The state of Pennsylvania imposes hefty fines and sentences upon a conviction for a violent crime. Aggravated assault is a felony in Pennsylvania and can lead to lengthy incarceration. As a felony, it can have consequences that change your life and lifestyle. The penalties of conviction can vary based on the degree of the charges against you and other mitigating factors.
If you or someone you love was arrested for aggravated assault, a criminal defense lawyer can help you fight for your future. The lawyer who represents you will thoroughly examine the state’s case against you. They will also listen to your version of events with compassion and without judgment. Your lawyer will explain the possible penalties you face and all possible defense strategies available to you.
What Is Aggravated Assault?
Aggravated assault can come in varying degrees of charges and penalties. According to 18 Pa. Con. Stat. § 2702, you could be charged with aggravated assault under any of the following circumstances — you are alleged to have:
- Attempted to seriously injure another person with indifference for their life
- Attempted to cause serious harm to employees of specific agencies
- Attempted to cause serious bodily injury with the use of a deadly weapon
- Attempted to cause serious injury to employees of specific educational institutions
- Attempted to physically menace or injure certain officers and agents engaged in their duties
- Wielded tear gas or any other incapacitating device against certain persons
- Attempts to intentionally injure a minor after you have reached your majority
No two aggravated assault cases are the same. The details and nuances of your case will play an important role in how your charges are graded and penalized. Understanding and defending charges like these can be complicated. A criminal defense lawyer in your area can help clarify Pennsylvania law and its implications for you.
What Are the Penalties for Aggravated Assault?
Aggravated assault can be charged as a first-, second-, or third-degree felony. How the charges against you are graded will determine the sentencing you face, if convicted. According to 18 Pa. Con. Stat. § 1103:
- First-degree aggravated assault is punishable by up to 20 years of imprisonment and up to $25,000 in fines
- Second-degree aggravated assault is punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment and up to $25,000 in fines
- Third-degree aggravated assault is punishable by up to seven years of imprisonment and up to $15,000 in fines
These are the state’s general sentencing guidelines. Several factors can create sentence enhancements including the age of the alleged victim and your previous criminal history.
Non-Criminal Consequences of Conviction
An arrest for a violent crime is frightening. Even without a conviction, you could face life-changing consequences. These can include:
- Difficulty obtaining employment
- Loss of access to some government benefits
- Difficulty obtaining housing
- Damage to your reputation
- Potential loss of driving privileges
Any or all of these circumstances can make your day-to-day life difficult. Your lawyer can help you mitigate the consequences of arrest and conviction. They can also help you work toward a fresh start and the opportunity to rebuild your life.
For a free legal consultation, call 215.515.3360
The Benefits of Hiring a Local Criminal Defense Attorney
Preparing a criminal defense and going to court can be complex. You do not have to handle your case on your own. By hiring a local criminal defense attorney, you get the benefit of their familiarity with state and local law. Additional benefits you might experience can include:
- Conducting a comprehensive investigation
- Interviewing witnesses for and against you
- Representing you at hearings, motions, and trial
- Ensuring your rights were not violated in any way
- Requesting your pre-trial release on bail or bond
- Negotiating a plea bargain for lighter sentencing
- Negotiating a plea that lowers the charges you face
You have the right to fight for the future you want and the one you deserve. You do not have to fight back without legal guidance and support. The lawyer who represents you can help you create goals for your future and work toward them.
Defenses Against Aggravated Assault
You do not have to accept the charges against you without a fight. Possible defenses to aggravated assault can include self-defense or defense of others. If either of these (or any other mitigating factors) played a role in your case, inform your criminal defense team right away.
Your lawyer can help you explain the circumstances of your case, use the details to defend yourself against the charges you face, and negotiate a beneficial plea agreement.
Get Help With Your Aggravated Assault Case
If you or someone you love was charged with aggravated assault, you could be facing a felony conviction in Pennsylvania. Our criminal defense law firm can help fight for your freedom and your future. Learn more about building a solid defense by contacting our Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC consultation team today.