Aggravated assault charges defense, Assault and battery defense
Being charged with a violent crime can have serious repercussions. Assault can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. When a person inflicts or attempts to inflict a physical injury on another person, it is called assault. If you have been charged with aggravated assault or assault and battery, you need a dedicated and aggressive Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney in your corner.
There are two kinds of assault described in Pennsylvania law: simple assault and aggravated assault.
An act can be considered assault when it involves physical menace (the fear of imminent injury to the body), a deadly weapon, or a hypodermic needle used to stab someone, especially a police officer or hospital personnel. You don’t have to touch the other person to be charged with simple assault. If the alleged victim feels that they were in danger and fears injury, you can be charged with simple assault.
A defendant needs an aggravated assault charges defense when they are being charged with a felony assault. A person might face this charge if they inflicted or attempted to inflict serious bodily injury, assaulted another person with a deadly weapon, or assaulted a member of a protected class of people such as a police officer, teacher, judge, prosecutor, child, or the elderly. A simple assault can also be upgraded to aggravated if it occurred in a public place such, as a school or a transit station. Aggravated assault is knowingly, intentionally and recklessly causing serious bodily harm to another, in situations that show extreme indifference to human life.
Pennsylvania & Crime: Battery
Pennsylvania does not charge battery as a separate offense. Both simple and aggravated battery laws have been incorporated into the laws dealing with assault. Assault and battery defense is similar to an assault defense for a client facing an assault charge.
For the prosecution to win an aggravated assault case, they need to prove several things. They must convince the jury that the defendant knowingly caused harm, and was aware of the consequences of his or her actions. Acting recklessly is when a person consciously disregards the effect their actions will have. A person is deemed to have acted recklessly when a reasonable person, in the same situation, would’ve been aware of the risks involved. Serious bodily injury results when there is a permanent loss, impairment, or disfigurement, or there was a substantial risk of death. Any time it can be proven that the defendant’s actions were likely to cause serious injury or death, they can be shown to have an extreme indifference to human life.
Punishments for assault charges range from up to one year in prison with fines of up to $2,500 for a third-degree misdemeanor to up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 for a first-degree misdemeanor.
There are defenses available to people who have been charged with assault. Your Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney can prove that you did not intend to hurt anyone. He can prove that you acted in self-defense.
Your attorney will talk with you to learn the facts of your case, examine the evidence against you, and advise you as to the best option(s) available to you. Then, he will walk beside you as you traverse the court system.