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Bruce R. Bryan

NY Assault Appeals

NY Appeal from Conviction for Assault in the First Degree

Article 120 of the NY Penal Law governs the crime of assault in New York. A person is said to have committed the NY crime of Assault in the First Degree when, “with intent to cause serious physical injury, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.” Likewise, a person is guilty of the NY crime of Assault in the First Degree when, “under circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life, he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person, and thereby causes serious personal injury to another person.”

The NY crime of Assault in the First Degree is the most serious type of criminal assault and carries the most serious potential punishment. The NY crime of Assault in the First Degree has the same elements as the NY crime of Murder in the Second Degree, with the exception that the victim did not die.

NY Appeal from Conviction for Assault in the Second Degree or Third Degree

The NY crimes of Assault in the Second Degree and Assault in the Third Degree deal with less serious mental states, or less serious conduct or injuries than the NY crime of Assault in the First Degree. For example, the NY crime of Assault in the Second Degree may involve the intent to cause serous physical injury, but without a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. Likewise, a person may only have the intent to cause physical injury, and not serious physical injury, thereby being only guilty of the NY crime of Assault in the Second Degree.

Issues in a NY Assault Appeal

A NY criminal assault appeal may involve multiple legal issues, including challenges to one or more elements of the crimes charged. If there is insufficient evidence of a single element to the NY assault crime charged, than the conviction must be reversed. For example, the defendant may challenge whether he committed the act alleged, or whether he had the requisite mental state for the NY assault crime charged. A defendant might also challenge whether he caused the victims injuries, or that the injuries were not sufficiently serious to meet the requirements of the form of NY assault charged.

A NY criminal assault appeal may also contend that the trial court committed errors in the NY assault case that resulted in the conviction of the defendant.  A NY criminal assault appeal may assert that errors violated the defendant’s right to due process or a fair sentence. A NY criminal assault appeal may address errors that occurred before the trial started (Click here for examples of NY criminal assault appeal Pre-Trial Errors). The judge in a NY criminal assault trial can make errors during the trial (click here for examples of NY criminal assault appeal Trial Errors). A NY criminal assault appeal may also raise errors in a defendant’s sentence (click here for examples of NY criminal assault appeal Sentencing Errors).

NY Assault Appeals to NY Appeals Courts

The major NY appeals courts at the intermediate level are divided into four departments. Most NY assault appeals go to one of the four departments, depending on where the NY assault case was tried. (For a chart of NY counties and their corresponding departments, click NY Appeals Courts).

Consult with NY Criminal Appeals Lawyer Bruce R. Bryan

Bruce R. Bryan has substantial experience as a NY criminal appeals lawyer (see Attorney Biography).  He has represented many individuals on their NY criminal appeals, including NY assault appeals. He authored Guide to Criminal Appeals, Review and Parole in New York, an important treatise that explains how criminal appeals in NY work. (You may obtain a

B. Bryan, "Defendant's Guide to Criminal Appeals, Review & Parole in New York," (2005)


Guide to Criminal Appeals, Review & Parole in New York | Bryan Criminal Appeals Lawyer NY

The object of appellate advocacy is to persuade. The winning advocate focuses the court on the strength of your case. Read More

Cornell Adjunct Professor of Law


Guide to Criminal Appeals, Review & Parole in New York | Bryan Criminal Appeals Lawyer NY

As an adjunct faculty, Professor Bryan teaches "Advanced Persuasive Writing and Appellate Advocacy" to second and third year law students at Cornell Law School. Read More