No matter the type of criminal charge you are facing, you cannot afford to take things lightly. If you are charged with assault in Syracuse, you need to take immediate steps to protect your interests. Under the New York Penal Code, you could be facing first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree assault charges. While the burden of proof is on the prosecution, you must avoid a conviction when possible because the consequences can be life-altering. Talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney in Syracuse without delay. Here are some key things to know.
Understanding assault charges in NY
If this is a first-degree assault charge, the prosecution is required to prove that the defendant had the intent to cause grievous physical injury to the other person, which resulted in the consequent injuries. It is treated as a Class B felony in NY. Second-degree assault charges are treated as a Class D felony, while a third-degree assault is a Class A misdemeanor. The prosecution must prove that the defendant intended to cause physical injury and did the same. Upon conviction of an assault charge in New York, you could be facing severe penalties, which will also depend on whether you have a prior criminal record. If you are convicted of a Class B felony, you could spend up to 25 years in jail.
Defenses worth knowing
Regardless of the circumstances, you need to work with a legal expert. Remember that you have the right to have an attorney represent and defend your case, and your criminal defense lawyer will determine the best strategy based on the facts of the case. For assault-related charges, potential defense strategies may include self-defense, defense of a third/another party, a case of mistaken identity, or entrapment. Your lawyer will consider the circumstances of your arrest and determine whether your rights were violated.
Get the right lawyer
Given the gravity of the charges, you need an attorney who specializes in criminal defense and is locally based in your city. Consider whether the lawyer has experience representing clients who have faced similar assault charges. While no attorney can guarantee an outcome, your lawyer can help defend your case. The prosecution is already against you, and the police will ensure the prosecution has the needed evidence. Your lawyer can investigate the matter and figure out the details that can help reduce charges or get the case dropped. Talk to an attorney now.