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Assault with a Deadly Weapon

What Is Important To Know About Assault With A Deadly Weapon

When one person engages another using a deadly weapon, they have committed assault with a deadly weapon. In this situation, the victim does not need to experience serious physical harmed by the weapon: it could have been used to threaten them. The victim only needs to believe they are going to experience imminent serious harm.

Deadly Weapon
The definition is considered an instrument designed to cause a person serious injury or even death. These are weapons designated as deadly because of their design and intended use. This includes knives, firearms, martial art weapons or common objects that have the ability to be used as a deadly weapon. This could include pipes, hand tools, belts, sharp objects and more. A pet that has been trained to attack can also be considered a deadly weapon.

Assault Charges
In New York, assault with a deadly weapon charge in covered in New York Pen. Law § 10.00(12). Assault in the first-degree happens when a person causes serious physical injury to another person using a deadly weapon. This is done with indifference to human life. It is considered a Class B felony. Second-degree assault with a deadly weapon resembles first-degree. With second-degree assault, a person intends to cause an injury and with the goal is to inflict serious injury. Second-degree assault is a Class D felony. Third-degree assault is a Class A misdemeanor. This is when a person is charged with criminal negligence if they caused physical injury to another person with a designated deadly weapon.

A class B felony is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 25 years. When the victim is a law enforcement officer, it could result in a person receiving up to 30 years in prison. A class D felony could lead to a prison sentence of up to seven years in prison. When the victim is under eleven years old, and the defendant is 18 years or old or older, it is a class E felony. This could lead to a four-year prison term. Fines involved with an assault offense could be up to $5,000. Third-degree assault is a misdemeanor. A person found guilty of this could receive twelve months in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.

Proving Assault With A Deadly Weapon
A prosecutor or district attorney must show the defendant intended to harm the victim with a deadly weapon. They must also prove a victim had a reasonable fear of serious and imminent violence. The defendant must have actually used or attempted to use physical force with an identified deadly weapon. It must be proven the weapon was deadly. It needs to be shown how the identified deadly weapon could cause serious bodily harm or death.

Legal Defenses
It’s important for a victim to have sustained a physical injury. The victim must have more than a minor injury. Should a victim experience some minor bruising, discomfort or an injury that did not leave a scar or need hospital treatment, it will be difficult to prove the victim was assaulted. According to New York Pen. Law § 10.00(10), the evidence presented in court must demonstrate the victim experienced injuries that could have caused them serious physical impairment or the possibility of death. In the state of New York, an individual is permitted to use physical force on another person to protect themselves from imminent physical harm. In New York Pen. Law § 35.15, a person is not guilty of assault if the victim initiated the violence. It’s important to realize a person can’t use any more force than is reasonably necessary to stop the threat.

Legal Help
Anyone who is arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon is in a very difficult situation. It will require the help of lawyers with experience to provide the best possible defense.

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