What is the Difference Between Assault and Aggravated Assault in NY?

Anytime you’re facing criminal charges, you want to take it as seriously as possible, especially because it can significantly impact your future. A New York prosecutor may charge you with either simple assault or aggravated assault, depending on the various degrees of severity. Assault charges levied against you will accuse you of either committing a felony or a misdemeanor. Obviously, it’s important to understand the differences between assault and aggravated assault because it will make a drastic difference in how you could be penalized.  

What is General Assault?

In general, assault is defined by the action of intentionally or recklessly hurting another individual. Specifically, the New York definition of assault is the intentional injuring of another person or the negligent harming of another person with a deadly or dangerous weapon. The specific charges are based on how the person was injured and the severity of that injury.

General Assault Charges by Degrees

There are three degrees of general assault charges:

  • Assault in the third degree: As a class A misdemeanor, this is the least serious assault charge. You could face this charge if you initiate a physical fight with someone, and you injure them. Alternatively, you could also be charged here if you act recklessly, and someone is injured because of your recklessness.
  • Assault in the second degree: This is a class D felony that applies if the victim suffered serious injuries, or if you used a deadly weapon, or if you assaulted someone over 65, someone younger than 11, or certain officials, such as an enforcement officer or firefighter.  
  • Assault in the first degree: The most serious general assault charge is a class B felony, which carries a possible prison sentence of up to 25 years’ incarceration. It may apply if you seriously injure someone using a deadly weapon/dangerous instrument or if you seriously injury someone while engaging in the course of another felony. 

What is Aggravated Assault in New York?

An assault in New York is considered “aggravated” if it involves one or more elements that places the act on a more serious level. These elements can be based on what kind of victim is involved (such as a police officer, judge, social worker, child), the use of a deadly weapon, (including a firearm) or the severity of the injury. An aggravated assault is recognized as a violent felony.  

Are There Additional Assault Charges in New York?

Yes. In addition to the charges for assault in the first degree, second degree, and third degree, and aggravated assault, the other assault charges in New York include: 

  • Vehicular assault
  • Reckless assault of a child
  • Gang assault
  • Assault on a judge and assault on a police or peace officer

Facing Assault Charges in NY? Get Help from an Experienced Attorney

If you’ve been charged with any type of assault in NY, it’s a serious matter. Dealing with fines and possible jail time can be overwhelming, so you want an attorney who can help you in this difficult time, and one who will work hard to explore all possible defenses. You will want to mount the best defense possible. Our MOWK Law lawyers are here to for just that. Contact us today to learn more about your case.