The law in Pennsylvania takes violence seriously, especially serious violence. An aggravated assault charge means particularly serious violence. If you’re charged with aggravated assault, you could face very severe penalties, and you could have a criminal record that labels you a violent felon for life. With these charges of serious violence, you should have a serious defense.
If you’ve been charged with aggravated assault, Michael J. Skinner is a West Chester aggravated assault defense lawyer who will zealously fight for your rights. Michael J. Skinner will carefully scrutinize every alleged fact and every move by the police to find and expose holes in the prosecution that could lead to your charges being reduced or dismissed.
If you’ve been charged with aggravated assault in Chester County or Delaware County, contact the Skinner Law Firm today at (610) 436-1410 to schedule a free consultation to go over your charges.
In Pennsylvania, simple assault is when a person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes or attempts to cause bodily injury, negligently causes injury with a dangerous weapon, or puts another person in fear of imminent bodily injury.
Aggravated assault is a more serious version of this. It involves intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing or attempting to cause serious bodily injury. Serious bodily injury is an injury that creates a risk of death or causes permanent disfigurement or impairment.
An assault could also become aggravated assault if there is serious bodily injury or any bodily injury to certain public servants, like police officers, firefighters, sheriff’s deputies, judge, federal or state law enforcement agents, teachers or constables, or if the accused intentionally puts one of those people in imminent fear of bodily injury. The accused could also be charged if he or she uses tear gas or a taser against any of these public servants.
If you are convicted of aggravated assault for a charge relating to serious bodily injury, it’s a felony of the first degree, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $25,000. For any other aggravated assault, it’s a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine.
However, if convicted, you’ll also have to worry about other repercussions. The conviction could stay on your record and could be seen during any background check. Aggravated assault brings up images of violence. A potential employer may not want to hire someone he or she is afraid of. A potential landlord may not want someone dangerous in his or her building. A potential creditor may think you are unstable.
The prosecution must prove every element of their case beyond a reasonable doubt. “Beyond a reasonable doubt” means that they must prove that, other than some completely far-fetched possibility, their version of events is the way things happened.
They must prove every single element beyond a reasonable doubt. That means, for instance, that if you are accused of intentionally causing serious bodily harm, they must prove that you caused bodily harm, that the bodily harm, that the bodily harm was serious, and that you did it intentionally. If they fail to prove one of these, you cannot be convicted of aggravated assault.
Your violent crimes defense lawyer could show the court what the prosecution is missing. Additionally, if the prosecutor has a good case against you for aggravated assault but may not quite be able to convince a jury, your lawyer could negotiate with the prosecutor to get the charges dropped to simple assault or reckless endangerment, which could make a major difference in prison time and fines.
If you’ve been charged with aggravated assault, an experienced West Chester aggravated assault lawyer could make the difference between freedom and prison. If you’ve been charged, contact the Skinner Law Firm today at (610) 436-1410 to schedule your free consultation.