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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Chester County Assault Penalties

In Chester County, an assault is a crime that carries serious penalties, stigma, and humiliation within a community. For these reasons, assault is the type of crime that should be handled from the outset by the experienced Chester County assault attorney who can provide authorities with the true story and help the defendant mitigate the damage as much as possible.

A credible, experienced lawyer with whom local authorities are extremely familiar can help to bring forth such circumstances to the police and, in so doing, establish the accused’s innocence in the matter. The sooner an experienced lawyer gets involved, the quicker these defenses can be raised and, possibly, the faster charges may be withdrawn.

Alternative Sentencing Options

In Chester County, there are alternative sentencing options available for first-time offenders in assault-related cases. One such diversion program is the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program. The ARD program is available under certain circumstances, and those circumstances are fact-specific to a particular case.

Other programs exist as well: domestic violence programs and/or other diversionary methods, such as drug treatment court or DUI treatment court should a person be affected with a drug or alcohol problem. Those are the type of programs which can be made available for some assault cases with the right lawyer.

Despite the presence of alternative sentencing options, assault cases are not treated in a minor way in Chester County. Being charged with assault does not automatically qualify an individual for any diversionary program. It’s only after seeking out the right attorney to provide the right information to the government authorities, the prosecutors and the court that individuals may even be considered for diversionary programs. At the outset of anyone being charged with an assault case in Chester County, it is essential to get the right lawyer with the right experience.

In a majority of cases, for first offenders and if the injuries are minor, it is often the final resolution to have a person be entered into a diversionary program. This ensures the best chance that the individual’s future, their record, and their reputation are protected.

Aggravating & Mitigating Factors

Assault cases in Chester County, Pennsylvania are treated in a harsher manner than many other types of cases. When a person is charged with assault, injuries may have occurred, threats may have been made, and the courts must take immediate notice.

There are differing degrees of injuries that can aggravate an assault case and even turn what would otherwise be a misdemeanor into a serious felony charge. The courts and prosecution consider the alleged victim and any injuries he or she may have sustained. They look at the reality of any particular threat that’s been made. They look at the dangers any threat could have been made to society.

For instance, consider cases involving elderly individuals, children and even animals. The courts may err on the side of being harsh when it comes to determining what a proper sentence should be for an individual charged and convicted of such an assault.

There may be times when an individual may overreact to a situation and may become violent and act out of character. In cases where injury has in fact occurred, it is essential to get the services of an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.

Once an attorney has been retained, various mitigating factors can be brought to the attention of the court and the prosecution before litigation. Such factors include self-defense and intoxication, among others. Once a dialogue has begun, then the court can begin to work, through the use of an attorney, on a proper mediation for the case thereby lessening the degree of an assault that a person may otherwise face.

How An Attorney Can Help

Having an assault on your record can have negative consequences. Such a record can reduce employment opportunities, diminish insurance coverage options and, in some cases, even preclude you from picking up your children from school.

Therefore, if you are charged with assault, whether or not you have done something to cause the charge to be brought, it is essential to reach out and obtain the services of an attorney. With an attorney by your side, you can better ensure that your rights are protected and your story is heard.