New York Penal Law § 120.10 – Assault in the First Degree
Under New York Penal Law § 120.10, Assault in the First Degree is a felony crime providing harsh punishments to those who cause serious physical injury to another person. There are several ways one can commit First Degree Assault; however, the offense is always considered a Class B felony in New York.The Elements of Assault in the First Degree
Under the state and federal constitutions, in any criminal case, the government carries the burden to prove each and every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. In the context of 1st Degree Assault, there are four subsections.
- Intentionally Cause Serious Injury with a Weapon
- The defendant used a weapon to seriously hurt another person; and
- The defendant acted intentionally
- Intentionally Cause Disfigurement or Amputation
- The defendant seriously disfigurement another person; and
- The defendant acted intentionally
- Recklessly Causing Serious Physical Injury
- The defendant inflicted serious bodily injury;
- The defendant recklessly disregarded a grave risk of death; and
- The defendant exhibited a "depraved indifference to human life."
- Causing Serious Injury During the Commission of a Felony
- The defendant committed or attempted to commit a felony; and
- During the court of the felony, the defendant caused serious physical injury to another person.
Some of the most common examples of First Degree Assault include:
- Using a knife to stab someone in the belly;
- Shooting a store clerk during the course of a robbery; and
- Assaulting someone to the point where their leg needs to be amputated.
Related Offenses to NY Penal Law § 120.10
In addition to Assault in the First Degree, there are several other charges that criminalize similar conduct, including the following:
- Assault in the Second Degree - N.Y. Penal Law § 120.00
- Menacing in the First Degree - N.Y. Penal Law § 120.13
- Menacing in the Second Degree - N.Y. Penal Law § 120.14
- Vehicular Assault in the First Degree - N.Y. Penal Law § 120.04
- Aggravated Vehicular Assault - N.Y. Penal Law § 120.04-a
- Attempted Murder in the First Degree - N.Y. Penal Law § 110.05 / 125.27
- Attempted Murder in the Second Degree - N.Y. Penal Law § 110.05 / 125.25
- Attempted Manslaughter in the First Degree - N.Y. Penal Law § 110.05 / 125.20
- Attempted Manslaughter in the Second Degree - N.Y. Penal Law § 110.05 / 125.15
There are several defenses to Assault in the First Degree that can either reduce your sentencing exposure or result in the prosecution withdrawing the case against you or the jury returning a "not guilty" verdict. The most common defenses to 1st Degree Assault charges include the following:
- Defense of others;
- A lack of intent to cause serious physical injury or disfigurement;
- The alleged victim's injury was unrelated to the underlying felony offense; or
- You were not acting with "a depraved indifference to human life."
Note that some of these defenses only apply in cases filed under certain subsections. For example, the fact that an alleged victim's injury was unrelated to a felony is only a defense under NY Penal Law § 120.10(4).What Are the Penalties for Violating NY Penal Law § 120.10?
Assault in the First Degree is a Class B felony. In New York, Class B felonies carry a maximum sentence of up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000.Were You Arrested for Assault Charges in New York?
Assault in the First Degree is an extremely serious crime. And if you've been arrested and charged with felony assault, it is essential that you work with an attorney who will take your case as seriously as you do. At Tilem & Associates, P.C., our dedicated team of New York criminal defense attorneys has decades of experience standing up for the rights, freedoms and futures of clients charged with violent crimes. We're familiar with all the best assault defenses, when they apply, and how to effectively use them to secure the best possible result in our clients' cases. We are immediately available to meet with you to get started working on a compelling defense to the charges you face. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call Tilem & Associates, P.C. at 877-377-8666. You can also reach us through our online contact form.