Assault with a Weapon
New York And Westchester Criminal Defense Lawyer
Michael Joseph is an attorney with extenisve experience in handling the criminal defense of assault cases involving weapons. Our NY attorneys regularly defend criminal cases in the New York City, Rockland and Westchester Courts including the criminal courts in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Yonkers, White Plains, New Rochelle, Ossining, Rye, Mount Vernon, Greenburgh, Elmsford, Port Chester and Valhalla
If you have been charged with an assualt case involving a weapon, you need an aggressive criminal defense lawyer. Early investigation is extremely helpful, as assault cases are often he said, she said type situations. Therefore a New York Criminal Defense Attorney must document the facts while they are fresh.
As with assault without a weapon, defenses against these charges focus around the severity of the injury, whether the weapon was a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon, identity and justification.
Causing a physical injury with a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument is a class D felony. Likewise, causing a serious physical injury with a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument is a class B felony.
The Level Of Injury
The level of injury is always an issue in controversy. Even an attack with a weapon, whjich causes no injury is not an assault Under New York law a "Physical injury" is an impairment of physical condition or substantial pain. A "Serious physical injury" is a physical injury which creates a substantial risk of death, or which causes death or serious and protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.
Often the police and district attorney will just charge everyone arrested with the highest level of felony. The likelihood that the requisite injury can be proved must be analyzed in every case.
Not evey object is a weapon under New York law. A Deadly weapon is a loaded weapon from which a shot can be discharged which can cause death or other serious physical injury, or a switchblade knife, gravity knife, pilum ballistic knife, metal knuckle knife, dagger, billy, blackjack, plastic knuckles, or metal knuckles. A "Dangerous instrument" is an instrument, article or substance, including a "vehicle", which, under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used or threatened to be used, is capable of causing death or other serious physical injury. Therefore, several objects which may be used in a fight are not necessarily asasult with a weapon. However, assault charges can still be brought if an injury is caused.
Generally, everyone has a right to defend themselves, to defend another person and to defend their property. To defend their property from theft or damage, a person may use any force which they reasonably believe is necessary except f or deadly physical force. However, to prevent a burglary or arson, any level of physical force which a person reasonably believes is necessary may be used, including deadly physical force.
The reasonably believes standard focuses on what the actor believes. Therefore, there is room for mistakes. Even if a person is mistaken as to certain facts, but reasonably believes that force is necessary, then the force used is still justified.
We Proudly serve the communities of Westchester and New York City. Our White Plains and New York Criminal Defense Attorneys regularly defend criminal cases in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Yonkers, White Plains, New Rochelle, Ossining, Rye, Mount Vernon, Greenburgh, Elmsford, Port Chester and Valhalla.