How Aggravated assault is defined in the State of New York
Different states define various types and forms of crime differently. In New York, an assault can be graded upwards to become an aggravated assault if:
• The victim of the assault is younger than 11 years.
• The victim is either a peace or police officer.
In New York, an aggravated assault to a person younger than 11 years is treated as a Class E felony while an aggravated assault on a peace or police officer is treated as a Class B violent felony. If the victim of an aggravated assault dies, the case is no longer classified as an aggravated assault but murder. A defendant will only be charged with aggravated assault the victim lives through the injuries inflicted meaning that this case will attract a lesser sentence compared to one where the victim succumbs to the inflicted injuries.
Are all assault cases aggravated assaults?
The straight answer to this question is a NO. For an assault case to be considered an aggravated assault, the prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant:
i. Intended to cause serious injury to the victim, or
ii. Through his or her reckless actions caused serious injuries to the victim.
For example, a defendant who hits a victim with his car when reversing from a parking spot will not be charged with aggravated assault because it cannot be said that he intended to harm the victim using a deadly weapon (his car). However, if the same defendant is found to have been driving under the influence when this accident occurred, the case can be prosecuted as aggravated assault because it can be argued that the defendant was reckless knowing too well that his action (DUI) can inflict injuries on other road users.
Penalties for the Crime
When a defendant is arraigned in court to face aggravated assault charges, the judge hearing the case considers several factors which include:
• The age of the defendant.
• The severity of injury inflicted on the victim.
• Previous criminal history of the defendant.
If the defendant is found guilty of aggravated assault, sentencing follows. A person accused of Class E felony might not necessarily serve prison time, instead, such a person may be sentenced to probation for a period of time defined by the court. During the period of probation, the probationer’s civil rights will be limited and he or she will be required to abide by the conditions set by the court. Probationers that fail to abide by the conditions of their probation risk being sentenced to serve time instead of the probation. In some cases, the judge might decide to sentence a class E felon to serve up to 4 years in prison.
Aggravated assault on a peace or police officer, which is treated as a Class B felony is more serious and as thus, it attracts severe penalties. The maximum prison sentence is pegged at 25 years. If a fine is imposed, it will not be more than $5,000, except in cases where the defendant was paid to assault the victim in which case the fine will be double the fee that the defendant was paid.
Defense for aggravated assault
As seen above, an aggravated assault is a serious charge that can lead to incarceration and tarnish one’s records forever. The consequences of being convicted of this crime are severe because it goes past one serving time. Convicted felons find it difficult to secure employment, apply for loans or even find housing because of the criminal background checks that potential employers, lenders, and landlords conduct.
If you have been accused of committing aggravated assault, speak our aggravated assault criminal defense lawyer who will give you legal counsel and make sure that you get the best outcome from your case.