Like most states, New York takes assault crimes seriously. An assault conviction can lead to significant consequences, including potential jail time, expensive fines, and other restrictions on your freedom and your future. If the alleged victim is a police officer, firefighter, or emergency services professional, then the penalties increase substantially. As soon as you know you are facing assault charges, take the following steps to ensure that your rights are sufficiently protected.
1. Remain Cooperative and Refrain From Talking
If the assault was aimed at a police officer who was violating your rights, it might be tempting to fight other officers at the scene who are placing you under arrest. You may also want to explain yourself to the arresting officers and attempt to talk your way out of the situation. However, remember that whatever you say or do in the moment may eventually be used to build a case against you, so try to save your words for when you speak to your attorney.
2. Quickly Scan the Scene for Cameras
If you are able to do so, scan the area for security cameras. In New York City, there are cameras virtually everywhere, from traffic lights and ATMs to private buildings. There may have been witnesses at the scene who caught some of the altercations on their phones or cameras, which could be useful later on. Make a mental note of these so that your attorney can take swift action to subpoena footage that can help to support your side of the story.
3. Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Right Away
As soon as you are able to do so, contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer to inform them of your situation. Your attorney will advise you on what steps to take moving forward and help you understand what to expect in the days, weeks, and months ahead. Remember, you do not have to go through this difficult time alone—your attorney will remain at your side to answer questions at every stage of the legal process.
If you are currently facing assault charges in the Queens or greater New York City area, contact the Law Office of Adrienne D. Edward, P.C. at (327) 997-3811 today to speak with a dedicated and trusted criminal defense attorney.