Being accused of a crime is a difficult time for accused offenders in New York and elsewhere. Hearing that your have been charged with a crime tends to imply that one must face the penalties of the crime. However, this is not true. It is possible to take on an aggressive defense approach, helping to reduce and even dismiss the charges against them. But the first step in the criminal defense process is for the accused to understand the elements of the crime they face and evidence used against them.
Those facing assault and battery charges in the state of New York should begin their criminal defense process by understanding the laws that surround the alleged crime. While New York law prohibits varying forms and degrees of assault, in order for a defendant to be convicted of these charges, he or she must cause actual injury to another person. Certain factors, however, could increase the severity of the charge and potential penalties. Examples include the severity of the injury, the use of a deadly weapon and the mental status of the defendant.
In New York, like most states, the prosecution needs to prove intent of the crime. However, for a specific intent crime, they must prove that the defendant intended to cause serious physical injury to another person beyond a reasonable doubt. Intent can be established by the defendant's act or conduct surrounding the circumstances or inferences made by the facts of the situation.
There are various defense options for those accused of assault and battery charges. Depending on the details of the situation, a defendant may utilize one or more of these strategies. This includes proving lack of injury, lack of intent, consent or justification, which includes self-defense and the defense of others.
By understanding the charges you face, it is possible to assess whether the evidence collected against you meets the elements of the crime. It also helps a defendant poke holes in the case, helping them reduce or even eliminate criminal penalties.