Sometimes people make bad mistakes. Really bad mistakes. When youth is mixed with alcohol and testosterone is running through one’s veins, there is a often a toxic mix that can end in disaster. Unfortunately, a recent client who retained the New York criminal lawyers at Saland Law PC learned this the hard way after the NYPD arrested our client in Manhattan charging our client with Second Degree Assault, New York Penal Law 120.05, and other crimes. Our client, a recent college graduate, got into a confrontation with anther person at a NYC bar and allegedly attempted to smash a glass mug on the person’s head or face, but instead the glass was alleged to have bounced and shattered on the face of a nearby person. As a result, the unintended victim whom our client was alleged to have struck suffered significant injuries to his jaw structure and bone as well as numerous stitches to close the wound from the broken glass. Hauled off to court and arraigned before a judge on two separate counts of Second Degree Assault under the theory that a dangerous instruments was used to cause a physical injury and that it was our client’s actual intent to cause a serious physical injury, our client faced a potential indelible felony conviction and as much as seven years in a New York State prison. As unfortunate as those circumstances may have objectively been, the New York criminal defense attorneys and former prosecutors at Saland Law PC were able to secure not merely a downward departure from a felony to a misdemeanor, but our client was ultimately sentenced to a Disorderly Conduct, New York Penal Law 240.20. In the end, our client did not sustain a criminal record.
Any assaultive behavior in New York is not merely a serious offense, but one that can be legally defined as a violent crime pursuant to New York CPL 70.20. While the misdemeanor crime of Third Degree Assault, New York Penal Law 120.00, is not statutorily violent, both Second Degree and First Degree Assault, New York Penal Law 120.05 and 120.10 respectively, are defined as such. Further, these latter two offenses are felonies that carry many collateral consequences upon conviction for those who have certain licenses and certifications as well as people who are not citizens or the United States. Equally concerning, NY PL 120.00 is “only” punishable by up to a year in jail, but the more serious crimes of NY PL 120.05 and NY PL 120.10 carry much stiffer sentences of up to seven and twenty five years in prison for even a first time offender.
Irrespective of the crime or crimes charged, a conviction would have no doubt shackled our client to a rocky future at best. Although not an easy task, our criminal lawyers advocated strenuously not directly in defense of the actions our client allegedly took, but about our client’s background, future and the efforts our client would make to insure that an incident like the one alleged would never occur again. Due to the potential evidence, the mitigation approach provided an avenue that a direct attack on the law and facts would not. The District Attorney’s Office had an opportunity, we asserted, to send our client on two different paths in life. It would benefit no one to either incarcerate or convict our client with a crime that would hinder our client’s future at best and destroy it at worst. Seeing the value in our position, the prosecution ultimately allowed our client to “earn” the benefit of the doubt and demonstrate a willingness to get help addressing any issues our client may have had from the mental health and substance abuse perspective. Proving that our client could abide by the terms offered by the prosecution and that our client could return to being a valued member of society, the District Attorney allowed our client to plead to a violation. With the case now closed, our client walked away from a terrible incident free and clear from a criminal record with a future still bright and intact. This disposition, as terrific as it was, came on the heals of another unrelated Second Degree Assault arrest where the District Attorney’s Office ultimately dismissed the case against another client.
To educate yourself about any crime involving Assault in New York State including PL 120.00, PL 120.05 and PL 120.10, read through the links here. To review other criminal cases and results handled by the New York criminal lawyers at Saland Law PC, that information is available on the Case Results section of this blog and at New-York-Lawyers.org. Saland Law PC represents clients in criminal matters throughout New York City and the Hudson Valley region.