You may have heard more than once in your life that you had a tendency to overreact. Maybe you got your feelings hurt more easily than others or were quick to anger. You likely brushed off such comments, or may even have been hurt by them, and considered yourself perfectly in control of your emotions and the actions stemming from those emotions.
After finding yourself involved in a physical altercation, however, you may feel less sure about your sense of control. Whether the situation arose because you lost your temper or because someone else was out of control, you ended up in the custody of police.
While you likely did not set out to get into a fight with another person, it is what happened. Now, you are facing criminal charges for assault, and you need to understand your predicament. Some information you may want to keep in mind regarding New York assault laws includes the following:
- Assault charges can come in varying degrees depending on the level of intent to cause harm.
- A physical injury must have occurred in order for an assault charge to apply.
- The prosecution must prove that you intended to cause serious physical harm if that intention is part of the assault charge.
- The prosecution does not have to prove specific intent if attempting to just prove intent to cause harm.
The possibility also exists that you could face aggravated assault charges.
This enhanced charge may apply under any of the following circumstances:
- You knew or should have known that the person you injured was a police officer performing his or her duties.
- You caused serious injury by utilizing a deadly weapon.
- You are at least 18 years old, and the injured party was younger than 11 years old. Additionally, you must have faced a conviction for this type of incident within the last three years.
When facing either an assault or aggravated assault charge, it is important that you understand your legal options for creating and presenting a defense. You may have the ability to claim that no one suffered injuries or that you did not intend to injure the other person. You could potentially also claim that you acted in self-defense. The exact option that could work best for your case will depend on the specific details, and going over those details with an attorney is wise.