New York Criminal Defense Update: New Crime of Assault on the Books

The NY criminal defense attorneys at Saland Law PC do their best to keep on top of the changes in criminal statutes and new court decisions regarding those statutes. When there is a new law or pertinent decision by the courts regarding any criminal law we do our best to relay that to our readers. One such crime, Assault in the Second Degree pursuant to PL 120.05(12), has been added to New York’s criminal books as of June 2008.

Pursuant to PL 120.05(12), Assault in the Second Degree, a person is guilty of this offense when “with the intent to cause physical injury to a person who is sixty five years of age or older, he or she causes such injury and the actor is more than ten years younger than that person.” This new crime is a “D” felony punishable by up to seven years in state prison.

What this crime does is elevate what was previously the crime of Assault in the Third Degree, an “A” misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, to a felony in certain limited situations. Specifically, if you intentionally cause physical injury to an older person and you are more than ten years younger than that person your actions may send you to state prison where before your actions in the worst case scenario might send you to jail for up to one year. In short if you assault a young person and cause physical injury you may be guilt of Assault in the Third Degree, a misdemeanor. If your actions and the physical injury are exactly the same, but the victim is sixty five and you are at least ten years younger, under the new statute you are facing a felony.

Clearly, the legislature has taken a stance on protecting people sixty five years old and older. While we can all agree that every person needs protection from assailants and older people are more vulnerable, this statute gives prosecutors a significant “bite” behind their “bark.” In the event you are accused of Assault or any violent crime, contact the NY criminal defense attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors at Saland Law PC to help you navigate the criminal waters.

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