Assault in Albany

At its simplest, an assault is any unauthorized touching of another person that results in a physical injury. New York Penal Code §120.00 provides three definitions of assault in the third degree:

  • When a person causes physical harm to another person and intended to do so
  • When a person injures another through reckless behavior
  • When a person with criminal negligence causes injury to another with a deadly weapon

It is clear that not only is the end result of a physical injury necessary, but so too is proof of the accused’s state of mind. A person does not need to intend to cause harm to be guilty of assault. If they are acting recklessly – by driving erratically for example – and someone suffers an injury, this may count as criminal negligence. Assault in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor. This means that a conviction can result in a jail term of up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000. If you are facing these charges, an experienced Albany assault attorney at Tully Rinckey can help.

Aggravated Assault

Assault can become a more serious crime depending on several factors: The target of the alleged assault, the presence of a weapon, and the severity of the injuries can all make an assault charge a felony offense. Under New York Penal Code §120.05, an assault is upgraded to a second-degree crime if the target is severely injured, if the assault involved the use of a weapon, or the assault was committed against a police officer or other public employee. A conviction here is a class D felony. Finally, the most serious is assault in the first degree – a class B felony. According to New York Penal Code §120.10, a first-degree assault involves serious injury with the use of a deadly or dangerous weapon, when the assault results in a disfigurement or disability, or the assault was committed during the action of another felony. An assault charge can vary from a simple misdemeanor to among the most serious that the State can bring. One of our dedicated Albany assault lawyers can help you understand the nature of the charges and to form an effective defense.

Penalties for Assault

The potential penalties for an assault charge are based on the severity of the charge and whether there were any aggravating factors. As per New York Penal Code §70.02 the penalties for felony assault are:

  • Class B felony: five to twenty-five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines
  • Aggravated assault on a police officer: ten to thirty years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines
  • Class D felony: three to seven years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines
  • Class E felony: 1 ½ to four years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines

These terms will change depending on whether the person is a repeat offender, is a juvenile, or whether there are any other aggravating factors.

Consult with an Albany Assault Attorney Today

Assault charges can be more complex than they appear. In New York, someone can be convicted of assault even if they did not intend to cause harm. It is essential to obtain a representation that understands these laws and will fight for you. Our team of experienced Albany assault lawyers fight for the accused by interviewing witnesses, diligently researching and collecting evidence, filing evidentiary motions, and cross-examining the state’s witnesses at trial. The sooner you contact us, the quicker we can get to work for you. Contact Tully Rinckey PLLC today for your free consultation via phone at 518-218-7100, or by emailing

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