Philadelphia Assault Lawyer
Assault can arise from any of a number of situations that most people find themselves in on a daily basis. An argument with another motorist over a parking space or a dispute with a member of your family can quickly turn violent. If that happens, you want the tough, aggressive Philadelphia assault attorneys you can trust, Troy R. Crichton, Esq. protecting you against the harsh penalties and long-term consequences associated with an assault conviction.
The different levels of assault charges and the penalties associated with each one requires top-notch legal representation
Simple assault under Pennsylvania law occurs when you inflict physical harm upon another person or when you put that person in fear of bodily harm or injury. Our savvy and knowledgeable team of attorneys aggressively challenge the evidence presented by prosecutors attempting to prove the elements of the crime, including:
Intentional or knowing conduct
Threats of imminent bodily injury or physical menace
Negligent use of a dangerous weapon
Simple assault is a misdemeanor of the second degree punishable by up to two years in prison. If you are at least 21 years of age and the victim is less than 12 years of age, the charge is elevated to a misdemeanor of the first degree and the penalties increase to up to five years in prison. Furthermore, a Simple Assault conviction can result in a variety of collateral consequences including eligibility for certain jobs.
Aggravated Assault is a Felony
There are situations that can result in an assault being charged as a felony that could subject you to up to 20 years in prison. Aggravated assault charges may be filed if an assault includes any of the following factors:
Serious bodily injury
Use of a deadly weapon
Victim was a police officer or public official
Conviction of an aggravated assault that does not result in serious bodily injury is a second degree felony punishable by fines up to $25,000 and a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. If there is serious bodily injury, the charge is a first degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.
What Defenses are there to Aggravated and Simple Assault?
One of the most common defenses to an assault charge is self-defense, this defense shifts the burden onto the government to prove that your actions and the level of force used was not justified. This is where the skills and legal savvy of a respected criminal trial lawyer are essential. State law allows you to defend yourself against an imminent threat of harm. For example, if someone threatens you with a knife, you could be justified in taking appropriate steps to defend yourself against the attack. However, if the person breaks off the attack and begins to leave, your use of force against that person might result in assault charges because you responded after removal of the threat.
Another common defense to an assault charge is attacking the victim's credibility when they may have embellished their injuries. In this situation, you need an experienced criminal lawyer who launches an investigation to contact witnesses, subpoena hospital records, and show that the "victim" is lying about what really happened.
Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer - Aggravated and Simple Assault
I want you to know and understand your rights when facing assault charges, so we offer a free initial consultation. Call us at (267) 225-3317 today to schedule your free consultation.