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Any person charged with aggravated assault is facing the possibility of spending years behind bars, given hefty fines and more. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is known for working hard to obtain a conviction for these charges. In these situations, law enforcement and prosecutors are determined to obtain a conviction. Should someone be charged with aggravated or have a loved one charged with this offense, it is essential to hire a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer to have the best possible result.
Understanding Aggravated Assault
People need to know certain things about aggravated assault.
*The person who was harmed and how they were harmed will play a significant role in determining if a person should be charged with aggravated assault
*Aggravated assault is considered a person’s attempt to cause bodily harm to an individual. The person charged with aggravated assault is alleged to have done this intentionally, recklessly and with indifference to the value of the person’s life they assaulted.
*Any individual who is found guilty of committing aggravated assault can be convicted of a first-degree felony if it’s proven they intentionally and recklessly brought significant harm to law enforcement officers, employees of the court or organizations within the prison system performing their work duties. This also includes parking enforcement officers, emergency medical service personnel, firefighters, magistrate judges, probation or parole officers, a public defender, district attorneys, and others.
Second Degree Felonies
There are aggravated assaults that can be charged as a second-degree felony.
*An intentional attempt to cause injury to a person with a deadly weapon
*An intentional attempt to cause injury to a school employee like a teacher, a member of the school board as they are working in the scope of their job or at something related to the school.
*The utilization of tear gas, some other type of noxious gas or some type of incapacitating device.
*Attempting to menace any of the people listed above as they are working in the scope of their job.
A first-degree conviction of aggravated assault can result in incarceration of up to 20 years or more. A conviction of aggravated assault in the second degree can result in incarceration of ten years or more.
Charged With Aggravated Assault
This is a serious crime. It comes with significant punishment if convicted. A person will benefit from being as calm as possible during the arrest process. It is important to not argue with the law enforcement officer and nobody should try and talk their way out of being arrested. A person will have to deal with spending several nights in jail waiting for their preliminary hearing. This is when a judge can set their bond.
When someone is in jail, law enforcement officers will attempt to question them. It is possible for a prosecutor to tell an arrested individual they can be temporarily released on their own recognizance if they provide information. They may offer this if someone agrees to admit to being guilty of the charge. Many people don’t realize they could be trading being free for thirty days for spending years in jail. This is why a person should not speak with law enforcement or a prosecutor unless an experienced criminal attorney is with them. This is a way to avoid making bad deals and not providing law enforcement or prosecutors words they can take out of context and use against a person charged with the crime. Should a case go to trial any testimony made during this time could be extremely harmful to a person’s case.
When someone is charged with aggravated assault, they will need to have a lawyer working for them who can provide the best possible legal defense. They will start by carefully analyzing the facts of a person’s arrest and subsequent charge.
*It is important a person provide their lawyer with a list of any witnesses to what caused them to have been charged. A person should also provide a list of people who were present when they were arrested.
*An attorney will be busy looking at all the ways they can help their client. People only benefit if they provide all the information requested by their attorney. The goal will always be to discover any evidence that shows their client’s actions were unintentional as well as legal.
It will be the goal of a prosecutor to prove a person intended to cause harm to the victim. An attorney will try to obtain evidence that shows their client’s state of mind at the time of the incident. Should have alcohol or drugs have been involved, they may have impaired their client’s mental state. A person can argue they acted in self-defense. Should they be charged with causing harm to a prison or court employee, this won’t be a viable defense. Being represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney is the best way to obtain an acceptable result in this situation