Second degree assault is a serious offense that comes with significant, life-changing consequences. Second degree assault, a class D felony, is quite a step up from third degree assault, a class A misdemeanor. If you or someone you know is facing second degree assault charges, then they need a legal team ready to fight on their behalf. The consequences of being found guilty are too significant not to take seriously.
Second Degree Assault
Second degree assault generally involves situations where someone has intentionally caused “serious physical harm” or “physical harm” while using a deadly weapon or dangerous implement. However, the law describes twelve scenarios where second degree assault is considered an appropriate charge. They are:
- -Intentionally causing a serious physical injury
- -Causing serious physical injury with a dangerous weapon through reckless conduct
- -Using a dangerous weapon to intentionally cause physical injury
- -The injury may be caused by the defendant or an accomplice
- -Causing physical injury to police officers or others in order to prevent them from performing their duties
- -Causing physical injury to others when attempting to commit a felonious act or when fleeing after
- -Causing stupor or impairment by providing a substance or drug to someone without their consent
- -Causing intentional physical injury to an intended victim or another party after having been convicted of a crime and incarcerated
- -Intentionally causing physical harm to a nurse, someone involved in traffic enforcement, or a person connected with the operation of a bus or train
- -Causing physical harm to a student or school employee on school grounds
- -Intentionally inflicting injury to a person less than seven years of age
- -Intentionally causing physical harm to someone over the age of 65 and at least ten years older than the defendant
Second Degree Assault Punishment
The consequences of being found guilty of second degree assault can be significant and can include:
- -A minimum of two years in prison and up to seven years in prison, possibly more with prior convictions
- -A fine of up to $5000
- -Restitution of up to $15,000
- -Post-release supervision for 18-36 months
- -Orders of protection
- -A criminal record that will impact their employment, bar the convicted from certain professions, prevent ownership of a gun, and other hindrances
The prison time that is handed down will depend upon the convicted person’s prior convictions. This includes any felony convictions within the last ten years. The labels that affect sentencing are:
- -Non-Violent Predicate: Someone with a non-violent felony prior conviction in the last ten years will receive a minimum three-year prison sentence
- -Violent Predicate: Someone with a violent felony prior conviction in the last ten years will receive a minimum five-year prison sentence
- -Persistent Felony Offender: Someone with at least two felony convictions in the last ten years will receive a minimum sentence of 15-25 years and a maximum of life in prison
Putting forth a strong defense against second degree is critical to avoiding a conviction. An assault defense attorney will look at every possible angle to find a defense strategy for their client. They will need to give the jury at least a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the defendant in order to avoid conviction.
One common defense strategy is to claim self-defense, meaning the assault was justified because the defendant was under threat. With this defense, it is the burden of the defense to show that the defendant believed they needed to use physical force as a means of protecting themselves from harm.
Q: What Is Second Degree Assault in New York?
A: Assault occurs when one person intentionally or recklessly causes physical harm or injury to another person. The degree of assault is usually determined by the severity of the injuries associated with the assault and whether or not there were weapons involved. Assault in the Second Degree is a class D violent felony and occurs when there is intentional “serious physical injury” or “physical injury” with a weapon or dangerous instrument.
Q: What Is the Difference Between Second Degree and Third-Degree Assault?
A: Assault in the Third Degree is a class A misdemeanor, while Assault in the Second Degree is a class D Felony. Third degree assault involves physical injury and typically no weapon or dangerous implement. Second degree assault involves either “serious physical injury” or “physical injury” with a weapon or dangerous implement. Third degree assault is punishable by up to one year in jail. Second degree assault is punishable by a mandatory two years up to seven years in a state prison.
Q: What Is an Order of Protection?
A: In some cases, particularly when the victim of assault is familiar to the perpetrator, part of the criminal proceedings may involve the prosecution asking for an order of protection. If the judge grants the order of protection, it will have specific details about what the defendant in the case cannot do regarding the victim. Often this involves staying away from the victim, their children, and their place of employment. It can also mean moving out if the defendant lives with the victim and paying child support if they have children together. A violation of this order can result in additional charges.
Q: What Is Post-Release Supervision?
A: Part of a second degree assault conviction involves post-release supervision that will last 18 months to three years. The parameters of this supervision vary from person to person but often involve things like regular reporting to your parole officer, drug testing, consenting to searches, and so on.
Get Help Defending Against Second Degree Assault Charges in New York
If convicted, second degree assault charges can have a devastating impact on someone’s life. From the minimum two years in prison to the societal difficulty that comes with having a criminal record, the consequences of being found guilty of second degree assault can be significant. With so much at stake, you aren’t going to want to leave your defense up to just anyone the court assigns. You’re going to need a legal team that’s skilled, experienced, and ready to fight on your behalf. If you or someone you know needs a legal defense team, contact us at the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC.