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Westchester Assault Lawyer

Understanding Assault Charges

New York state law includes a number of separate statutes concerning the crime of assault, but the most common - which is typically referred to as a simple assault - is assault in the third degree. The crime consists of intentionally causing injury to another person, though it may also be charged in cases of injury caused through recklessness or through criminal negligence in using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. Simple assault is a Class A misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of one year in jail. The charge, and the subsequent penalty, can be increased based on aggravating circumstances such as if the victim is a child or a police officer, if the victim suffers serious injury or if the perpetrator uses a deadly weapon in the commission of the crime. The most serious assault offense is a Class B felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of one year and a maximum of nine years in prison.

The unfortunate fact about assault cases is that the police officers who arrive at the scene of the crime will frequently arrest the wrong person. For example, they will typically assume that the person who has the more serious injuries is the victim, which simply may not be the case. If the actual perpetrator and his or her friend both accuse the victim, they may arrest the victim. If they show up while a fight is in progress, they may have a tendency to arrest the person who appears to be the aggressor, whether or not the other person was the one who actually started the fight. When men and women are involved, the police will often default to arresting the man. There are many possible scenarios, but the bottom line is that the defendant in an assault case is often wrongfully accused.

Meet with a Westchester Criminal Defense Attorney

One of the most common defenses to an assault charge is that the accused was acting in self-defense, and that the use of force was therefore justified. This may be established through the use of witness testimony, as well as aggressive cross examination to reveal weaknesses or inconsistencies in the testimony of the alleged victim. Whether you were acting in self-defense, if you have been falsely accused or if you did commit the crime, the most important step you can take toward avoiding the serious consequences of a conviction is to meet with a Westchester criminal defense lawyer who can review the case and advise you of a plan of action. Obtain representation from The Law Offices of Robert Schuster. The firm offers a free telephone consultation for those interested in retaining their services. Contact them today.