Philadelphia Aggravated Assault Defense Lawyers
Any assault charge in Philadelphia is serious. However, aggravated assault charges are even more serious than other types of assault allegations. While simple assault is a misdemeanor, aggravated assault is a felony offense, which means the penalties are substantially greater. If you are convicted of aggravated assault in Philadelphia, you could be imprisoned for years, in addition to facing costly fines. You will also sustain damage to your reputation and could even lose your job.
In light of the dire consequences that can result from a conviction of aggravated assault or other violent felony crimes, it is critical to be represented by an experienced Philadelphia aggravated assault defense lawyer. The legal team at the Law Offices of Lloyd Long has successfully handled numerous aggravated assault cases and is prepared to build a robust defense on your behalf.
It is urgent to act quickly if you, your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, or a family member has been arrested for aggravated assault. For immediate legal assistance, call the Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 for a free legal consultation. Our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide assistance.
How is Aggravated Assault is Defined in Philadelphia
The crime of assault can be broken down into two rather broad categories. These categories are simple assault and aggravated assault. Simple assault, as defined under § 2701 of Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, occurs when a person attempts to cause, or knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly causes, bodily harm to another person. Simple assault may also occur when you negligently cause bodily harm with a deadly weapon. Simple assault can also include attempts to place another person in fear of a threat of bodily harm using physical menace. Simple assault also includes using a hypodermic needle to penetrate a law enforcement officer during an arrest or search.
Aggravated assault is similar to simple assault, but tends to include more serious forms of bodily harm under conditions considered more morally reprehensible. Aggravated assault is defined under§ 2702 of Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes as causing, or attempting to cause, either intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly, serious bodily harm under conditions that can be described as indifferent to human life. Aggravated assault may also cover assault using a deadly weapon and assault against law enforcement or peace officers.
It is important to understand the distinctions between simple and aggravated assault because aggravated assault may only be charged if specific conditions or circumstances are present. A defendant must have the requisite mindset or intent to cause serious bodily harm. Also, the conditions under which the harm is caused must be so depraved that the defendant can be said to have no regard for the alleged victim’s life. While these criteria are quite severe, they also set a high burden for prosecutors. Our dedicated team of Philadelphia aggravated assault attorneys can help you fight your charges and protect your rights in court.
What are Common Types of Aggravated Assault Charges
Luckily, you do not have to face these serious charges alone. At The Law Offices of Lloyd Long, our Philadelphia aggravated assault defense lawyers have represented countless individuals in assault cases that resulted in serious injuries. To provide a few examples, our criminal attorneys have defended clients in aggravated assault cases including:
- Accusations of assaulting a police officer
- Accusations of assaulting medical personnel
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Bar fights
- Domestic violence and spousal abuse
- Gang fights
- Incidents where people have been beaten by the police
- Street fights and neighborhood fights
- Workplace violence
Assault charges may stem from any type of force or violence in any setting. The nature of your charges may be influenced by the setting and circumstances of the alleged assault. It is crucial that you consult with a lawyer about your case to fully understand the possible penalties you are up against. Contact our Philadelphia aggravated assault lawyers to discuss your situation with our experienced team.
Aggravated Assault Charges for Specific Categories of Victims in Philadelphia
Aggravated assault charges may not only be based on the severity of the harm caused and the defendant’s intent. In many cases, aggravated assault charges are assessed because the victim is a particular person protected under the aggravated assault statutes. An assault against a specific type of victim may lead to aggravated assault charges regardless of the extent of the harm caused.
For example, assaulting a public officer, agent, or other employees while in the performance of their duties may be charged as aggravated assault. Such officers include, but are not limited to, police officers, firefighters, probation officers, sheriffs, correctional officers, and others.
The law also makes special provisions for teachers and other school employees. Any defendant who intentionally or knowingly causes bodily harm or injury to a teacher, school board member, or any other employee of an elementary or secondary publicly funded or private school may be charged with aggravated assault. However, the alleged victim must have been acting in the capacity of their profession when the assault supposedly took place.
In the circumstances listed above, it may be possible to argue for a reduction in your charges if the alleged victims were not acting in the capacity of their professions. Basically, if these school employees were off duty at the time of the alleged assault, you cannot be charged with aggravated assault. It is important to speak with an attorney about your case to figure out how to best fight your charges. Call our Philadelphia aggravated assault lawyers for a consultation as soon as possible.
Criminal Sentence for Aggravated Assault in Philadelphia
In Philadelphia, aggravated assault can be graded as a felony of the first degree. This is the most serious type of felony other than murder, which underscores how urgent aggravated assault charges truly are.
When an aggravated assault is charged as a first-degree felony, a conviction of assault could result in a prison sentence of up to 20 years, plus tens of thousands of dollars in fines. You could also permanently lose your gun rights while sustaining irreversible damage to your personal and professional relationships. Assault may be charged as a first-degree felony when the circumstances surrounding the event are especially heinous. For example, an assault with a deadly weapon, like a gun or a knife, is more likely to be charged as a first-degree felony.
In other cases, aggravated assault is graded as a second-degree felony. Though less serious than a first-degree felony, a felony of the second degree is still one of the highest charges a defendant can stand accused of. Second-degree felony aggravated assault is charged in a variety of circumstances, often when the defendant is accused of assaulting a police officer, such as a member of the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD). When an aggravated assault is a felony of the second degree, a conviction can carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison, in addition to fines.
Whether graded as a first- or second-degree felony, aggravated assault charges put you at risk for incarceration and have the potential to change your life forever. If you or someone you love is facing these charges, it is urgent that you contact our Philadelphia aggravated assault attorneys today for a comprehensive legal defense.
Plea Bargains for Aggravated Assault Charged in Philadelphia
Plea bargains, sometimes referred to as plea deals or plea agreements, are frequently used in criminal proceedings. A plea bargain entails the prosecutors reducing a defendant’s charges and the defendant pleading guilty and waiving their right to a trial. In the end, the prosecutor has one less trial to contend with and the defendant avoids a longer prison term. Plea bargains can be used in aggravated assault cases to reduce your charges down to simple assault.
As stated above, aggravated assault is very similar to simple assault, but the conditions under which aggravated assault tend to occur are more serious and the bodily harm is often more severe. If you are open to the idea of negotiating a plea bargain, our Philadelphia aggravated assault lawyers can work with prosecutors to hopefully reduce your charges to more lenient simple assault charges.
The success of plea negotiations with prosecutors will depend heavily on the circumstances surrounding your case and the alleged assault. Aggravated assault involves a cold indifference to human life. Prosecutors might be skeptical when negotiating a plea with someone they believe is so depraved. It would be even harder to negotiate a plea if the victim sustained very serious or permanent injuries.
Getting a good plea deal may require demonstrating that certain elements required for aggravated assault charges are not present or are flimsy at best. For example, we may be able to show that you did not act intentionally or knowingly but instead acted negligently. Such intent is more in line with simple assault charges. Our Philadelphia aggravated assault lawyers can help you negotiate the best plea for your case.
Our Law Firm’s History of Successful Aggravated Assault Defense Results
The Philadelphia aggravated assault lawyers at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long have defended these clients at jury trials, trials before judges, negotiated favorable pleas and had charges dismissed. Our criminal lawyers have successfully defended clients:
- Accused of assaulting state troopers at a casino in the Poconos.
- Accused of strangulation.
- Alleged to have hit another man in the face with a medieval war mace. This type of weapon is a metal ball with spikes on it, attached to a chain, meant to be swung into an opponent’s face.
- Facing a sentence of over 25 years because the complaining witness received severe injuries including a broken jaw.
- Facing serious assault charges where the defendant allegedly shot another individual.
- Facing serious criminal and professional penalties for allegedly assaulting first responders.
- With a significant history of mental health issues, and accused of assaulting police during a medical emergency.
No matter what your charges are or what your circumstances may be, please call our office for help. Our Philadelphia aggravated assault attorneys are prepared to represent you to the best of their ability. Contact our team for a free and confidential consultation.
Our Philadelphia Aggravated Assault Defense Lawyers Can Help
If you, your son or daughter, a romantic partner, or a family member has been charged with aggravated assault in Philadelphia or the surrounding area, you need to seek immediate legal help. The sooner we can begin planning your defense, the stronger of a case we can build on your behalf. Call our Philadelphia aggravated assault defense lawyers today at the Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.