Queens Assault on a Judge

N.Y. Pen. Law § 120.09

Assault is the crime of using violence against another person and as a result injuring that person to suffer some sort of physical injury. While any type of assault is a serious crime, law enforcement considers assaulting a judge as a particularly appalling offense and will aggressively seek to make sure that you receive a severe punishment for such an assault. In fact, if you are charged with assaulting a judge the prosecutor will work overtime to prosecute and convict you. However, just because you are accused of assaulting a judge does not mean that you should be convicted for assaulting a judge. If you have been charged with assault on a judge it is crucial that you do not delay in contacting an experienced Queens Assault on a Judge Lawyer who will explain to you your legal options and who will work hard to make sure that you are treated fairly and that your case is resolved in the best possible manner given the facts.

Elements of Assault on a Judge

Assault on a judge involves intentionally causing serious physical injury to a judge and preventing the judge from performing his or her official duties. N.Y. Pen. Law § 120.09. It is a Class C felony. For the purposes of this offense a judge is defined as a judge of a court of record or a justice court. Examples of justice courts include town or village courts, traffic courts, or criminal courts. In order to face this charge the injury that that judge suffers would not be just any physical injury. The injury must be an injury that is so serious that it creates a substantial risk of death, cause death, cause protracted disfigurement or impairment of health, or cause loss of a bodily organ. N.Y. Pen. Law § 10.00(10).

Arrest and Arraignment

If you are accused of assaulting a judge you will be arrested and taken into custody. You will be eventually taken to Central Booking. You will remain there for several hours until your case is ready for arraignment. At the arraignment hearing you will go before a judge and the prosecutor will announce the charges against you. While you may be under the impression that you are going to be charged assault on a judge the prosecutor may decide to charge you with additional crimes. The judge will then make a decision on bail. Following the arraignment there may be several meetings and hearings prior to the trial. If you are released on your own recognizance or if you are released on bail, it is of utmost importance for you to return to court for each of your hearings and for the trial. If you fail to show up, then the judge will issue a warrant for your arrest.

Defenses to an Assault on a Judge Charge

Type of Injury. In an effort to charge you with assault on a judge and not a less serious crime, the prosecutor may attempt to exaggerate the extent of the injuries to the judge. However, it will not be enough for the victim to testify that that injury was painful or for the prosecutor to show photographs of a bruise. The court would require more convincing evidence that the victim suffered injuries that were so severe that they were life-threatening. Examples of injuries that a court would probably consider serious include a traumatic brain injury, a gunshot wound that damaged a major organ, or a knife wound that left a noticeable, permanent scar. On the other hand if the knife wound did not cause a serious internal injury and did not leave a permanent scar, you could make a convincing argument that such an injury does meet the statutory definition of "serious physical injury."

Consequences of an Assault on a Judge Conviction

If you are convicted of assault on a judge your sentence will include prison, payment of fines, fees, and restitution, and post-release supervision.

Prison

The prison sentence that you will face for being convicted of assaulting a judge is up to 15 years. Typically when a crime is a Class C felony there is no minimum prison sentence. However, but cause assault on a judge is also a violent felony the court will be required to sentence you to at least 3 ½ years in prison. The actual length of your prison sentence will depend on your prior criminal record. Your classification based on your criminal history will be pivotal when it comes to sentencing.

If you have no prior convictions the judge will still be required to sentence you to at least 3 ½ years. If you are classified as a non-violent predicate offender because you have a prior non-violent felony conviction the court will be required to sentence you to at least 5 years. If you are classified as a violent predicate offender because you have a prior violent felony conviction the court will sentence you to at least 7 years in prison. If you are a persistent felony offender the sentence will be extremely harsh as the general rule of a maximum of 15 years in prison is disregarded The minimum sentence you will receive is 12-25 years in prison, while the maximum sentence is life in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 70.08.

Post-Release Supervision

Your sentence for assault on a judge will include a term of post-release supervision of 2.5 to 5 years in addition to a prison term. N.Y. Pen. Law § 70.45(2)(e). While serving your term of post-release supervision, you will be supervised by the Division of Parole. You will be subject to several rules. These rules include that you will not be permitted to associate with others who have criminal records, go to unlawful places, or use controlled substances. You will be required to have a job or go to school, stick to a curfew, and report to you parole officer regularly. You will have to let you parole officer know if you move and get permission to leave the state. It is important to keep in mind that post-release supervision is part of your sentence. You must complete it and you must stick to the conditions that go along with it. Failure to follow any of the post-release supervision rules could result in a violation which may trigger post-release supervision revocation proceedings. If the court finds that you did indeed violate the conditions of your post-release supervision then you may be sent back to prison.

Fines, Fees and Restitution

Being convicted of assault on a judge can also have substantial financial consequences as you will likely be required to pay a fine, fees and restitution. The fine will be up to $5,000. Furthermore, you will be required to pay a fee called a "mandatory surcharge" of $300 as well as a victim assistance fee of $25. N.Y. Pen. Law § 60.35. Post-release supervision comes with a fee of $30 per month.

Another financial consequence of an assault in the second degree conviction is that you may be ordered to pay restitution to your victim. Generally, the maximum amount of restitution is $15,000. However, the court may increase the amount to more than $15,000 to cover the amount of the victim's medical expenses. Furthermore, you will also have to pay a fee to the company responsible for collecting the restitution from you.

If you do not pay a fine, fee or restitution, you could be sent to jail.

Long-Term Consequences

The consequences of a being convicted of assault on a judge go far beyond serving your prison sentence and paying a fine. Your life will be impacted for years into the future. Additional consequences include:

  • Criminal record
  • Barred from certain professions such as attorney or teacher
  • Barred from holding a license to operate a child day care center
  • Denied admission to some colleges
  • Denied permission to live on campus at some colleges
  • Barred from owning a gun
  • Lose custody of your children
  • Deportation if you are not a U.S. citizen

Being accused of assaulting a judge is not the same as being accused of assaulting someone during a bar fight. All levels of law enforcement will be eager to convict you. If you are convicted your sentence will include prison as well as substantial fines, fees and restitution. For these reasons if you have been arrested and charged with assaulting a judge it is important to immediately contact someone who is familiar with the New York criminal court system. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with assault on a judge, assault on a social worker, assault on a firefighter, assault on a police officer, as well as other assault crimes such as assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree and assault in the third degree. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of assault in the following locations:

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