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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Bucks County Second Degree Assault Lawyer

When an individual attempts or actually causes bodily injury; that is, any kind of injury that is not life-threatening and uses a weapon of any types or sorts, the individual may be charged with aggravated assault graded as a felony of the second degree in Bucks County. Additionally, any sort of assault that does not meet the requirements of serious bodily injury and occurs to a protected class is graded as an aggravated assault felony of the second degree.

An example of such is in dealing with police officers, who are a protected class. Thus, struggling with the officer, striking a police officer and causing minor harm to a police officer will often be graded as a felony of the second degree. Additionally, other civil servants such as firemen, paramedics, prosecutors, judges, and public defenders are all amongst the protected class.

If you have been charged with such an assault, it is critical that you contact a Bucks County second-degree assault lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced assault attorney will be able to help lessen or dismiss any penalties associated with your charge.

Standard of Proof

There are a number of elements of the crime that prosecutors must prove in a second-degree assault case in Bucks County, all with accompanying evidence. District attorneys need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an aggravated assault, in fact, took place.

First, prosecutors need to prove that a person was assaulted and that the assault caused bodily injury to said individual.

Second, the elements of the crime also require that the government show that the bodily injury was sustained as a result of a deadly weapon. A deadly weapon can include items such as a knife, firearm or anything else that can be determined by a court to be a weapon that can cause harm.

Protected Classes

If it is relevant to the case,  the prosecutor must also  prove that the injured party was a member of a protected class. Such persons primarily include civil servants, such as

  • Police officers
  • Judges
  • District attorneys
  • Paramedics
  • Firefighters
  • Public defenders

These and other offices that fall under the purview of public service are covered under this law and. If this is the case, the state must prove not only that the person is a member of a protected class and that any bodily injury–as opposed to serious bodily injury–was either threatened or actually occurred to the protected individual.

Almost any sort of assaultive behavior, if it involves a protected class, can be charged as a felony of the second degree in Bucks County.

Potential Penalties

The penalties for aggravated assault graded as a felony in the second degree include a period of 10 years’ incarceration and up to a $25,000 fine. However, it should not be presumed that in all cases where there is a conviction and/or grading of a felony of the second degree that a person would receive the maximum sentence.

With the use of an experienced Bucks County second-degree assault lawyer, an individual can work on mitigation in order to reduce such a sentence to a more reasonable sentence and, in some cases, a trial can be had and an acquittal can be won.

First vs. Second Degree Consequences

In both scenarios, a conviction for aggravated assault, whether a felony of the first degree or felony of the second degree, has a significant impact on an individual’s future and/or record. When charged with a felony, an individual that is often precluded from certain employment, from even voting in particular circumstances, can be harmed in a way that is consistent with any sort of felony conviction.

Regardless of whether an individual is convicted of a felony of the first degree or felony in the second degree when the term assault is involved and the level is a felony generally, most individual’s future employments or ability to obtain student loans are all impacted. These types of consequences should only be defended using a second-degree assault attorney in Bucks County.

A felony has dire consequences upon an individual, especially when the felony is a conviction, is a crime such as assault, and is graded as a felony of the first degree and/or second degree. In most cases, any sort of assault can further lead to an individual not being able to attend their children’s schools, participate in activities at their children’s schools, as well as hinder their ability to gain employment in any kind of health care, hospital, law enforcement field or any field where having an assault in one’s background could be detrimental to that employment opportunity.

To combat such severe penalties, an individual should not hesitate before contacting a Bucks County second-degree assault lawyer who can build a defense against the prosecution’s allegations.

Mitigating the Damages

For second degree assault cases, many defenses are available. One of the most common is that of an alibi. In other words, the assertion that an individual was not a participant in the crime in question because they were otherwise occupied at the time.

Another approach is the argument of  self-defense. In this case, the defendant states that the injury occurred as a result of them simply defending themselves or others from a real threat.

If an attorney is able to show by a preponderance of the evidence that self-defense is an issue, then even at the outset, the charge of aggravated assault felony of the second degree can be diminished or even dismissed in Bucks County.

Additionally, if it is apparent that the injury involved was caused during, for example, a fight, and the individual only suffered minor injuries, then the elements of second degree assault have not been met.  In that situation, the charge would be reduced to simple assault and misdemeanor of the second degree.

How An Attorney Can Help

This is a serious charge because it falls under the category of a felony in the second degree. Because of the severity of the potential consequences that would arise in case of a conviction, it is essential to have a Bucks County assault lawyer by your side every step of the way.

Only after reaching out and obtaining the advice and/or skills of a Bucks County second degree assault lawyer can a person feel and know that their rights are being protected and everything that is occurring is being done in a way that is consistent with mitigating what would otherwise be an extremely harsh sentence for aggravated assault.

Such an attorney will act as both guide and advisor as you navigate the difficult process of fighting the charges leveled against you. With your attorney’s help, you have the best chances of mitigating the damages and perhaps even arriving at an acquittal.