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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Court Process For Assault Charges in Chester County

Immediately after an assault arrest in Chester County, it is essential that the individual who has been arrested obtain the services of an experienced lawyer. In addition to building a strong defense and ensuring that the accused individual’s rights are protected, an experienced Chester County assault lawyer can also help prepare that individual for what they should expect during the legal process. To those who have never facing a criminal charge before, the courtroom can be an intimidating place, however, the assistance of an experienced attorney can help.

Arraignment

After an assault arrest in Chester County, an individual is charged and served with a complaint, often by mail. Should the assault have been witnessed by police, they will be arrested immediately on site. At that time, an individual may be brought before a district court, the lower-level court in Chester County, for the arraignment.

At that level, an informal, not-guilty plea can be taken and the court will determine the bail or bond necessary for the individual to remain out of custody. It is essential to have an attorney at these earliest moments, because the courts will be looking for reasons why an individual should not be released, such as any threat posed to an alleged victim or possible harm in the future to an alleged victim. Therefore, the accused must have his or her version of the facts heard from the outset. The alleged victim has the government and all its resources; a defendant has their lawyer.

Preliminary Hearing

Once the bond hearing is held, a preliminary hearing will follow and often be scheduled within a short period, usually within 10 days.

At that hearing, the alleged victim will be brought into court to testify under oath as to the facts of what occurred. The government has the burden to show, more likely than not, that a crime of assault has occurred and, more likely than not, it had some sort of connection to the defendant. They do not have to prove that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

At this stage, the defendant’s attorney can cross-examine a witness to evaluate the extent and truthfulness of what a future trial might hold

Once the preliminary hearing is held, the next stage is referred to as an ‘informal arraignment’ and then a trial date is set.

Trial

At that stage, a person should be prepared to proceed by way of jury trial or trial by judge and defend themselves. These types of cases often move extremely quickly through the system. Having the right lawyer by a person’s side keeps the case under control, keeps an individual informed and protects the individual’s rights so that nothing is bypassed.

Without the right lawyer, nothing is assured. However, having the right lawyer by an individual’s side can make the process work favorably to reach either an acquittal, a resolution that all parties can accept, or a diversionary program. Therefore, If you are facing assault charges, you need the help of an attorney to prepare, protect, and defend you through everything that happens after an arrest.