Assault charges can mean you are charged with a felony, forced to pay a fine, or even serve prison time. If you've been charged with assault, it's imperative you contact an experienced Buffalo assault attorney as soon as possible. Assault charges are classified as third degree, second degree, or first degree. Additionally, assault charges in New York also include vehicular assault in the first or second degree. Assault charges can also be considered aggravated. Hiring a Buffalo assault attorney is highly recommended.
- Assault in the first degree is the most serious assault charge in the State of New York. Assault in the first degree means that it is alleged that you had actual intent to hurt the other person and you were successful in causing them harm. It also includes if you set up to cause permanent disfigurement, disable the person, or acted with depraved indifference to life.
- Assault in the second degree is also a serious charge. With this charge, the State is alleging that you meant to hurt someone with the purpose of causing a permanent injury. You could also be charged with assault in the second degree if it is alleged that you had a weapon or if you used a weapon in a reckless manner.
- Assault in the third degree is an allegation that you intended to hurt the victim and did so. It is also the charge that is used when an injury is recklessly or negligently caused because of some sort of object. The object can be a dangerous weapon or it could be just an object that was lying around. Assault in the third degree is used when injuries are minor.
- Vehicular assault means that a car was involved. Vehicular assault both in the first and second degree are considered non-violent felonies under state law. Usually, vehicular assault is charged in instances of DWI.
- Aggravated assault is the most serious of all assault charges. It can be charged as first, second, or third degree. Aggravated assault occurs if it is alleged you attempted to cause someone serious bodily harm; or try to harm someone with a deadly weapon.
ASSAULT CHARGE PENALTIES
- Assault in the first degree is a class B felony. You could receive a prison sentence up to 25 years.
- Assault in the second degree is a class D felony. You could face a prison sentence up to seven years.
- Assault in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor. You could receive a fine up to $1,000, probation, restitution, and you could have an Order of Protection against you.
- Vehicular assault is a class E felony. You could face between 4 and 10 years in prison depending on your previous criminal history. It's also possible that you would be sentenced to probation and receive no prison time.
- Aggravated assault penalties depend on several circumstances like the age or identity of the victim. You could be fined up to $5,000 and face prison time.
DEVELOPING LEGAL DEFENSES FOR ASSAULT CHARGES
Developing the right legal defenses for an assault charge is an important task. Your future is on the line. Depending on the type of assault that you're charged with, you may have legal defenses that are available to you. An assault attorney in Buffalo NY with experience in handling assault charges is an absolute necessity.
You may be tempted to simply plead down your case or take a plea deal being offered to you by the state. Before you do this, you should talk with Buffalo Assault Attorney Drew Fritsch to make sure that you understand what you're getting in exchange for the deal. If you're innocent and it's not likely that New York prosecutors can prove their case against you, it may benefit you to go to trial. However, that's not a decision that you should make without first learning about your legal rights and defenses.
Every assault charge case is different even though they all have some similarities. Choosing an assault attorney with a history of success defending people in this type of case is the most important. Questions the lawyer may ask you include:
- Do you have a criminal history or similar charges from your past?
- Does the alleged victim's story make sense?
- Does the alleged victim have any reason to lie?
- Did the alleged victim suffer actual injuries as a result of the incident listed in the complaint?
- How did the confrontation begin?
Assault charges also have a set of legal defenses available provided that the incident falls into an appropriate category. Possible legal defenses include:
- No injury caused to the alleged victim
- No intent on your part
- Consent (second and third degree assault charges)
- Self-defense or other justification
STRONG DEFENSE AGAINST AN ASSAULT CHARGE
Because cases involving assault charges can be drastically different, it's important to note that success in a similar case is not necessarily an indicator of the success for your case. This is why it is imperative for you to talk with a Buffalo assault attorney who has experience handling all kinds of assault charges. Although you have the right to represent yourself and even if you believe that your case is easily proven in your favor, do not act as your own attorney. Your freedom could be on the line. Make sure that you have an experienced attorney on your side. Contact the Office of Drew Fritsch P.C. to defend your freedom against an assault charge in Buffalo and WNY.