In a recent case before a New York appellate court, the defendant challenged her conviction and sentence for assault and criminal contempt. On appeal, she argued that the State had not proven that the victim of the assault had suffered a physical injury, which was a necessary element of the crime in this case. Looking at the trial court’s record, the court ultimately disagreed with the defendant and affirmed the jury’s original verdict.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the defendant was charged after she was found stabbing another individual. The defendant stabbed the victim six times, and the police arrested her and took her into the station. The defendant was held in jail while she awaited trial, and eventually, the case went before a jury in late 2018. After trial, the defendant was found guilty of assault in the second degree and criminal contempt in the second degree. She promptly appealed.
On appeal, the defendant argued that the State had not proven every element of the crime that it needed to prove. In fact, in all criminal cases, the prosecution must prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Specifically, the woman correctly claimed that State had to present evidence both that the victim had suffered a physical injury and that the defendant intended to cause the physical injury. According to the defendant, the State had not proven either of those two elements.
The court looked at the trial record and ultimately disagreed. While it was true that the victim did not have any long-term injuries from the stabbing, there was ample evidence that he experienced substantial pain during the incident. This pain was enough, said the court, for the State to meet its burden of proving physical injury.
In regards to the element of intent, the court looked to whether the State had successfully proven that the defendant intentionally caused physical injury. Here, said the court, the defendant’s intent could be assumed by the fact that she stabbed the victim multiple times. Given the repeated stabbing, the court could properly assume that the assault was not an accident.
Therefore, finding that the State met the necessary burden, the court denied the defendant’s appeal. The original convictions and sentences were kept in place.
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