Second-degree assault is a serious charge with serious penalties. However, in cases where a proper defense can be raised, having the right lawyer by a person’s side will often ensure that the accused has a better understanding of the system and is in a better place of deciding when to take a risk and challenge the system. An experienced attorney can help build a Chester County second-degree assault defense.
The elements that a prosecutor must prove in a second-degree assault case are that the defendant caused bodily injury to an individual and that a weapon was used to cause such injury. A Chester County second-degree assault defense will aim to prevent those elements from being proven.
Additionally, when a protected class is involved, the weapon is not a necessary element, only bodily injury. Thus, any type of injury to a police officer, to a judge, to a prosecutor, to an EMT and any other possible protected class, is a felony of the second degree or second-degree assault.
Any sort of assault charge is serious. There is no assault charge in Chester County or the rest of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that should be taken lightly. An assault charge and any conviction can lead to disruptions in a person’s employment, incarceration, long periods of special probation, individuals being placed on watch lists, on the Department of Human Service list. Individuals may even be prevented from going to schools to pick up their own children.
Thus, when charged with assault, especially assault of a felony of the second degree or second-degree assault, it is essential to make sure they understand the consequences of any potential plea or negotiate and understand that any resolution of the matter should take into account all of these things.
Having the right lawyer by a person’s side assures that all of these precautions are taken, that everything is taken into consideration, and the lowest possible sentence, should an accused be found guilty, is imposed.
Good defenses against second-degree assault require experience, know-how, and resources to develop them in such a way to show that an accused is either not guilty, established as misidentified, or guilty of a lesser offense.
In cases where the defense comes to the realization that the alleged victim was the actual perpetrator of the crime, resources need to be obtained such as video, eyewitness testimony, and medical records which corroborate the defendant’s story.
Toxicology reports showing what was in the victim’s system at the time may be important. Any sort of statement taken by the police that was inconsistent with what the alleged victim said at a later time also comes into play.
Additionally, the person who actually called the police can provide important information to the case. 911 tapes can be obtained which, in some cases, can exculpate a defendant.
In a lot of assault cases, the police tend to create the victim by determining whose injuries are the worst. Thus, the full story is might not be told. Officers come to the scene, see one person, and do not see the other. A person that they do see becomes the victim, and the person who is no longer there, perhaps because they had been taken to the hospital already or left the scene voluntarily, becomes the alleged defendant.
Having the right resources, investigators, and staff to investigate a case to the fullest is the only way to bring about the right evidence to defend a person who is not guilty of second-degree assault in Chester County.