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Assault

Rochester, NY Attorney Fights Assault Charges

Former prosecutor provides aggressive defense

It could happen just about anywhere: your workplace, a local tavern, a neighborhood sidewalk. An encounter quickly escalates, words are exchanged, and punches are thrown. Somehow, you’ve been arrested and you’re facing criminal charges. Fortunately, the Law Office of James L. Riotto in Rochester, New York, is prepared to help. Having worked in law enforcement and having prosecuted offenses for the state attorney general’s office, we know how the authorities approach assault crimes, so we understand how best to resolve these cases favorably for our clients. That could mean we get charges dropped or the district attorney declines to prosecute. Even if the case involves serious bodily injury or the alleged victim is adamant about pressing charges, we may still be able to get charges reduced and negotiate a reduced sentence, which could mean probation and no jail time. However, if justice requires that your case go to trial, you can count on our firm for aggressive criminal defense representation focused on the best possible result.

Assault crimes under the New York Penal Code

Under New York law, the term assault is used to describe what we might commonly call assault and battery. Assault occurs when one person causes physical harm to another intentionally, recklessly or with criminal indifference. Intent is transferable, so if an assailant intends to harm one person, but his actions wind up causing harm to a bystander, authorities can still charge assault. New York law has three basic types of assault:

  • Assault in the third degree — This is a Class A misdemeanor in which a person injures another, intentionally or recklessly, or with criminal negligence while using a deadly weapon.
  • Assault in the second degree — This Class D felony occurs when a person intending to cause harm causes serious harm; intending to cause harm causes harm with a deadly weapon; recklessly causes serious harm with a deadly weapon; or causes harm while intending to prevent a police officer or another of a protected class of public servants from performing their duty.
  • Assault in the first degree — This Class B felony occurs when a person intentionally causes serious injury to another with a deadly weapon; or causes serious injury recklessly with depraved indifference to human life, or causes serious injury during the commission of a felony.

Other types of assault crimes include:

  • Reckless assault of a child by a child day-care provider — Class E felony where an employee of a day-care center recklessly injures a child under the age of 11.
  • Reckless assault of a child — Class D felony, where a person 18 years of age or older recklessly causes brain injury to a child younger than five by shaking or impacting the child’s head against a hard surface
  • Vehicular assault in the second degree — Class E felony, where a driver, impaired by alcohol or drugs, causes injury to another person
  • Vehicular assault in the first degree — Class D felony for an enhanced or repeat DUI that results in a crash that seriously injures a person
  • Aggravated vehicular assault — Class C felony for reckless driving on top of vehicular assault in the first degree
  • Gang assault in the second degree — Class C felony where a person, aided by two or more persons, intentionally causes physical harm to another person or a third party
  • Gang assault in the first degree — Class B felony when the harm to another person is serious
  • Assault on a peace officer, police officer, fireman etc. — Class C felony when intentional harm to a member of a protected class of public servants results in serious harm
  • Aggravated assault upon a police officer or a peace officer — Class B felony when a person intentionally injures a police officer with a deadly weapon

New York law lists numerous sex offenses that might commonly be called sexual assault. But only two, New York Penal Code § 130.95 Predatory sexual assault and § 130.96 Predatory sexual assault against a child, use the term assault. Both are Class A-II felonies. Potential sentences run from a minimum of 10 years to life imprisonment.

Punishments for New York assault crimes

For assaults, New York courts follow state sentencing guidelines, which provide a range of incarceration periods for each level of an offense:

  • Class A misdemeanor — No more than one year in jail
  • Class E felony — A prison term of 1.5 to four years
  • Class D felony — A prison sentence of two to seven years
  • Class B felony — Anywhere from five to 25 years in prison

Final sentencing depends on several factors, including any criminal history of the defendant. But no matter what type of assault you’re charged with, you deserve a diligent defense provided by an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Contact an experienced Rochester defense attorney for immediate support

If you face assault charges in Rochester or the surrounding counties, the Law Office of James L. Riotto fights aggressively to obtain the best possible outcome for your case. We provide personalized legal support, keeping you informed and updated throughout the process. Call us at 866-772-2122 or contact us online.

James L. Riotto Attorney Photo
James L. Riotto
Criminal Defense Lawyer

James L. Riotto is an accomplished criminal defense attorney serving clients in New York. With an extensive background in law enforcement and criminal prosecution, his approach to each case is unique and informed by years of experience with the New York criminal justice system. As a graduate from Albany Law School and before going on to start his own practice, James worked at the Albany County District Attorney's Office, where he helped prosecute many DWI offenses. His inside knowledge of the tactics used to gain convictions provides him with a particular advantage when defending against DUI and other criminal charges.

Adam Staier Attorney Photo
Adam Staier
Of Counsel

About Attorney Adam Staier has spent the last seven years practicing criminal defense law throughout upstate New York and the Capital Region. He began his legal career through internships in civil law, indigent legal representation and federal energy law regulation. Finding a passion in criminal law, Mr. Staier held internships handling both prosecution and defense…

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