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The Consequences of Assaulting a Police Officer in New York

Police officers protect and serve our communities, so the state places a high priority on ensuring that they remain safe while on the job. As part of this effort to keep police officers safe, the state imposes serious penalties on anyone who assaults a police officer. Therefore, if you’ve been arrested for assaulting a police officer in New York, it is imperative that you contact a New York criminal defense attorney immediately to help you fight your charges. Below is some additional information on the consequences of assaulting a police officer in New York. 

Definitions And Punishments Of Assaulting A Police Officer

In New York, a defendant commits assault in the second degree if he or she causes physically injures a police officer while trying to prevent the officer from doing his or her job. Assault in the second degree carries a possible prison sentence of between two and seven years. However, if an officer suffers a serious physical injury at the hands of a defendant, then the state can charge the defendant with the crime of assault of a police officer. Assault of a police officer carries a possible prison sentence of between three-and-a-half and fifteen years. In addition, if a defendant uses a deadly or dangerous weapon during such an assault, the charge increases to aggravated assault on a police officer, which carries a possible prison sentence of between five and twenty-five years. 

Additional penalties for assaulting a police officer include:

  • Parole
  • A fine of up to $5,000
  • Community service
  • Restitution 


There are usually multiple defenses available to a defendant following an assault charge. One common defense is to argue that the police officer wasn’t injured within the meaning of the law. “Physical injury” and “serious physical injury” have specific legal meanings, and the state must prove that an officer suffered an injury within the meaning of the law to successfully prosecute a defendant. Specifically, a physical injury must cause some substantial pain or impairment to the officer, and a serious physical injury must create a risk of death or have grave health consequences. Another common defense is that the officer was not on the job at the time of the encounter. For example, off-duty police officers are sometimes involved in physical confrontations that are unrelated to police work. Finally, a defendant can sometimes argue that the arresting officer used excessive force during the arrest, thus requiring the defendant to defend him or herself.  

Contact Our New York Criminal Defense Attorneys   

If you’ve been accused of assaulting a police officer in New York, it’s imperative that you hire an experienced New York criminal defense attorney to represent you. At Barket Epstein, our experienced New York criminal defense attorneys will ensure that you are provided with the most effective defense possible against your charges. Please contact one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys today for a consultation.