In a previous entry, I addressed the crime of Assault in the Third Degree pursuant to New York Penal Law 120.00 as well potential deals or offers one could expect in New York City courts (as well as elsewhere in the state). Once again, if you intentionally (or recklessly) cause physical injury to another individual and thereby cause substantial pain, you have perpetrated this misdemeanor crime. Although there are very important nuances to this statute that can and should be addressed by an experienced New York criminal lawyer, the purpose of this blog entry is not to address the crime itself, but deals one might expect from the prosecution.
Outside of an outright dismissal, procedural dismissal (“speedy trial” and CPL 30.30), or acquittal at trial, there are few options other possible dispositions beyond what was previously addressed. The three remaining dispositions are as follows:
Disorderly Conduct (New York Penal Law 240.20)
Like Harassment in the Second Degree, Disorderly Conduct (NY PL 240.20), is a violation punishable by up to 15 days in jail. A plea to this violation will not result in a criminal record. The advantage of this plea over a Harassment plea is that a plea to Disorderly Conduct will require that you admit that you were disorderly as opposed to harassing and aggressive in nature. In short, there is not admission that you ever threatened or touched anyone or that there was a particular target of your actions. Even more relevant, however, a plea to Disorderly Conduct will seal (barring the plea agreement to waive sealing). Therefore, the record of the plea should not remain public. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sadly, as observed from personal experiences dealing with clients and from anecdotal evidence from those who inquire about our services as criminal attorneys in New York, often time (I cannot say a particular percentage), a Disorderly Conduct and the underlying arrest will not seal fully. As a result, an employer, for example, may learn about this non-criminal conviction and underlying arrest after a background check. Having said that, if an ACD (as will be described below) is not available, a trial is not a viable option and there is no procedural defense, then a Disorderly Conduct will end the case without a criminal conviction. Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD)
Barring an outright dismissal, a procedural speedy trial dismissal or an acquittal at trial where you are exonerated, an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal is the best deal one can get in a New York Assault case. I don’t believe many, if any, criminal lawyers would dispute this. Not only is there no admission of wrongdoing in any capacity, but if you stay out of trouble for six months your case will not just be dismissed, but sealed as well. In the event the charge of Assault is domestic in nature, the ACD will run for one year. Keep in mind, that an ACD, granted pursuant to New York Criminal Procedure Law 170.55, results in your underlying arrest becoming a “nullity.” While in no way should this blog entry be construed as advice in your particular case, you could arguably answer “no” to the question of whether you had ever been arrested. Clearly, before answering such a question in this manner, discuss your answer with you own criminal attorney.
The above synopsis, as well as the previous blog entry, on potential offers in a New York Third Degree Assault case (NY PL 120.00) is a general guideline to potential deals. Which offer, if any, is made in your case is likely a combination of the facts and evidence, your criminal history and your criminal defense lawyer’s strategy for your defense. Whatever offer is made to you, it is important to educate yourself and consult with your attorney on the ramifications in terms of careers, licenses, immigration, etc., before agreeing to anything.
To read further practical information on Assault crimes in New York including statutes, legal decisions and cases in the news, please follow the highlighted link above to the New-York-Lawyers.org website and NewYorkCriminalLawyerBlog.com. Additional information on the NewYorkCriminalLawyerBlog.Com is available to further address and define Disorderly Conduct and NY CPL 170.55.
Two other excellent resources for those who received New York City Desk Appearance Tickets for NY PL 120.00 are the NYDeskAppearanceTicket.Com website as well as the Desk Appearance Ticket section of New-York-Lawyers.org.
Founded by two former Manhattan prosecutors, Saland Law PC is a New York criminal defense firm representing those accused of Assault and other crimes in the New York City region.