In New York state, a person may be convicted of assault if he or she inflicts bodily harm on another person. The severity of the charge depends on the severity of the injuries inflicted, if weapons were used to commit the crime and the mental capacity of the defendant. In some cases, it is necessary to show that a person intentionally injured another person and intended to cause serious injuries.
However, this generally only applies if a defendant faces first-degree assault charges. An assault charge may be upgraded to aggravated assault if the crime is committed against a police officer or someone that a defendant should have known was a police officer. Additional penalties may be levied against anyone over the age of 18 who harms someone under the age of 11. This is true if the defendant has been convicted of the same crime in the past 36 months.
Possible defenses to an assault charge include proving that no one was injured or that there was no intent to injure. It may also be possible to show that a person consented to an act that resulted in an injury or that the injuries were caused during an act of self-defense. Those charged with first-degree assault could face up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Individuals who face assault charges may wish to have the help of an attorney. It may be possible to create defenses to the charge such as a lack of intent to harm anyone or lack of intent to cause serious injuries. An attorney may also work to cast doubt upon witness testimony or physical evidence.