Assault in New York
The State of New York bans various forms of assault. In order for an individual to be convicted of assault, that individual must cause physical injury to another person. The degree of the offense is dependent on other factors such as the seriousness of the injury.
Statutes Defining Assault in New York State – New York Penal Code Article 120.
New York has three main classifications of assault on an adult
- First Degree Assault is a Class B violent felony;
- Second Degree Assault is a Class D felony; and
- Third Degree Assault is a Class A misdemeanor.
Article 120 of the New York Penal Code lays out Assault and related offenses. Assault in the third degree is codified in NY PENAL §120.00. Assault in the third degree occurs when an individual:
- Has the intention to cause physical injury to another and causes such injury to the person of another; or
- Recklessly causes physical injury to the person of another; or
- Through criminal negligence, an individual causes injury to another person via a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument.
Assault in the second degree is codified in NY PENAL §120.05. Assault in the second degree occurs when an individual:
- Has the intention to cause serious physical injury to another and causes such injury to the person of another; or
- Has the intention to cause physical injury to another, and does so with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument
- Assault in the second degree also takes place when the injury is caused to various classes of employees or in particular places.
Assault in the first degree is codified in NY PENAL §120.10. Assault in the first degree occurs when an individual:
- Has the intention to cause serious physical injury to the person of another and does so via a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument; or
- Has the intention to disfigure another person permanently or to amputate or disable an organ of another person, and causes such injury; or
- With extreme indifference to human life, acts recklessly and creates a high risk of death to another person, and causes serious injury; or
- In the commission of a felony, causes serious physical injury to a person other than another participant.
Penalties for Assault Under New York Law.
- Third Degree Assault
- Class A Misdemeanor
- Up to one (1) year imprisonment
- A fine not to exceed $1,000
- Second Degree Assault
- Class D Felony
- Between three (3) and seven (7) years imprisonment
- A fine not to exceed $5,000
- First Degree Assault
- Class B Violent Felony
- Between three (3) and twenty-five (25) years imprisonment
- Between ten (10) and thirty (30) years for aggravated assault on a peace officer
- A fine not to exceed $5,000
- Prior Felony Convictions
- If an offender has a felony in the prior ten (10) years, this may increase the sentence imposed. This increase may occur regardless of whether or not the previous felonies were violent in nature.
Defenses to Assault Under New York Law.
Several defenses may be available to you if you have been accused of assault in New York. The defenses available to you may vary depending on the particular circumstances of your case. In order to know which of the available defenses is most likely to help you prevail call us today.
A lack of injury may be a defense to assault. Also, a lack of intent to cause may be an adequate defense to an assault charge. Consent is also applicable except in cases of second-degree assault with a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon and cases of third-degree assault with intent to injure.
Furthermore, if the defendant was not the initial aggressor, he/she may be able to use the justifications of self-defense or defense of others.
Cases of Assault in New York in the News
- A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrest Of Suffolk County Nurse and Aide For Assaulting 88-Year-Old Adult Home Resident (2013)
Raquel Bouton, an LPN, and Laura Harper, a PCA, were arrested and charged with eight counts related to the assault of an 88-year-old incompetent and a physically disabled man. According to the Attorney General’s Office investigation, the two defendants tied the elderly resident’s hands together above his head and proceeded to strike him repeatedly in the torso while also holding a pillow over his face to impede his ability to breathe.
As a result of the assault, the victim suffered bruising of the torso constrained breathing and physical pain. Bouton subsequently created false progress notes in an effort to cover up the assault. It was later revealed by the adult home’s surveillance cameras that the defendants were entering and exiting the victim’s room at times immediately preceding and following the assault.
Among the charges, Bouton and Harper’s face is one charge each of Assault in the Second Degree and Attempted Assault in the Second Degree. The pair faces an additional count of Endangering the Welfare of a Vulnerable Elderly Person in the Second Degree and a handful of misdemeanors. If convicted each of the defendants faces up to seven (7) years in prison.
To read the official New York Attorney General press release, please follow the link below:https://ag.ny.gov/press-release/ag-schneiderman-announces-arrest-suffolk-county-nurse-and-aide-assaulting-88-year-old
- A.G. Schneiderman Announces Indictment Of Unlicensed Plastic Surgeon And Licensed Physician Charged With Illegally Performing Over 60 Plastic Surgeries (2017)
Brad Jacob and Nicholas Sewell were arrested and charged in connection with a four-year scheme to perform illegal plastic surgery procedures on dozens of patients, with one procedure resulting in permanent disfigurement. Brad Jacobs is a former plastic surgeon that handed over his New York medical license in 2007.
From 2012-2016 Jacobs partnered with Nicholas Sewell, a New York licensed physician, and performed procedures on clients that believed he was actively licensed. The pair charged on average between $8,000 and $10,000 per procedure. In order to conceal the illegal activity, the defendant would instruct the patients to pay either in cash or in a check payable to one of Sewell’s relatives.
In reality, Sewell controlled the account and would periodically transfer funds to an account in the name of a relative of Jacobs’, which similarly was controlled by Jacobs. The indictment charges both Sewell and Jacobs with one count of Assault in the First Degree and one count of Assault in the Second Degree. If convicted, they will face up to twenty-five (25) year imprisonment.
To read the official New York Attorney General press release, please follow the link below: https://ag.ny.gov/press-release/ag-schneiderman-announces-indictment-unlicensed-plastic-surgeon-and-licensed-physician
- A.G. Schneiderman Announces Criminal Charges Against Doctor & Two Fake Surgeons Who Disfigured Women (2012)
Charges were filed against Marlon Castillo, a licensed physician, and Carlos Arango and William Ordonez, neither of whom are licensed physicians in New York or Connecticut. The trio allegedly performed a number of cosmetic surgeries on women without general anesthesia sometimes leaving them disfigured.
Each defendant is charged with a series of felonies including Assault in the Second Degree. Each defendant faces a maximum of seven (7) years imprisonment if convicted. According to the complaint, Arango and Ordonez posed as doctors and convinced women to allow them to perform cosmetic procedures. The surgeries would occur in either Manhattan, New York or in Stamford, Connecticut.
Arango and Ordonez performed the procedures without medical licenses, while Castillo, the only licensed physician among the three, would occasionally peek in to monitor the procedures. These procedures were performed without general anesthesia. Following the operations, patients would frequently complain of pain and discomfort. In some extreme cases, the patient reported suffering permanent disfigurement.
To read the official New York Attorney General press release, please follow the link below: https://ag.ny.gov/press-release/g-schneiderman-announces-criminal-charges-against-doctor-two-fake-surgeons-who
- A.G Schneiderman Announces Arraignment Of Nurse Caught On Video Hitting Disable Resident In Bronx Nursing Home (2013)
A security camera located inside of the Split Rock Rehabilitation and Health Care Center showed a Licensed Practical Nurse, Lennox Seymour, assaulting a resident. Seymour, an employee of the rehab center at the time of the incident, follows a disabled resident into his room.
Seymour proceeds to push and punch the victim in the neck, leading to a struggle from which Seymour is able to get up and walk away from. The resident suffered injuries to his buttocks and neck. After the incident was over Seymour attempted to conceal the true origin of the dispute. In a facility report produced after the incident, Seymour tells a different story from the one on the videotape.
Seymour’s version of the events was that the resident repeatedly struck Seymour when Seymour took the resident’s carton of milk away. Seymour faces a felony count of Endangering the Welfare of a Vulnerable, Elderly Person and an Incompetent and Physically Disabled Person in the Second Degree. Seymour faces up to one and three-quarter years in prison.
To read the official New York Attorney General press release, please follow the link below:
At Risk of Prosecution?
Assault charges may occur in many instances. In addition to the more typical instances of a fight or striking of another person, assaults may occur in a situation where one person is in a position of power of another.
Examples of this include the instances above of assaults committed by employees of senior care centers acting violently towards residents.
Another example of a case of assault where one person is in a position of power is an instance where an individual fraudulently holds himself or herself out to be a licensed medical professional and agree to perform a procedure for the victim. Because these individuals are not licensed medical professionals the procedures are not sanctioned and count as an assault against the patient.
There are many crimes that are related to assault under the New York Penal Code. In order to see a full list of crimes that fall under the statutory definition of assault and related crimes read Article 120 of the New York Penal Code.
This article contains some of the related crimes such as menacing, vehicular assault, gang assault, hazing, stalking, luring a child, and even promotion of a suicide attempt. The victim of the offense also may impact which crime an individual has committed and what penalties that individual may face.
Many agencies may be involved in a single investigation of assault, depending on how the crime was committed and who the victim was. In many cases, local, county, and state law enforcement officials will work in concert. If the investigation is for a series of crimes that occur in multiple states federal law enforcement agencies will also get involved.
In cases involving incidents occurring at health care facilities, health care monitoring agencies will sometimes get involved, such as the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. In cases involving unlicensed medical procedures, cooperation may also occur with licensing bodies, such as the New York State Department of Health, Office of Professional Medical Conduct.
In certain cases, unexpected agencies will get involved in some fashion, such as the New York State Department of Education.
Why You Need Representation
The laws in New York relating to the crime of assault can be complex. The penalties for violations of these regulations can be severe. The manner in which one carries out an assault and/or the class to which the victim belongs may impact the charge and the severity of the accompanying punishment.
With prison sentences up to twenty-five years (or more for assaults on peace officers) and fines in the thousands of dollars, it is imperative to have an experienced litigator in your corner. If you have been charged with assault in New York State, don’t hesitate, call us immediately.
Assault may be one of the more frequently charged crimes, but that does not make it any less difficult to navigate. Attempting to defend against assault charges without proper legal representation can have dire consequences.
The State of New York takes charges of assault very seriously and so should you.
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