Assault

The crime of assault applies to someone who is accused of causing injury or serious physical injury to another. The most serious assault charge is a B Violent Felony, while a minor assault is only a misdemeanor. Assault is one of the most common charges in criminal court, and there are many different ways to either beat this charge entirely, or arrive at a quick resolution to avoid any jail time. Dietrich P. Epperson has defended, investigated, and (as a former assistant district attorney) prosecuted numerous assault cases.

In New York, Article 120 of the Penal Law covers assault charges. There are many different types of Assault charges, but the most common are (1) Assault in the First Degree under Penal Law Section 120.10, (2) Assault in the Second Degree under Penal Law Section 120.05, and (3) Assault in the Third Degree under Penal Law Section 120.00. Another relatively common group of assault charges are Gang Assault in the First Degree under Penal Law Section 120.07 and Gang Assault in the Second Degree under Penal Law Section 120.06.

Assault in the Third Degree

Assault in the Third Degree is an A Misdemeanor in New York. The minimum punishment is an alternative sentence where a person can avoid jail time, and the maximum punishment is 1 year jail. Assault in the Third Degree is most commonly charged when

  • A person intentionally causes physical injury to another

Assault in the Second Degree

Assault in the Second Degree is a Class D Violent Felony in New York. The minimum punishment is 2 years jail and the maximum punishment is 7 years jail. There is also the possibility (under extenuating circumstances) that a judge can impose an alternative sentence where the accused can get less jail time, or possibly no jail time at all. Assault in the Second Degree is most commonly charged when

  • A person intentionally causes serious physical injury to another
  • OR a person causes physical injury to another with a weapon

Assault in the First Degree

Assault in the First Degree is a Class B Violent Felony in New York. The minimum punishment is 5 years jail and the maximum punishment is 25 years jail. This is very serious charge, and is the same level of severity as an attempted murder case. Assault in the First Degree is most commonly charged when:

  • A person intentionally causes serious physical injury to another with a weapon

Gang Assault in the Second Degree

Gang Assault in the Second Degree is a Class C Violent Felony in New York. The minimum sentence is 3.5 years jail and the maximum sentence is 15 years jail. A common misperception about this crime is that someone involved has to be in a street gang, like the Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings, etc. There is absolutely no requirement that anyone involved be in a gang, only that the person charged was aided by 2 or more other people. Gang Assault in the Second Degree can be charged when:

  • A person intends to cause physical injury, and when aided by 2 or more other people, causes serious physical injury to another.

Gang Assault in the First Degree

Gang Assault in the First Degree is a Class B Violent Felony in New York. The minimum sentence is 5 years jail and the maximum sentence is 25 years jail. As noted above, a common misperception about this crime is that someone involved has to be in a street gang. Again, there is no requirement under the law that anyone involved is in a gang, only that the person charged was aided by 2 or more other people. Gang Assault in the First Degree can be charged when:

  • A person intends to cause serious physical injury, and when aided by 2 or more other people, causes serious physical injury to another.