Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault charges are serious, and you can expect severe punishments if you are convicted of them. You might be imprisoned for a significant number of years, have to pay heavy fines, and face serious complications that will not end even after your probation is over.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will aggressively pursue aggravated assault charges. The arresting officer and the prosecutor will both be bent on a conviction. If you or any of your loved ones have been charged with this crime, the first thing you need to do is hire a reputable and experienced Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer.

Aggravated Assault – Things to Know
  • A crime is considered an aggravated assault when an attempt is made to cause serious physical harm to another person on purpose, recklessly, or knowingly and uncaring of the value of the victim’s life.
  • The person you cause harm to and the method you use to harm him or her can bring about a huge difference in your charges.

If you harm any officer, agent, or employee of an organization in a prison or in the courts as they go about their job duties, then you can be charged with a first degree felony. The list includes the following people:

  • Police officers
  • Sheriffs
  • Judges
  • Prison employees
  • The district attorney
  • Public offenders
  • Firefighters
  • Magistrate judges
  • Parole or probation officers
  • Parking enforcement officers
  • Emergency medical service personnel

Crimes that fall under the category of second-degree felony include:

  • Attempting to intentionally injure a person with the help of a dangerous weapon;
  • Attempting to injure one or more school employees (like a member of the school board, an administrator, or a teacher) because of their relationship to the specific school, or while they are performing their duties;
  • Attempting to menace the above people while they are on duty/working;
  • Using noxious gases like tear gas, or any device that incapacitates, against the above people while they are working or are performing their respective duties.

Penalties for first-degree felony aggravated assault

This charge can result in a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

Penalties for second-degree felony aggravated assault

This charge can result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

Professional help and other factors

Aggravated assault is an extremely serious crime. It will be better for you in the long run if you behave calmly when a police officer is arresting you. Do not argue with him or her, behave as politely as possible, and don’t try to change the officer’s mind about arresting you, no matter what he or she says to you.

Be prepared to spend the few nights leading up to your preliminary hearing in jail. At the hearing, a bond will be set for you.

During the time you are held in jail, it’s possible that the cops will question you or try to make a deal with you of some sort. Perhaps they will offer to let you free on your own recognizance if you admit your guilt or give them information. Think it through before you take them up on any offer, as you may end up getting thirty days of freedom now but spend years in jail later.

You need to immediately contact a reliable Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer so that you can get the best suggestions from him and he can prepare a solid defense in your favor. Provide him with all the details of your case; do not hide anything from him.

Do not talk to the police or prosecutors without the presence of your attorney, as your words can be twisted or taken out of context and used against you in court. Politely refuse to answer questions. Tell the officers and the prosecutor that you want a lawyer and that you cannot consider any offers without his advice.

One of the most important things for you to do is to stay away from the alleged victim. If your case should happen to go to trial and you have spoken with the alleged victim, he or she could twist what you said, take it out of context, and make things very bad for you.

What can a Lawyer do for me?

If you are charged with aggravated assault, you cannot do without an experienced Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer. He or she will examine all the evidence against you, try to determine if you were unlawfully charged, and provide you with a determined and aggressive defense.

  • It’s vital that you give your attorney all the information they need so that he or she can find any facts that prove your actions were unintentional or legal.
  • Give your lawyer a list of everyone who witnessed the event that led to your charges or was present when you were arrested, if you were not placed under arrest at the scene.

Some convictions require the prosecution to prove that you intended to harm the alleged victim. If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your judgment may have been impaired, making it more difficult for the prosecutor to prove that your intent was criminal. Your attorney will investigate any evidence that demonstrates what state your mind was in at the time of the incident.

In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you are allowed to argue that your actions were self-defense, unless your charge is that you hurt an employee of the prison system or courts.

A Lawyer can Help

Even before your first hearing for aggravated assault charges, you are dealing with a prosecutor who is determined to find you guilty. If he or she has a strong case against you, you require a Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer who will work with you, helping you decide on the best plan of action.

Want to Learn More About Aggravated Assault Laws in Pennsylvania?

A description and definition of aggravated assault can be found in the Pennsylvania Criminal Code under Title 18 Chapter 27

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