcement officers or agents; or
(4) He recklessly causes a serious physical injury by using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument; or
(5) He gives a drug or substance to someone without that person's consent, with the intent to cause stupor, unconsciousness or other physical impairment or injury; or
(6) While committing or attempting to commit a felony or fleeing immediately after, and in order to help the crime or escape succeed, causes physical injury; or
(7) Intentionally causes physical injury to a victim while being in a correctional facility after being charged with or convicted of a crime; or
(8) If the defendant is at least 18 years old and with intent to cause physical injury to a victim who is younger than 11 year old, ends up actually recklessly causing serious physical injury; or
(9) If the defendant is a least 18 years old, intentionally causes physical injury to a victim who is less that seven years old; or
(10) At a place a defendant knows or reasonably should know is on school grounds intentionally causes physical injury to an employee of a school or school district; or
(11) Intentionally injures a train operator, ticket inspector, conductor, signalperson, bus operator or station agent performing an assigned duty on, or directly related to, the operation of a train or bus;
(11-a) With intent to cause physical injury to an employee of a local social services district directly involved in investigation of alleged abuse or neglect of a child, vulnerable elderly person or an incompetent or physically disabled person, the actor, with intent to prevent an employee of a local social services district directly involved in providing public assistance and care from performing his or her job, causes physical injury to such employee; or
(12) Intentionally causes physical injury to a person who is at least sixty-five-years-old, when the defendant is at least ten years younger than the victim.
Punishable by up to seven years in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
[N.Y. Penal Law § 120.05]
An attorney can help protect your rights. They may be able to convince a prosecutor or jury of lack of intent, lack of injury or self-defense. That could result in a reduced charge or even the dismissal of the case.
If you seek to contest the assault charges, they can request a jury trial, challenge the evidence against you and cross-examine the government's witnesses. In addition, they can help you to decide if you want to testify and subpoena witnesses on your behalf.
A lawyer can mean the difference between incarceration and freedom. Besides losing your liberty, a criminal conviction can damage your reputation, your future job prospects, or in some instances, your right to vote or drive a car.