A person can get arrested for an assault charge as a misdemeanor or a felony. A person is guilty of Assault in a Third Degree (misdemeanor) when he causes physical injury to another person with the intent to cause such injury, recklessly, or negligently by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. There is also a more serious charge of felony Assault in the Second Degree, requiring as elements serious physical injury, use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, or the victim being a representative of a certain protected group of people, such as a police officer, prosecutor, MTA employee, and other enumerated public servants, young child or an elderly person.
Once you’ve been arrested for assault in New York, you will then be forced to manage and understand the criminal justice system, which requires an understanding of complex processes and procedures. If you have found yourself in this unfortunate position, knowledgeable New York Criminal Defense Attorneys at Sharifov & Associates, PLLC will help ensure you understand your rights and the system at every step of the way.
When does someone first see a judge after they have been arrested for assault in New York?
After a person was arrested for assault, he/she will appear before a judge within 24 hours at an arraignment hearing or a person may be issued a Desk Appearance Ticket (“DAT”) after spending a few hours at the police precinct. Subject to certain guidelines, it is in police discretion to send you to a central booking, where you may spend up to 24 hours before seeing a Judge, or to issue a DAT directing you to appear in Court at a future date.
During the first Court appearance, called an arraignment, you will be informed of the charges against you and you or your attorney will be provided with a paper copy of the charges against you. An arraignment can be the end or the beginning of your case, which is why legal representation is critical even at this early stage. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor, Assistant District Attorney (prosecutor) may offer you a plea to the reduced charge with a sentence recommendation. If you consent and the judge approves the plea, the case may get resolved at arraignment. New York Criminal defense attorneys at Sharifov & Associates, PLLC can advise you if it is in your best interest to resolve the case at this stage by pleading guilty. This usually happens with a low-level first offense, but may occasionally happen with a misdemeanor assault charge. The judge may also dismiss your case under certain circumstances. If there is no resolution, the Judge will listen to the bail arguments from both prosecutor and the defense attorney and will decide whether to set bail, the bail amount, whether to release the defendant on his own recognizance (“ROR”) or, in some serious matters under special circumstances whether to remand the defendant without bail. It is essential to have an experienced defense attorney familiar with local customs and practices to make the most compelling bail argument for the defendant. Also, in case of an assault charge, the Court most likely will issue a full stay-away or a limited order of protection against the defendant in favor of the complaining witness. If you or your loved one have been arrested in New York and is facing arraignment, a New York criminal defense lawyer can ensure your voice is heard at this critical stage in your case.
What happens if both people who got into a fight are arrested for assault?
Sometimes we see cases in our practice when both people who were involved in a fight get arrested by the police. In this case, it is a common practice, provided that the extent of the injuries is comparable between both defendants, that prosecutor may consent to a cross-dismissal or cross-ACOD, with the agreement of both defendants and their attorneys. ACOD means an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal pursuant to New York Criminal Procedure Law (“CPL”) section 170.55 when your case is being dismissed and sealed if you stay out of trouble and do not get rearrested for a period of six months. Cross-dismissal will mean that the criminal charges against both defendants will get dismissed and sealed and there will be no Order of protection issued by the court (or the Temporary order of protection that was issued at arraignment will be vacated by the operation of law). Cross-ACOD means that both defendants’ cases will be resolved with ACOD, and both defendants will have a temporary Order of protection against each other.
Will my case go to trial?
While there are certain consequences after a person gets arrested for assault, it is rare when such cases go to the actual trial. An absolute majority of criminal cases do not actually make it to the trial stage because they are resolved through a plea bargain. In some instances, a plea bargain may result in a better outcome for a defendant where the evidence may not be in their favor or they have a criminal record for similar crimes. Simply put, it is not always in a defendant’s best interest to allow a jury to determine their fate. Or, for some defendants, a jury trial may not be worth the trouble and expense, and they will rather take a plea deal, especially if that deal results in a fine only and no criminal conviction, or, in some cases, in a criminal conviction, but no jail or probation. However, if you do choose to try your case, an attorney experienced with criminal law in New York will do his or her best to ensure you are provided a fair trial and advocate strongly on your behalf from beginning to end.
Dependent on your prior criminal history and the extent of the victim’s injuries, the likely outcome of a misdemeanor assault case may be anywhere from dismissal to a criminal conviction with up to one year of incarceration. However, if this is your first arrest and the victim did not sustain serious and substantial injuries, in all likelihood such a case will be resolved without a criminal conviction. Oftentimes, the conditions of such non-criminal disposition are community service, anger management class, Order of protection, fines, court surcharges, and restitution to the victim for his or her out-of-pocket expenses directly caused by the assault.
If you or your loved ones were charged or arrested for assault in New York, do not hesitate to call us for a free consultation.