If you have been accused of or are under investigation for assault, or any assault- related crime, do not hesitate to contact a
criminal attorney from our firm. We handle the full spectrum of criminal cases in New York City and bring years of experience in the handling of all aspects of case preparation and defense, using a fast-acting, proactive and intensely personal approach. Whether you have been formally charged with assault or are under investigation, it is vital that you act immediately to protect your rights.
Assault has been defined as a deliberate act which leads another to believe they are about to be physically harmed. There must be an observable capability to cause harm as well threats of harm; a verbal threat alone is not sufficient to be considered assault. For example, a person cannot be charged with assault for yelling threats at another person, but can be accused of assault if he or she waves a weapon or even a fist at the individual.
From the viewpoint of the law, the fear or threat of physical harm experienced by another is in itself deserving of punishment, even if there is no actual physical damage to the person being assaulted. Because of the inclusion of threat of harm in the definition, police do not have to wait for a person to suffer physical attack by another before intervening and making an arrest.
Types of Assault
Assault and battery are terms which are often used interchangeably to define an intentional act of harm against another. It may or may not involve actual injury such as a cut, a broken bone, a bruise. It can also be an intentional act which is objectionable or insulting to another person. The term "simple battery" is used to describe the acts that result in actual harm and is typically considered a misdemeanor.
The three elements necessary to constitute a case of battery are:
- Actual act by the perpetrator
- Intention to cause harm
- Harmful / offensive contact
Aggravated assault is an act which is deliberately intended to cause major bodily harm or murder, or an act committed with a dangerous weapon, capable of causing great bodily harm or death. Aggravated assault vs. assault is adjudicated by the extent of the damage done to the person or which may be done if the person commits the threatened act.
An aggravated assault may also result in actions involving people in certain categories that the legal system defines as needing special protection (such as the old or mentally impaired). Aggravated assault is a felony in all states. If the act does not satisfy the criteria described above, it is an assault, not aggravated assault. Criminal assault may be punished by fines, imprisonment, or both. Penalties of aggravated assault are more severe.