Assault in the Third Degree: New York Penal Law Section 120.00

New York Domestic Violence Arrest, Crimes & Laws

Assault in the Third Degree, pursuant to New York Penal Law 120.00, is the most common degree of Assault charged by prosecutors in New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island) and the surrounding suburbs in Westchester and Rockland counties. Assault in the Third Degree is an "A" misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail (Rikers Island for New York City).

Assault in the Third Degree comes in two major forms. The first, intentional Assault (NY PL 120.00(1)), is fairly simple and straight forward. If you intend to cause physical injury and actually cause that physical injury to some other person, then you are guilty of Assault in the Third Degree pursuant to New York Penal Law 120.00(1). This crime is easy to visualize. If you intend to punch someone, land that punch with the intent to cause them substantial pain and give that person a swollen, lacerated and bloody lip, you have committed this crime.

The second type of Assault in the Third Degree is found under New York Penal Law section 120.00(2). Instead of acting with intent, you act recklessly and cause physical injury to another person.

It should be clear, and your New York criminal defense attorney can explain it in depth, that a key element to either of these charges is that the injury caused is a "physical injury." Physical injury is a legal term that often equates to "substantial pain." If you punched your intended victim and left no mark and caused no pain, then your weakness may be your defense. Without that pain, there is no completed crime. Having said that, as discussed on the main page generally addressing the crime of Assault in New York, you may still be charged with Attempted Assault in the Third Degree, a "B" misdemeanor.

Whatever the allegation, degree of injury or section of Assault in the Third Degree that is alleged, contact a New York criminal defense attorney to assess your case and ascertain the appropriate defense. For further information, statutes and legal decisions involving this crime, review the Assault and Violent Crime sections of Crotty Saland PC's New York Criminal Lawyer Blog or follow the respective links.

Call the criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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