Philadelphia Assault Lawyer
Assault can arise from any 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 a tough, aggressive Philadelphia assault attorney like Troy R. Crichton, Esq. protecting you against the harsh penalties and long-term consequences associated with an assault conviction.
Assault charges require 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 who attempt to prove the elements of the crime, which include the following:
- 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 five years in prison. Furthermore, a simple assault conviction can result in a variety of collateral consequences, including ineligibility for certain jobs.
Aggravated Assault is a Felony
There are situations that can result in an assault being charged as a felony, which 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 of 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 available for aggravated and simple assault charges?
One of the most common defenses to an assault charge is self-defense, which 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 knowledge 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 the appropriate steps to defend yourself against the attack. However, if the person breaks off the attack and begins to leave before you use force against them, then your use of force might result in assault charges.
Another common defense to an assault charge is that the victim embellished their injuries, and therefore should not be considered credible. To successfully assert this defense, you will need an experienced criminal lawyer who can launch 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, which is why we offer free initial consultations. Call us today at (267) 225-3317 and schedule your free consultation.