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Nassau County Assault Lawyer

One of the most common charges prosecuted in the State of New York is the crime of assault. The law provides for at least 32 different ways that assault can be charged from simple misdemeanor assault in the third-degree to first-degree felony assault with a deadly weapon causing serious physical injury. This crime of violence comes with serious criminal penalties whether it is prosecuted as a felony or a misdemeanor.

If you are charged with any form of "assault" then contact Attorney Stephanie Selloni to discuss your case. Stephanie Selloni focuses her practice exclusively on criminal defense in and around Nassau County, New York. Her offices are located in Garden City, NY. Call today to discuss your case.

Whether the accusations were made in Hempstead, Uniondale, Garden City, Levittown or Syosset, call Stephanie Selloni for any case in Nassau County. She also represents men and women charged with assault in Suffolk County and all five boroughs of New York City.


Information on Assault Charges in Nassau County


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Definitions in Assault Cases

The term “physical injury” means either the impairment of physical condition or substantial pain. See Penal Law § 10.00(9); See People v. Chiddick, 8 NY3d 445 (2007).

The term “intent” is defined as a “conscious objective or purpose.” The standard injury instructions explain the term intent in the following manner: “[A] person acts with intent to cause physical injury to another when that person's conscious objective or purpose is to cause physical injury to another.” See Penal Law § 15.05(1).

The term “deadly weapon” for purposes of the assault statute is defined to mean:

  • any loaded weapon from which a shot, readily capable of producing death or other serious physical injury, may be discharged; or
  • a switchblade knife defined as any knife having a blade which opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in the handle of the knife; or
  • a gravity knife defined as any knife having a blade which is released from the handle or sheath thereof by the force of gravity or the application of centrifugal force which, when released, is locked in place by means of a button, spring, lever or other device; or
  • a pilum ballistic knife defined as any knife having a blade which can be projected from the handle by hand pressure applied to a button, lever, spring or other device in the handle of the knife; or
  • a dagger; or
  • a billy; or
  • a blackjack; or
  • metal knuckles; or 
  • metal knuckle knife.

The term “dangerous instrument” is defined to mean “any instrument, article or substance (including a vehicle) which, under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used, or threatened to be used, is readily capable of causing death or other serious physical injury, that is, serious and protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ. Under that definition, death or other serious physical injury need not, in fact, be caused.”


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Voluntary Intoxication in an Assault by Reckless Conduct

The laws in New York provide that a person also acts recklessly when he or she creates such a risk but is unaware of that risk solely by reason of his or her voluntary intoxication.


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Transferred Intent in Assault Cases

The laws of the State of New York for assault do not require that the person who is injured be the same person who was intended to be injured. Therefore, if you have the intent to hit John, but he jumps out of the way and you end up hitting Steve instead, then the prosecutor can argue that under a transferred intent theory that you are still guilty of assault. 


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Assault in the Third Degree

Assault in the Third (3rd) Degree, Class A Misdemeanor, can be charged in any of the following ways under Penal Law Section 120.00:

  • Intent to Cause Physical Injury; 
  • Physical Injury with Reckless Conduct; or
  • Criminal Negligence with a Deadly Weapon.

Assault with Intent to Cause Physical Injury 

Subsection 1 relates to assault in the third degree (with intent to cause physical injury) which is a class A misdemeanor. The elements of the offense require proof beyond all reasonable doubt that the following occurred:

  1. The defendant caused physical injury to the victim; and
  2. The defendant did so with the intent to cause physical injury to the alleged victim.

Assault with Physical Injury by Reckless Conduct

Subsection 2 relates to physical injury with reckless conduct. The charge of assault in the third degree can also be charged when it is alleged that the person recklessly causes physical injury to another person. A person acts recklessly with respect to physical injury when that person:

  • engages in conduct which creates or contributes to a substantial and unjustifiable risk that physical injury to another person will occur, and
  • when he or she is aware of and consciously disregards that risk, and
  • when that risk is of such nature and degree that disregard of it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.

See Penal Law § 15.05(3); People v. Boutin, 75 NY2d 692, 696 (1990).

Assault by Criminal Negligence with a Deadly Weapon

Subsection 3 relates to physical injury with criminal negligence of a weapon. The charge of assault in the third degree can also be charged when it is alleged that the person, with criminal negligence, causes physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or other dangerous instrument. 

The standard jury instruction explains that the term “criminal negligence:”
Criminal negligence is not the same as that type of negligence you may be familiar with that permits a person injured by ordinary negligence to obtain a monetary judgment in a civil lawsuit. The carelessness required for criminal negligence is appreciably more serious than that for ordinary civil negligence.

Instead, in this context, a person acts with “criminal negligence” with respect to physical injury by means of a deadly weapon or other dangerous instrument "when that person engages in conduct which creates or contributes to a substantial and unjustifiable risk that physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon [or dangerous instrument] will occur, and when he or she fails to perceive that risk, and when that risk is of such nature and degree that failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation." See Penal Law § 15.05(4); People v. Boutin, 75 NY2d 692, 696 (1990).

Reckless Assault Against a Child at Day Care

Reckless assault charges against a child are charged under Penal Law Section 120.01 for reckless assault of a child by a child care provider, which is a class E felony. The laws of the State of New York provide that a person can be charged with Reckless Assault of a Child by a Child Day Care Provider when it is alleged that the defendant is a child day care provider or an employee thereof, and he or she recklessly causes serious physical injury to a child, who is under the care of such provider or employee, and who is less than eleven (11) years of age.

The term “child day care provider” is defined as an “individual, association, corporation, partnership, institution or agency whose activities include providing child day care, or operating a home or facility where child day care is provided.” See Penal Law §10.10(19) and Social Services Law §390(1)(b).

The term “serious physical injury” is defined as “impairment of a person's physical condition which creates a substantial risk of death, or which causes death or serious and protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily organ.” Penal Law §10.00(10).

Under this statute, the person acts recklessly with respect to serious physical injury when that person:

  • engages in conduct which creates or contributes to a substantial and unjustifiable risk that serious physical injury to a child who is less than 11 years of age will occur, and
  • when he or she is aware of and consciously disregards that risk, and
  • when that risk is of such nature and degree that disregard of it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.

See Penal Law §15.05(3); People v Boutin, 75 N.Y.2d 692 (1996).

Shaken Baby Syndrome Assault in NY

Under Section 120.02, assault against a child can be filed under the “shaken baby syndrome” assault statute which is a class D felony.


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Assault in the Second Degree

Assault in the second degree is a class D felony under Penal Law 120.05(1). For second-degree felony assault charges, the term "serious physical injury" means impairment of a person's physical condition which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes death or serious and protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ. See Penal Law § 10.00(10).
Assault in the Second (2nd) Degree can be charged in any of the following ways under Penal Law Section 120.05:

  • Under Subsection 1, a person can be charged with Assault in the Second Degree when it is alleged that he or she acted with the intent to cause serious physical injury to another person and caused such injury to that person or to a third person.
  • Under Subsection 2, a person can be charged with Assault in the Second Degree when, with intent to cause physical injury to another person, he or she causes such injury to that person or to a third person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument.
  • Under Subsection 3, a person can be charged with Assault in the Second Degree when, with the intent to prevent a qualified public employee (including a peace officer or police officer) from performing a lawful duty, he or she causes physical injury to such person. In addition to a police officer or peace officer, other qualified public employees protected by the assault statute include the following: 
    • peace officer;
    • police officer;
    • registered nurse;
    • licensed practical nurse;
    • sanitation enforcement agent;
    • New York city sanitation worker;
    • firefighter including a firefighter acting as a paramedic;
    • emergency medical technician administering first aid in the course of performance of duty as such firefighter;
    • emergency medical service paramedic;
    • emergency medical service technician;
    • medical or related personnel in a hospital emergency;
    • department city marshal;
    • traffic enforcement officer; or
    • traffic enforcement agent.
  • Under Subsection 3-a, a person can be accused of Assault in the Second Degree if he or she does one of the following:
    • with the intent to prevent an employee of a local social services district directly involved in investigation of or response to alleged abuse or neglect of a child, a vulnerable elderly person or an incompetent or physically disabled person, from performing such investigation or response, the actor, not being such child, vulnerable elderly person or incompetent or physically disabled person, or
    • with intent to prevent an employee of a local social services district directly involved in providing public assistance and care from performing his or her job, he or she causes physical injury to such employee.
  • Under Subsection 4, a person can be accused of Assault in the Second Degree when it is alleged that the person recklessly causes serious physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
  • Under Subsection 5, a person can be accused of Assault in the Second Degree when it is alleged that, for a purpose other than lawful medical or therapeutic treatment, that person intentionally causes stupor, unconsciousness, or other physical impairment or injury to another by administering to such other person, without his or her consent, a drug, substance, or preparation capable of producing such stupor, unconsciousness, or other physical impairment or injury.
  • Under Subsection 6, a person can be accused of Assault in the Second Degree when, in the course of and in furtherance of the commission or attempted commission of a felony charged or of immediate flight therefrom, that person or another participant if there be any, causes physical injury to a person other than one of the participants. In determining whether a person is in IMMEDIATE FLIGHT from the commission or attempted commission of the felony, the following factors should be considered:
    • the distance, if any, between the location of the felony and the location where physical injury was caused;
    • the interval of time, if any, between the commission or attempted commission of the felony and the causing of physical injury;
    • whether police, security personnel or citizens were in close pursuit at the time physical injury was caused;
    • whether such person possessed fruits of the felony at the time physical injury was caused; and
    • whether such person(s) had reached a place of temporary safety before the physical injury was caused.
  • Under Subsection 7, a person can be charged with Assault in the Second Degree when it is alleged that the person, having been charged with a crime and while confined in a correctional facility pursuant to such charge, acted with intent to cause physical injury to another person, and he or she causes such injury to that person or to a third person applies to inmate causing physical injury.
  • Under Subsection 8, a person is can be charged with Assault in the Second Degree when the defendant, being eighteen (18) years old or more and with intent to cause physical injury to a person less than eleven (11) years old, he or she recklessly causes serious physical injury to that person.
  • Under Subsection 9, a person can be charged with Assault in the Second Degree when it is alleged that he or she, being eighteen (18) years old or more and with intent to cause physical injury to a person less than seven (7) years old, he or she causes such injury to such person.
  • Under Subsection 10a, a person can be charged with Assault in the Second Degree when it is alleged that at a place the person knows or reasonably should know, is on school grounds, and with intent to cause physical injury, he or she causes such injury to an employee of a school or public school district.
  • Under Subsection 10b, a person can be accused of Assault in the Second Degree when it is alleged that a person, acting at a place the person knows or reasonably should know, is on school grounds and with intent to cause physical injury, he or she, not being a student of such school or public school district, causes physical injury to another, and such other person is a student of such school who is attending or presents for educational purposes.
  • Under Subsection 11, a person can be accused of Assault in the Second Degree when it is alleged that, with intent to cause physical injury to a qualified public employee, he or she causes physical injury to such person while such person is performing an assigned duty. Qualified public employees for this statute include the following:
    • a train operator;
    • ticket inspector; conductor;
    • signal person;
    • bus operator;
    • station agent employed by any transit agency, authority or company, public or private, whose operation is authorized by New York state or any of its political subdivisions;
    • a city marshal;
    • a traffic enforcement officer;
    • traffic enforcement agent; 
    • sanitation enforcement agent;
    • New York city sanitation worker;
    • registered nurse; or
    • licensed practical nurse.
  • Under Subsection 11a, a person can be charged with Assault in the Second Degree when either:
    • with intent to cause physical injury to an employee of a local social services district directly involved in investigation of or response to alleged abuse or neglect of a child, vulnerable elderly person or an incompetent or physically disabled person, the actor, not being such child, vulnerable elderly person or incompetent or physically disabled person; or 
    • with intent to prevent an employee of a local social services district directly involved in providing public assistance and care from performing his or her job, he or she causes physical injury to such employee. 
  • Under Subsection 12, a person can be accused of Assault in the Second Degree when it is alleged that, with intent to cause physical injury to a person who is sixty-five years of age or older, he or she causes such injury to such person, and the actor is more than ten years younger than such person.

Penal Law Section 120.06 and 120.07 related to gang assault.

Penal Law Section 120.08 enhance the penalties for assault on a police officer, peace officer, fireman or emergency medical services professional.

Penal Law Section 120.09 enhance the penalties for assault on a judge.


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Assault in the First Degree

Assault in the First (1st) Degrees is contained in Penal Law Section 120.10 and can be charged in any of the following ways;

  • for serious physical injury with intent and a weapon under subsection 1;
  • assault to disfigure or disable under subsection 2; 
  • assault with depraved indifference under subsection 3; and
  • felony assault with serious physical injury under subjection 4.

Section 120.11 makes it a crime to commit an aggravated assault on a police or peace officer.
Section 120.12 prohibits aggravated assault upon a person less than 11 years old.


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Finding an Attorney for Assault Charges in Long Island

If you are charged with any misdemeanor or felony assault charges, then contact a criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Stephanie Selloni. Learn more about fighting assault charges aggressively throughout Long Island, including Hempstead, Garden City, Long Bach, Glen Cove, Mineola, and the surrounding areas of Nassau County. Call attorney Stephanie Selloni today at 516-972-1212.