New York Penal Code § 120.10: Assault in the First Degree

Assault is a criminal offense that involves intentionally or recklessly harming another person. There are varying degrees of assault that relate directly to the severity of the injury to the victim and the means by which the assault is accomplished. Assault in the first degree is the most severe type of assault. In fact, it is one of the most serious crimes than you can commit. Under New York Penal Code § 120.10, in order for you to be convicted of assault in the first degree the prosecutor must show the following:

  1. That you injured someone using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, and you had the intent to cause serious injury, or
  2. That you injured someone, and you had the intent to seriously and permanently disfigure
  3. That you seriously injured someone, and you did so in manner that showed you had a depraved indifferent to human life
  4. That you seriously injured someone while committing a felony

It is a class B felony.

Example

Following a heated argument inside a nightclub, a man followed a woman outside the bar and hit her in the face with a broken bottle. The woman was injured. Even though the woman's injuries were not serious, the man could be prosecuted for assault in the first degree because by throwing a broken bottle it can be inferred that he had the intent to seriously and permanently disfigure the woman.

Related Offenses
  1. Reckless endangerment in the first degree: New York Penal Code § 120.25
  2. Menacing in the first degree: New York Penal Code § 120.13
Defenses

To be convicted of assault in the first degree is necessary to show that you used a deadly weapon, that the victim was seriously injured, that you had a depraved indifference for human life, or that the assault occurred during the commission of a felony. The criminal code has very specific definitions for "serious physical injury," "deadly weapon," and "felony." If the prosecutor is not able to show the necessary elements of the crime of assault in the first degree, then the prosecutor will have a difficult time securing a conviction.

Sentence

The maximum sentence for being convicted of assault in the first degree is up to 25 years in prison as it is a class B felony. Assault in the first degree is also a violent felony offense. As such if you are convicted you will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison. Part of your sentence may also include probation. The mandatory probation term for a felony is 5 years.

New York Penal Code § 120.10: Assault in the First Degree

A person is guilty of assault in the first degree when:

  1. With intent to cause serious physical injury to another person, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument; or

  2. With intent to disfigure another person seriously and permanently, or to destroy, amputate or disable permanently a member or organ of his body, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person; or

  3. Under circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life, he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person, and thereby causes serious physical injury to another person; or

  4. In the course of and in furtherance of the commission or attempted commission of a felony or of immediate flight therefrom, he, or another participant if there be any, causes serious physical injury to a person other than one of the participants.

The Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help

The consequences of being convicted of assault in the first degree are harsh. Not only might you be sentenced to years in prison, you may also be required to pay stiff fines, fees and restitution. However, there may be defenses to a charge of assault in the first degree that may result in the charges being dropped, in you being acquitted, or the charges being reduced. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with misdemeanors and felonies such as assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree, menacing, reckless endangerment, stalking, rape, and child endangerment. 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 larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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