When you have been charged with aggravated assault, the consequences you could face could change your life forever. It is important to take steps to clear your name of the charges against you so you can avoid stiff penalties and get back to your family.
With help from a Philadelphia aggravated assault lawyer at the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC you may be able to secure a plea agreement, get your charges reduced or dismissed, or present a compelling defense strategy. Explore your options further when you contact our office for a confidential case review.
When Can You Be Charged With Aggravated Assault in Philadelphia?
Under Pennsylvania law, there are two different types of assault. Simple assault and aggravated assault. Simple assault is considered a second-degree misdemeanor. If you are found guilty of simple assault, you can face a prison term of after two years and be fined.
Under 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. section 2702(a)(1), aggravated assault is a far more serious offense. Here, you could be charged with aggravated assault if you attempted to cause serious bodily harm or injury to another, or intentionally, recklessly, or knowingly cause serious bodily injury to another.
Therefore, to be convicted of aggravated assault, the state’s prosecuting attorney must prove that you acted with intent and unjustifiably. You can expect the charges against you to be increased if you used a deadly weapon such as a knife or gun, or if the assault in question was against a public official.
For a free legal consultation with a aggravated assault lawyer serving Philadelphia, call 215.515.3360
Consequences of a Philadelphia Aggravated Assault Conviction
If you are found guilty of aggravated assault in Philadelphia, the penalties you could face could have a devastating impact on your life for years to come. Depending on the severity of the charges against you, you could be charged with second-degree felony aggravated assault or first-degree felony aggravated assault.
If you are convicted of a second-degree aggravated assault charge, you could spend up to 10 years in prison and face fines as high as $25,000. However, if you are found guilty of first-degree felony aggravated assault, the consequences could include fines as high as $25,000 and a maximum of 20 years in prison.
With penalties this harsh, it is critical that you take actions to clear your name of the charges against you. With help from an aggravated assault lawyer in Philadelphia, you may be able to challenge the assault charges against you and avoid the fallout of a guilty verdict.
Philadelphia Aggravated Assault Lawyer 215.515.3360
Collateral Fallout of an Aggravated Assault Conviction in Philadelphia
In addition to the criminal penalties associated with an aggravated assault conviction, there are also collateral consequences you will need to consider.
Collateral consequences consist of the ways your life will be affected if you are found guilty of an aggravated assault charge. Some of the collateral consequences you could face include:
- Loss of firearm rights
- Temporary loss of voting rights
- Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
- Suspension or revocation of your professional licenses
- Difficulty maintaining relationships with friends and family
- Destroyed professional and personal reputations
- Difficulty finding or maintaining gainful employment
- Trouble finding affordable or safe housing
- Loss of federal student aid eligibility
- Child custody or visitation disputes
- Immigration or citizenship issues
How to Defend Against Philadelphia Aggravated Assault Charges
There are several ways in which you may be able to avoid being found guilty of an aggravated assault charge in Philadelphia. First, you may want to negotiate with the state’s prosecuting attorney to consider a plea agreement. By negotiating with the prosecutor, you may be able to enter into a pretrial diversion program that could allow you to avoid the penalties of a conviction.
In pretrial diversion programs, you may be able to complete the terms of the program and in exchange have the charges against you reduced or dismissed entirely. However, since aggravated assault is considered a violent offense, you may not be eligible for a pretrial diversion program without a compelling application, letters of support, and an effective attorney advocating for you.
When this happens, presenting a powerful defense strategy may be your next best option. To defend against aggravated assault charges, you may argue one or more of the following defense options:
- Lack of intent
- Mistake of fact
- Lack of probable cause
- Insufficient evidence
- Procedural mistakes
- Police misconduct
- Unlawful search and seizure
- Defense of yourself for others
These are just a few of the potential defense options that may be available to you. If you have been charged with aggravated assault in Philadelphia and you are unsure how to best approach your defense, reach out to our office to discuss your options further.
Philadelphia Aggravated Assault FAQ
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding aggravated assault charges in Philadelphia. Additional questions that were not answered on this page can be discussed during your confidential case review.
Should I Work with a Public Defender?
You have the option of working with the public defender if you cannot afford to hire a private attorney. However, public defenders are sometimes overwhelmed by the caseloads of individuals who cannot afford to hire an attorney. They are also unable to provide a certain level of individualized attention. If you have the means to hire a private defense attorney, you can ensure your case has the attention it deserves.
Can I Get an Aggravated Assault Conviction Expunged?
Under Pennsylvania law, aggravated assault convictions are not eligible for expungement. If you are charged with aggravated assault and are acquitted or the charges against you were dismissed, the aggravated assault charge on your record
may be eligible for expungement.
Get Help from an Aggravated Assault Lawyer in Philadelphia
Aggravated assault charges carry devastating penalties. If you hope to dodge a conviction and protect your future, Philadelphia aggravated assault lawyer can fight for the best outcome in your case.
Contact the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC for a confidential review of your case.