Staten Island Assault and Battery Lawyer

Staten Island Assault and Battery Lawyer

Staten Island Assault and Battery Attorney

Any criminal charge can be a frightening situation to face, whether or not you have been charged before. If you are convicted of assault charges in Staten Island, you could face years in prison and thousands in fines. Even when you are given a lesser sentence, the criminal record that follows you after your sentence is served can hurt your chances at many future opportunities in the workforce, schooling, and housing. If you’ve been charged with assault in Staten Island, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney soon to protect your rights and give you the most favorable chance at lessening criminal penalties.

Assault and Battery Defense Lawyer in Staten Island

When you’re facing criminal charges, you need a legal team you can trust. Assault charges are taken very seriously by prosecutors. Complex New York assault law means that prosecutors can work to increase the severity of charges and penalties. When you have effective legal counsel, this is more difficult. At The Vitaliano Law Firm, our attorneys believe that every person should have fair representation against criminal charges, and we fight to bring the compassionate and strong legal counsel you need.

Our attorneys have years of experience in criminal defense law, in criminal law, and as prosecuting attorneys. This blend of experience gives us exceptional insight into how to handle New York criminal cases like assault charges, along with an understanding of how the prosecution works. Our experience in both local and state courts in Staten Island and the nearby communities helps us more effectively represent you.

We understand how much criminal charges can affect your life and your future. We want to support you during this hard time, so we use our firm’s resources and our experience to find the most favorable outcome in your case.

What Is Assault and Battery in Staten Island?

In several states, assault and battery are two separate charges. New York law does not have battery in the penal code, and actions that would be considered battery are under the definition of assault in the state’s law.

Assault in New York is defined as:

  • The intention to cause physical harm to another person
  • Severe negligence and disregard for human life and safety that leads to the physical harm of another person.

Assault can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on aggravating factors and the circumstances of the unique case.

Types of Assault Charges in Staten Island

There are three degrees of assault in New York, and aggravating factors increase a charge’s penalties.

Third-Degree Assault

Assault in the third degree, also called simple assault, is the least severe charge for assault. Despite this, it is still a Class A misdemeanor and a very serious offense on a criminal record.

To be convicted of assault, one of the following must be proven:

  • The individual intended to cause harm to another person.
  • They acted recklessly and caused physical harm to another person.
  • They acted criminally negligent with a deadly weapon or dangerous object.

This means that an individual does not have to intend to cause harm to be convicted of third-degree assault. The prosecution must only prove that they were acting recklessly or criminally negligent. If convicted, the penalty for third-degree assault is up to 1 year in jail and fines of up to $1,000.

Second-Degree Assault

To convict an individual of assault in the second degree, the prosecution must usually prove that:

  • The individual intended to cause harm with a deadly weapon or instrument.
  • The individual intended to cause serious injury.

However, not all second-degree assault charges require intent for conviction. Second-degree assault is a Class D felony, with penalties that include up to 7 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

First-Degree Assault

Assault in the first degree is a very serious charge. It includes:

  • Causing intentional serious injury with a deadly weapon or instrument, where the victim is impaired or at significant risk of death
  • Causing intentional disfigurement to another person and/or causing them to be permanently disabled
  • Acting with reckless indifference to human life and causing serious injury to another person, resulting in severe risk of death
  • Committing another felony while causing serious injury to another person

Moving an assault charge from second-degree to first-degree may rely on aggravating or mitigating factors of the unique case, such as the severity of the injuries that the victim suffered or the level of intent to cause harm.

First-degree assault is a Class B felony, and a conviction could result in up to 25 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. If the individual has a prior felony in the last 10 years, the sentence could be more than 25 years.

Other Assault Charges

There are other specific charges for assault in New York, including:

  • Assault on Certain Officials: This includes an assault on a police officer, peace officer, firefighter, judge, or emergency service healthcare provider. This is a Class C felony and results in up to 15 years in prison.
  • Aggravated Assault on a Peace Officer: This is the assault on a police officer or peace officer where the person knew or should have known that the victim was a police or peace officer and a deadly weapon or instrument was used. This is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
  • Aggravated Assault by an Adult on a Child Under 11: A third-degree assault, when committed by a person 18 or older to a child under the age of 11, is a Class E felony. Penalties include up to 4 years in prison.
  • Gang Assault: This occurs when a person intends to commit harm to another person and does so with two or more people who are present. It can be first-degree gang assault charged as a Class C felony or second-degree gang assault charged as a Class B felony.
  • Vehicular Assault: This is charged when a person uses a motor vehicle to injure another person. This may be done while under the influence, driving grossly negligent while transporting hazardous materials in a large vehicle, or operating a snowmobile under the influence. This may be charged in the first degree, second degree, or as an aggravated offense. All three are felonies.

How Does an Assault and Battery Attorney Benefit Me?

Every person charged with a crime has the right to legal representation in court. If you don’t hire a private defense attorney, you will be assigned a public defender. Public defenders are incredibly capable attorneys. However, you are not able to choose the attorney who represents you, and public defenders are often given too many cases to dedicate the necessary time to each one. State prosecutors have significant resources available to them, and they have the time to dedicate to a small number of criminal cases. You need to work with an attorney who can dedicate similar time, care, and detailed legal representation to your interests.


Q: What Is the Lowest Charge of Assault?

A: The least-severe assault charge in New York is assault in the third degree, or simple assault. You don’t have to have intent to hurt someone to be convicted of third-degree assault. A simple assault charge means that a person:

  • Intentionally caused physical harm to someone else
  • Caused harm to someone else because of reckless negligence
  • Caused harm through criminal negligence with a deadly weapon or dangerous object

It is a Class A misdemeanor, and a conviction results in up to 1 year in jail and fines of up to $1,000.

Q: How Long After an Assault Can You Press Charges in New York?

A: The statute of limitations for an individual or the state to press criminal charges against an individual in New York is 2 to 5 years, depending on whether the charge would be a misdemeanor or a felony. If an injured individual wants to file a civil claim against the person who caused their injury, they have 1 year from the date of the accident or action. Criminal charges or civil claims filed after the statute of limitations will be dismissed by the court in most cases.

Q: Can You Sue for Assault in New York?

A: Yes, you can file a personal injury civil claim if someone caused your injury by negligence, recklessness, or malice. You may be able to receive compensation for medical costs, property damage, lost income, and even punitive damages if the court believes that the at-fault party behaved with willful negligence. Criminal charges are prosecuted by the state after a crime is reported. Once the state files charges, it is up to the state to decide whether a case is brought against the accused or dropped.

Q: What Elements Must a Prosecutor Prove for a Conviction for Assault or Battery in New York?

A: Any assault charges must show proof of actual, physical harm. To prove third-degree assault or certain cases of second-degree assault in New York, the prosecutor has to prove that the defendant was criminally negligent or acted recklessly with a dangerous weapon. Unlike more serious assault charges, the defendant need not have intended to cause harm to be convicted. To prove other second-degree and third-degree assault charges, the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to cause serious harm.

The Vitaliano Law Firm: Your Staten Island Criminal Defense

Contact The Vitaliano Law Firm today for exceptional criminal defense in your community.