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New York Penal Code 120.07: Gang assault in the first degree

By Spodek Law Group | May 2, 2017
(Last Updated On: July 26, 2023)

Last Updated on: 26th July 2023, 08:56 pm

For an assault to be classified as a gang assault, there must be at least three people involved to complete the crime. Gang assault has only two degrees. They are gang assault in the first degree and the gang assault in the second degree. The worst offense is the first-degree gang assault. Under the New York penal code 120:07, you are likely to face this charge if you are caught in a gang assault. In this case, your intention was to cause serious injury on the victim. If your action resulted in a physical injury to the victim, you are more likely to face this charge. This crime is classified under the class E felony.

In the New York Criminal Courts, a physical injury can be referred to as one that causes substantial pain, physical condition, or physical impairment. In this case, a serious physical injury is defined as one that causes death, one that also creates a substantial risk of death, one that causes protracted impairment or risk of health, or one that causes loss of a body organ. The different between the second-degree and first-degree gang crime is the intentions. For a second-degree gang assault, your intention must be to cause physical injury. On the other hand, the first-degree gang assault’s intention must be to cause death or a serious physical injury.

A man was accompanied by two of his friend when they bumped into a woman. They punched her face a few times before grabbing her handbag. When they left the woman, she was admitted at an emergency inlet in a hospital. She was diagnosed with minor bruises accompanied by a headache. The medical practitioner discharged her with an over-the-counter medication. The man was charged and arrested with first-degree gang assault. When they were in court, the man’s lawyer objected to the claims. They argued that that woman did not suffer any serious physical injury. For this reason, the prosecutor had a tough time sustaining the first-degree gang assault case based on the minimal injuries that do not require treatment or hospitalization.

Related offenses
1. First-degree assault: New York Penal Code 120:10
2. Second-degree gang assault: New York Penal Code 120:06

The lack of seriousness on the injury of the victim may present an opportunity to win the case. A first-degree gang assault charge is based on the defendant having the intention to cause a serious physical injury. For this reason, the victim must suffer serious physical pain. If one of these factors is absent, the case is not valid. The medical evidence will be examined by the court to determine the case.

Factors considered by the court include:
• Whether the victim underwent surgery
• Whether there was damage to any vital part of the body
• Victim suffered a permanent scar
• Victim lost conscious

Because this is a first-degree gang assault in a class B felony, you are likely to face a 25-year jail term. Because it is also a violent felony, a minimum sentence of five years is applicable. The prior criminal record will also affect the length of the sentence. A fine of $5,000 is applicable.

The nyc criminal attorneys Law Firm
It is a serious offense to be arrested for a first-degree gang assault. You can stay in prison for quite some time. However, there is a defense for a first-degree gang assault charge that can be noted by an experienced legal practitioner. It is important to contact a legal representative if you are arrested. The staff at NYC Criminal Attorneys Law Firm is experienced in representing clients in the New York Criminal Courts who are charged with such felonies and misdemeanors. Contact us for a free consultation session with our team of experienced lawyers.

New York Penal Code 120.06: Gang assault in the second degree

Assault is the most common criminal charges you are likely to face if you recklessly or intentionally cause physical injury to someone else. If more than three people perpetrate that assault, then the offense is raised from assault to gang assault. While this name might suggest that the assault is caused by people identified to belong to a street group, it is not often the case. For purposes of the assault statute, a gang is referred to a group of three or more people who caused assault to a person. Under the New York penal code 120:06, you will face a second-degree gang assault if you get the aid of two or more people to complete your assault. Your intention was to cause physical injury to the victim after the assault. The victim also must have suffered serious physical injury. This crime belongs to class C felony.

A man and four other people approached two people and started picking a street talk with them. They yelled at the two individuals. In the course of the yelling, the man decides to direct the two people to attack the two men. While the man watches, the four people assault the two people. As a result, the two individuals suffer serious physical injuries. Even though that man did not attack the two individuals physically, he directed the other four people to act on his behalf. Therefore, he will face conviction for second-degree gang assault under the New York Penal Code 120:06.

Related offenses
1. First-degree assault: New York Penal Code 120:10
2. First-degree gang assault: New York Penal Code 120:07

A second-degree gang assault charge is based on the victim suffering serious physical injury and the defendants who want to cause injury. If one of these factors is absent, you can defend yourself against the charges pressed on you. The court, on the other hand, will not consider that injury as serious unless it is not disfiguring the person permanently or life-threatening. Stab wounds can not cause severe physical injuries.

Because the second-degree gang assault is under the class C felony, you are likely to face a prison sentence that does not exceed 15 years. For this reason, the sentence can be accompanied by $5,000 fine. Because this assault is classified as a second-degree violent felony, the judge must impose a mandatory two-year prison sentence. Prior conviction with these charges will affect the increment of your prison sentence.
New York Penal Code 120.06: Gang Assault in the Second Degree
A person is said to be guilty of committing the second-degree gang assault when they have an intention of causing physical injury to another person. In this case, they must have committed the crime with the aid of two or more people. In this case, he will be convicted if he causes a serious injury to the person or third person.

The nyc criminal attorneys Law Firm
It is often a serious offense to be arrested for committing the second-degree gang assault crime. If you get convicted, many aspects of your life will never remain the same again. However, there are many defenses to a second-degree gang assault that can only be understood by an experienced legal practitioner in New York. Therefore, it is always important to contact a person who knows this legal platform if you are arrested with a second-degree gang assault charge. The staff at NYC Criminal Attorneys Law Firm have many years of professional experience in defending clients in the New York criminal courts who have been charged with felonies and misdemeanors such as first and second-degree assault, stalking, menacing, reckless endangerment, and rape. Call us for a free consultation session.

Understanding Gang Assault Charges in New York: First and Second Degree

Gang assault is a serious crime that involves at least three people. In New York, gang assault is classified into two degrees: first-degree gang assault and second-degree gang assault, with the first being the more severe offense. This article delves into what constitutes a first-degree and second-degree gang assault, the defenses available, and the potential sentences and ramifications of being convicted of these crimes.

First-Degree Gang Assault: A Grievous Offense with Severe Consequences

Definition and Criteria

According to New York Penal Code 120.07, first-degree gang assault involves an individual assisted by two or more others in intentionally causing serious physical injury to a victim. This crime is classified as a class E felony. In this context, a serious physical injury is deemed to be one that:

• Causes death.
• Undermines a substantial risk of death.
• Leads to prolonged impairment or health risk.
• Results in the loss of a body organ.

The key difference between a second-degree and first-degree gang assault revolves around intent. While the former requires intent to cause physical injury, the latter necessitates intent to cause serious physical injury or death.

Example Scenario

In an example, a man and his two friends encounter a woman and proceed to punch her face several times before stealing her handbag. The woman subsequently requires emergency hospital care and is diagnosed with minor bruises and headaches, ultimately receiving over-the-counter medication. The man is arrested and charged with first-degree gang assault. However, his lawyer argues that the woman did not suffer a serious physical injury, undermining the prosecutor’s ability to maintain the first-degree charge due to the minimal nature of the injuries sustained.

Related Offenses

1. First-degree assault: New York Penal Code 120.10.
2. Second-degree gang assault: New York Penal Code 120.06.


If the severity of the victim’s injury is deemed insufficient to constitute a serious physical injury, there is potential for the case to be dismissed. Courts often analyze factors such as whether the victim underwent surgery, sustained damage to a vital body part, suffered a permanent scar or lost consciousness in determining the severity of the injury.


With first-degree gang assault classified as a class B felony, a conviction can lead to a prison sentence of up to 25 years. As a violent felony, a minimum sentence of five years is applicable. Monetary fines amounting to $5,000 may also be imposed, with prior criminal records influencing the length of sentencing.

Second-Degree Gang Assault: A Grave Crime with Life-Altering Penalties

Definition and Criteria

Under New York Penal Code 120.06, a person can be charged with second-degree gang assault if they, with the assistance of two or more others, intentionally cause physical injury to a victim. The victim must also have incurred serious physical injury for this charge to be upheld. This offense is a class C felony.

Example Scenario

In a hypothetical case, a man and four accomplices confront two people and escalate the situation by verbally assaulting them. The man subsequently orders his accomplices to physically attack the two individuals, who sustain serious physical injuries as a result. Even though the man did not inflict any bodily harm personally, he is considered culpable for directing the assault and can consequently be convicted under New York Penal Code 120.06 for second-degree gang assault.

Related Offenses

1. First-degree assault: New York Penal Code 120.10.
2. First-degree gang assault: New York Penal Code 120.07.


Cases lacking either the element of intent to cause injury or the presence of serious injury are open to dismissal. A serious physical injury is typically characterized by permanent disfigurement or life-threat; minor stab wounds, for example, are not considered severe injuries.


Since second-degree gang assault is a class C felony, those convicted may face a prison sentence of up to 15 years, in addition to a $5,000 fine. A minimum two-year prison sentence is mandated due to its classification as a violent felony, with prior convictions potentially increasing the duration of a sentence.

The Importance of Competent Legal Counsel

If you find yourself arrested for either first or second-degree gang assault, it is crucial to seek experienced legal representation. The attorneys at NYC Criminal Attorneys Law Firm possess a wealth of experience in defending clients against gang assault charges, ensuring that your rights and interests are protected. Contact us today for a free consultation with our team of skilled lawyers.

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