Violent criminal offenses come with some of the harshest charges under New York law. As such, the penalties upon conviction are among the most severe of all criminal offenses at the state level. They usually include years of prison time and thousands of dollars in fines. Because New York has abolished the death penalty, life imprisonment is the punishment reserved for the most serious violent crimes cases in Westchester County, NY.
Whether you are facing violent crime charges in Westchester County for the first or another time, everything can be on the line. When it is, you need a strong defense to protect your rights and minimize the chances of conviction and harsh penalties.
The best way to get a strategic, effective defense against violent crime charges in Westchester County, NY, is with Mamaroneck Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael J. Borrelli. As a former prosecutor with more than 25 years of experience in criminal law, Attorney Michael J. Borrelli has the expertise, skills, and resources to build strong defense cases for an array of violent crime charges.
Explore the following to discover more about violent crime charges, penalties, and cases in Westchester County. Whenever you are ready for essential advice about potential or existing violent crime charges, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Michael J. Borrelli for a free, confidential consultation.
The use of a firearm in the commission of a robbery is considered to be an aggravating factor. Consequently, charges for armed robbery in Westchester County are typically first-degree robbery charges, which are Class B felonies. These are punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
Armed robbery charges and possible penalties can be far more severe when additional aggravating circumstances are involved, like (but not limited to):
- Anyone suffering injuries or death in the course of the alleged robbery.
- An armed robbery allegedly being committed by a group.
Assault & Battery
Assault and battery, or menacing, can be filed as misdemeanor or felony charges in New York. Similar to many violent crime charges in Westchester County, the level of charges filed for assault and/or menacing will depend on various factors, like (but not exclusive to):
- The number and age(s) of the alleged victim(s)
- Whether the victim was a judge or law enforcement officer
- Whether the offense involved gang activity or a group of perpetrators acting together
Menacing charges can be filed in the first, second, or third degree, with first-degree menacing usually bringing E felony charge while second- and third-degree charges are misdemeanors. Assault, on the other hand, is almost always a felony, with the exception of third-degree assault, which may be filed as a Class A misdemeanor.
Kidnapping is the felony offense of unlawfully retraining and imprisoning another individual against his or her will. This can involve the use of deception, coercion, or force. In cases that involve the alleged kidnapping of someone younger than 16, the act can involve any means used for abduction, and it doesn’t matter if the alleged victim acquiesced to the act.
Kidnapping in the first degree is a Class A-1 felony, which can be punishable by up to life imprisonment. Second-degree kidnapping is a Class B felony, which can be punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
Murder or homicide is the most serious violent criminal offense in New York, with first-degree, second-degree, and aggravated murder charges all triggering Class A-1 felony charges. As with many other violent crimes, however, there are varying degrees of homicide charges that fall under the category of murder, with factors like premeditation playing a significant role in these charges and cases.
Less severe than homicide charges, manslaughter charges can be brought when someone is accused of:
- Trying to injure another person and causing his or her death or the death of a third individual
- Intentionally assisting in or causing another individual’s suicide
- Murder involving “extreme emotional disturbance” or “heat of passion”
- Reckless negligence that results in the death of another
While first-degree manslaughter is usually a Class B felony, second-degree manslaughter is typically met with Class C felony charges.
Considered to be a form of aggravated robbery, carjacking involves the use of a weapon, coercion, and/or force to steal someone else’s vehicle. Generally, carjacking charges in New York are filed as Class C felonies, which can be punishable by up to 15 years in prison. If the alleged carjacking results in bodily injury or harm to the alleged victim, the charges and potential penalties can be far more severe.
Hate crimes can be any destructive or violent offense that is motivated by prejudice against some individual or group, based on age, gender, race, sexual orientation, and other factors. As such, hate crimes can encompass a number of different offenses, including (but not limited to):
- Assault and battery
- Stalking and kidnapping
- Sexual abuse and sexual assault
- Manslaughter and murder
Unlike other violent criminal offenses that are codified with specific charges and penalties, hate crimes are an “elevator” of an offense. That means that, if the accused is convicted of a hate crime, regardless of whether it’s a misdemeanor or felony offense, the charges and penalties can be elevated one category higher due to the hate crime status.
Arson is the criminal act of intentionally setting fire to or causing an explosion at another individual’s property. When damage only impacts land or physical property, like a building or vehicle, the charges can be filed as third- to fifth-degree arson, with third-degree arson typically bringing Class D Felony charges.
If, however, the accused individual knew there was someone at the property where the alleged arson occurred—or if the offense does cause physical injury or death to anyone—first-degree arson charges can be filed as Class A-1 felonies.
3 Things to Know About Violent Crimes Charges
As scary as violent crime charges can be, here are some of the key things that defendants need to remember when it’s time to present their defense:
- Arrests, charges, and evidence don’t always hold up: Police and prosecutors are known to cast wide nets at first, making extensive arrests and throwing the proverbial book at those who do end up being charged. A skilled lawyer can work to get those over-reaching charges dismissed from the get-go.
- The burden of proof lies with the prosecutor: This is good news for the defense because it means a strong defense may only need to create enough reasonable doubt that the defendant may not have been the perpetrator of the offense in question.
- Witnesses are notoriously unreliable: Eyewitnesses forget, misremember, and may even fill in the blanks for gaps in their stories. This doesn’t necessarily happen because eyewitnesses are “bad” people who are out to get the defendant. It’s the fallible nature of human memory. Being able to prove when the prosecution’s witnesses may be providing unreliable or inaccurate testimony can be an effective strategy in violent crimes defense cases.
This is just the beginning of what you may need to know when your facing violent crime charges in Westchester County, NY. To get the information and advice you need for any type of violent crimes case, contact the Law Offices of Michael J. Borrelli.
Get Strategic Defense Representation When It Matters Most: Contact Mamaroneck Westchester County Violent Crimes Lawyer Michael J. Borrelli
If you or a loved one has been charged with a violent crime, the stakes in your case are high, and the sooner you have Attorney Borrelli in your corner, the better. The truth is that there can be various options for defending against violent crime charges.
From poking holes in the prosecution’s theories to finding ways to discredit their evidence or get it dismissed altogether, Westchester Violent Crimes Attorney Michael Borrelli can provide exceptional representation in the pursuit of the best possible outcomes.
Call (914) 825-8620 or contact us online for a FREE, confidential consultation. We offer consultations 24/7.
With experience as an Assistant District Attorney, Attorney Borrelli has deep knowledge of New York criminal law, as well as:
- Well-established relationships with the courts and police in Westchester County
- A near-perfect success rate in more than 40 felony criminal trials
- Tens of thousands of criminal cases of varying degrees under his belt
- A record of personal attendance for 99% of client court appearances
- A 9.5 rating from former clients on Avvo
This record of excellence is just part of the story. Beyond that, Attorney Borrelli is also dedicated to helping people just like you. He is known for providing compassionate, responsive, personalized service. This can make a big difference in your peace of mind as your case proceeds. It can also give you confidence that you have the advocacy and support you need and deserve when it’s time to mount the fight of your life against violent crime charges in Westchester County, NY.
Find out your best defense options against violent crime charges now in a FREE consultation.