Being convicted of a crime can jeopardize your freedom, livelihood, and reputation. If you’re facing aggravated assault charges in Pennsylvania, it’s crucial to find an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. For more than 40 years, Gross McGinley, LLP, has been dedicated to protecting our clients’ rights and providing exceptional legal representation without judgment.
What to know about aggravated assault charges in PA:
How is aggravated assault defined in Pennsylvania?
What are the degrees of aggravated assault in Pennsylvania?
Which penalties could I face if convicted of aggravated assault?
What are some possible defense strategies?
What are the pros and cons of negotiating a plea agreement?
How do I prepare for trial?
What does presenting a strong defense involve?
How does a defense attorney establish reasonable doubt?
How does sentencing for aggravated assault work in PA?
What is the appeals process in Pennsylvania?
How can the assault lawyers at Gross McGinley help with my case?
Under Pennsylvania law, a person may be charged with aggravated assault if they cause or attempt to cause serious bodily injury to another intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly “under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.” Intentionally or knowingly causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon also may result in aggravated assault charges.
In addition, a defendant may be charged with aggravated assault if they cause bodily injury to a law enforcement officer or another first responder, educator, operator of public transportation, health care worker, or other protected professionals and employees of local, state, or federal government agencies.
Our experienced criminal defense attorneys represent clients in all types of violent crime cases on both the state and federal levels.
Aggravated assault is a serious crime and may be charged as a first- or second-degree felony in Pennsylvania. Typically, proof of serious bodily injury is required in aggravated assault cases. Serious bodily injury means that an injury is life-threatening or causes permanent disfigurement or long-term impairment of a body part. Assaults against children and certain public officials and employees may automatically result in first-degree felony charges, even if the victim did not suffer serious bodily injury.
If you’re convicted of a first-degree felony for aggravated assault, you may face up to 20 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. A second-degree felony conviction can result in up to 10 years of prison time and up to $25,000 in fines.
Our defense attorneys are dedicated to protecting and fighting for your rights throughout the legal process. We develop defense strategies tailored to the specifics of your case. Some potential elements of building a strong defense for aggravated assault include:
Our assault lawyers in Pennsylvania are experienced trial attorneys who are well-versed in representing clients in all types of criminal matters. We put our experience and knowledge to work for you to create the most effective defense possible.
Plea agreements are common in criminal cases and enable a defendant to avoid a trial. The prosecution may offer a plea early in the process during the preliminary hearing. However, in some cases, a plea bargain isn’t offered until right before a trial begins. Your assault lawyer will advise you of your options and negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf.
A plea bargain can result in reduced charges and a guaranteed lighter sentence, which could benefit you, especially if a charge is downgraded from a felony to a misdemeanor. However, when you accept a plea deal you are required to plead guilty and will have a criminal record.
Our assault lawyers employ several strategies when negotiating plea bargains. If you have no criminal history, your defense attorney may argue that you’re not a threat to the community and ask for leniency. Exposing weaknesses in the prosecution’s case can lead them to offer a plea agreement if they are concerned about getting a conviction. A prosecutor also may offer a plea deal if you agree to testify against a co-defendant.
Accepting a plea agreement can have a serious impact on your freedom and future, so it is crucial to have an experienced assault lawyer represent your interests and advise you on all potential benefits and drawbacks.
If your case goes to trial, being thoroughly prepared is a must. Our team gathers evidence and decides how it will be presented and what strategies will be employed. Although you are not required to testify, if you are considering it, our defense attorneys will help you prepare for direct and cross-examination. We also thoroughly prepare any other witnesses for testimony.
Our criminal defense lawyers are adept at crafting concise and convincing opening and closing arguments. Expert witness testimony that challenges the prosecution’s theory of what happened also can be valuable when it comes to achieving a verdict of not guilty. Another vital part of an effective defense is understanding how to cross-examine prosecution witnesses. Each situation is unique, and our team is always well-prepared to present a strong defense.
There are many ways to demonstrate reasonable doubt in a criminal trial. Your assault lawyer may explore alternative theories of the crime and point out unreliable evidence and inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case. We bring all elements of the case together to demonstrate to a jury that the prosecution has not proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you plead guilty or are convicted of aggravated assault, typically the trial judge then sentences and determines which penalties may be appropriate. At sentencing, our criminal defense attorneys may bring up mitigating factors such as no prior criminal record, genuine remorse, and other circumstances. Demonstrating mitigating factors, presenting character references, and advocating for alternative sentencing options can result in a lighter sentence and reduced penalties.
Pursuing an appeal for a criminal conviction in Pennsylvania can be a time-consuming and overwhelming process. That’s why it is vital to have a criminal defense attorney who has experience in handling appeals. After conviction, you have 10 days to file a post sentence motion with the court in which you were tried. After the court responds to the motion, you have 30 days to file a formal motion of appeal. These deadlines are strict. Your assault lawyer will ensure that all required documents are drafted and submitted promptly.
Your defense attorney will prepare your well appellant brief, which includes the legal arguments challenging your conviction. It’s important to establish proper grounds for your appeal, which may include:
Our criminal defense attorneys know how to create convincing arguments for successful appeals and advise you throughout the process.
Navigating the criminal justice system without competent legal representation can have permanent life-changing consequences. At Gross McGinley, LLP, our team includes former prosecutors who understand both sides of the coin, and experienced defense attorneys that use their breadth of experience and knowledge to help build solid defenses in aggravated assault cases.
We understand that anyone can be charged with a crime and find themselves in a precarious legal situation. Thorough investigation of your case and our criminal defense team’s legal acumen help us build creative strategies that often lead to successful outcomes for our clients. We’re dedicated to serving you without judgment, treating you with respect, and fighting for your rights.
For more than 40 years, our experienced attorneys at Gross McGinley, LLP, have provided exceptional legal representation to clients in Pennsylvania. We provide a wide range of legal services, including criminal defense, family law, business law, litigation, estate planning, business and employment law, real estate, and more. To schedule a consultation with a criminal defense attorney, contact us or call us at 610-820-5450.
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