attorney_benowits
DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Chester County First Degree Assault Lawyer

First-degree assault, also known as Assault Felony 1 in Pennsylvania, involves a crime where one individual is charged with attempting to cause serious bodily injury and/or death upon another. If you have been accused of such a charge, it is pertinent to consult with a Chester County first-degree assault lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will be able to help lessen or dismiss any penalties associated with your charge.

Severity of the Charge

First-degree assault is a type of assault which is often associated with gun violence. This charge usually involves a more violent approach than the average assault. This charge is brought forward when an action causes serious bodily injury and near death, as well as attempting to cause such an outcome.

When ‘mens rea,’ or criminal intent, is proven by evidence, assault is graded as a felony of the first degree and can carry extreme consequences. If a person is charged with a felony of the first-degree assault in Chester County, it is imperative that a person seeks out the services of an experienced Chester County first-degree assault lawyer.

Only then can a person be assured that their rights will be protected and any defenses to such crimes can be brought to light at the earliest possible times. When assaults of the first degree are involved, incarceration can exceed 10 years and fines can exceed $50,000.

Aggravated assault felony of the first degree is the type of crime that can involve guns or other weapons, and the alleged victims could have suffered serious maim-like injuries. Therefore, when charged with an aggravated assault felony of the first degree, the accused should immediately seek out the services of lawyer.

Weapon Involvement

In Chester County, the first degree aggravated assault cases can involve serious injuries which are often caused by a multitude of weapons and/or other objects. When an individual commits a crime with a firearm, the charge of aggravated assault felony in the first degree is often applied to the act.

The reason for this is if the bullet from the firearm makes contact with an individual, it is presumed to be serious bodily injury. However, a random act of firing bullets into a crowd is also aggravated assault because of the recklessness of the action.

Therefore, any act whether there is a weapon involved or not that causes serious bodily injury to an individual, or the threat of serious bodily injury or death even if death does not occur, would be charged with aggravated assault felony of the first degree. A Chester County first-degree assault lawyer can best assist an individual in defending their charge involving a weapon.

Hearing of the Case

An assault felony of the first degree as well as all other felony and misdemeanor assaults will all initially be heard before a magisterial district court located in the township where the alleged event occurred. It is at that court hearing that a preliminary hearing will take place and, in most cases, a person will hear live testimony from actual witnesses and victims and a person, through their lawyer, can cross-examine those witnesses and victims.

It is an essential hearing, as it is the first opportunity for the defense to prepare for a later trial if necessary. Once a matter is held over through the district court in Chester County, the matter is then sent to the Court of Common Pleas and main court.

It is in West Chester that the matter is listed before a judge, also known as a bench trial or a jury trial. It is at that level that the matter becomes extremely serious and all aggravated assaults felonies of the first degree are treated in such a manner. The courts see the severity of the crimes and list these cases as soon as possible. An experienced Chester County first-degree assault attorney can assist an individual in properly defending against such a charge.

Importance of an Attorney

Even first-time offenders are subject to incarceration. Thus, this is one of those crimes outside of homicide itself that is essential for a person to put together a defense at the earliest possible time.

Success in defending such a crime involves being acquitted of all charges, minimizing a person’s exposure and, in some cases, working out the best possible resolution available to the accused. It is essential for an individual to have a qualified Chester County first-degree assault attorney to best represent them.

Once the matter is held through the district court and then the Court of Common Pleas, it is typically too late for the right lawyer to get involved. Therefore, having an attorney at the earliest possible time with the experience from the very outset is the best possible option in affecting the outcome of the case in the most favorable light.