Misdemeanor Assault in the Third Degree (NY Penal Law 120.00): Potential Deals & Offers for Assault in New York Criminal Courts Part I

Whether you were arrested for Third Degree Assault (New York Penal Law 120.00) or you were given an Assault Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT) in the New York City area, the potential offers or deals are ultimately the same. Certainly, one New York criminal defense attorney may have a different approach to get the best deal over another lawyer, but the potential crimes and violations you may obtain are all found in the New York Penal Law.

Generally, Assault in the Third Degree (NY PL 120.00) is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. In New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx), that year for an Assault arrest and conviction would be served on Rikers Island. Obviously, your New York criminal lawyer will advocate fiercely to prevent that from happening. So, assuming that you cannot beat the case on factual, legal or procedural grounds, what are the potential offers you can expect to discuss with your New York criminal defense attorney? The following is a list of those dispositions:

Attempted Assault in the Third Degree (New York Penal Law 110/120.00)

By way of background, whenever 110 appears before a criminal statute, that signifies the crime is an attempted crime. Generally, an attempted crime is a lesser included offense of the actual crime. In the realm of Assault, Attempted Assault is a lesser crime that is automatically a lower crime of the completed crime of Assault. In practical terms, an Attempted Assault is a “B” misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 90 days in jail. While it is obviously a lesser crime compared to Assault, a plea to this offense would still give you a criminal record that is and will remain public. It is very rare that an Attempted Assault is a “good deal” where you are charged with Assault in the Third Degree as the most serious offense. Having said that, each case is unique and needs to be thoroughly discussed with your own counsel. Harassment in the Second Degree (New York Penal Law 240.26)

Harassment in the Second Degree (NY PL 240.26) is violation and not a crime. This means that if you were convicted of this offense and nothing else, you would not have a criminal record. Clearly, this type of plea is exponentially better than a plea to an Attempted Assault. While you will admit on the record that you struck or subjected another person to physical contact, part of your allocution (admission to the elements of the crime) will not include any language that you intended to cause that person and in fact caused that other person physical injury or substantial pain. To sum up, this type of plea avoids a criminal record and admission of the criminal intent as described. Harassment in the Second Degree is punishable by up to 15 days in jail.

The major drawback to Harassment in the Second Degree is that it does not seal like some other violations. This means that the record of your plea and the conviction may be available to those seeking information about your background.

The potential disposition or offers in an Assault case as listed above do not stand alone. A prosecutor could require that you take an anger management program, serve probation or complete community service. Even worse, jail could be part of that plea. All of this can be negotiated in some capacity. The stronger your potential case is and weaker the prosecution’s, the more favorable the outcome will be as long as your New York criminal defense attorney has the ability to negotiate and advocate on your behalf. If you are arrested and charged with any degree of Assault in New York, including Assault in the Third Degree, consult with a New York criminal lawyer who can address your specific evidence and determine if fighting the case through trial, working out a deal or some other defense is the best thing for you.

A second entry dealing with other potential offers found in the New York Penal Law will be posted shortly. This second entry will deal with the more favorable and non-criminal dispositions including Disorderly Conduct, the Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD) and the Family Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD in the domestic context).

Crotty Saland PC represents the accused in Assault allegations and arrests throughout the New York City area, The former Manhattan prosecutors who started the criminal defense firm have successfully defended clients charged with Assault throughout the region (prior results do not guarantee future outcomes).

Extensive information on Assault crimes in New York can be found through the highlighted links. Moreover, extensive information on these an other crimes can be found on the website as well as the New York Criminal Lawyer Blog (NewYorkCriminalLawyerBlog.Com) where you can find commentary on cases in the news, legal decisions and statutes found in the New York Penal Law.

Updated: