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Philadelphia Assault Lawyer
Aggravated assaults with a gun or other weapon are treated very seriously in the Philadelphia. If you are being investigated for a Pennsylvania assault crime or charged with any type of assault, contact an experienced Philadelphia assault lawyer as soon as possible. Any assault charge that results in a conviction will have serious consequences, such as fines and/or incarceration, and negatively impact your personal and professional life.
- Attempt to cause or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to another;
- Negligently cause bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon;
- Attempt by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
These are three situations in which you can be charged and convicted. Generally, simple assault is a misdemeanor in the second degree unless committed:
- During a fight or scuffle entered into by mutual consent, in which it becomes a case of a misdemeanor in the third degree; or
- Against a child under the age of 12 by an adult 21 or older, in which case it becomes a misdemeanor in the first degree.
Even these cases of simple assault can be complex and turn on issues of law or fact. A Philadelphia assault lawyer can work with you to build a defense tailored to your fact-specific case.
The primary difference between Aggravated Assault and Simple Assault is that the defendant is accused of causing, or attempting to cause, serious bodily injury. For instance, a simple assault may result in the alleged victim having cuts and bruises. An aggravated assault may result in fractures, internal bleeding, and paralysis.
There are, however, different grades of aggravated assault. Aggravated assault is a Class 1 felony when it is done with extreme indifference to human life or the alleged victim is a law enforcement or government official. Assault of a law enforcement officer is defined under Section 2702.1.
It is a Felony of the Second Degree if an assault is committed using a deadly weapon. The term “deadly weapon” is a broad term that includes blunt objects, guns, a vehicle or knives.
Recklessly Endangering another Person
Section 2705 outlines the definition of reckless endangering of another person as various forms of conduct that can place someone in danger of serious bodily injury or death, but does not necessarily require that injury or death take place.
An individual is guilty of committing terroristic threats, as defined by Section 2706, if they communicate indirectly or directly a threat involving:
- The evacuation of a place, facility, building, or mode of public transportation.
- A crime of violence that intends to terrorize someone.
- Seriously inconveniencing the public with reckless disregard of causing terror or trouble.
Possible Sentence for Assault Convictions in Philadelphia, PA
A simple assault can result in as much as two years incarceration, unless the assault involved a child under 12 years old — then the sentence can range up five years. A conviction for simple assault involving mutual consent is punishable by up to one year in prison.
An aggravated assault conviction that is a Felony of the 2nd Degree is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The sentence of 10 years is also the punishment for an aggravated assault committed with a deadly weapon. If you are convicted of an aggravated assault done with extreme indifference to human life, the maximum sentence is 20 years in prison.
If you are convicted of recklessly endangering another person, you face one to two years in prison.
A first offense conviction of making terroristic threats is a misdemeanor. It is punishable by five years in prison and restitution for causing the disturbance.. Also if you are under 21 years old and convicted of this crime, you automatically lose your driver’s license.
Common Defenses to Use in an Assault Charge
Remember, your Philadelphia assault lawyer will build your defense based on the facts and evidence in your assault case. There are common defenses that you can use such as an affirmative defense. An affirmative defense includes citing self-defense. You were trying to prevent the alleged victim from assaulting you or someone else.
Your Philadelphia assault lawyer will take the time to investigate your case. For instance, intent is an important element in many assault cases. Your lawyer may show that you did not intend to cause any bodily injury to the alleged victim.
Your attorney may also attack the elements of the prosecution’s claims that you knowingly and recklessly committed an assault. They may be able to demonstrate that you were unaware of the consequences of your actions. To act recklessly means that you blatantly disregarded the serious consequences of your actions, something that may be difficult for the prosecution to prove.
If you were charged with any type of assault, it’s time to start working on your defense. In many situations, a Philadelphia assault lawyer can work aggressively to get your charges dismissed or at least reduced.