Chester County Aggravated Assault Lawyers
Pennsylvania Aggravated Assault
According to one study, Snyder County is the county in Pennsylvania with the highest number of aggravated assaults—about 692 per year—while Philadelphia is the city with the highest number of aggravated assaults. Assault in the state of Pennsylvania can be a misdemeanor or a felony offense. When a person inflicts or attempts to inflict a physical injury on another person, he or she has committed assault. Aggravated assault is also known as felony assault, and involves the infliction of serious bodily injury on another person, or an attempt to inflict serious bodily injury on another person. There are also certain protected public officials and employees under Pennsylvania aggravated assault laws, and the use of a deadly weapon can change assault charges to aggravated assault charges. Aggravated assault usually involves an extreme indifference to human life, and the assault must be perpetrated intentionally, knowingly or recklessly.
Why You Must Have an Experienced Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney to Defend Your Charges of Aggravated Assault
Aggravated Assault is an extremely serious charge in the state of Pennsylvania, with extremely serious penalties. If you have been charged with aggravated assault, your very first response should be to speak to an attorney at the Ciccarelli Law Offices. We will give your charges the serious response they deserve, looking at the circumstances of your arrest from every angle, and determining the very best defense for you. Our attorneys have a goal of ensuring you suffer the least amount of consequences for your charges of aggravated assault. We understand that people make mistakes, and that one mistake should not alter your life forever. Give your aggravated assault charges the serious attention they deserve, and the attorneys at the Ciccarelli Law Offices will do the same.
How is “Intentionally, Knowingly or Recklessly” Proven?
To knowingly commit an offense, you must have been aware of the consequences of your actions, while acting recklessly means you consciously land purposefully disregarded the consequences of your act. If a reasonable person would have understood the potential consequences of the act, under the same circumstances you faced, then your behavior could be deemed reckless. Intentionally committing the offense of aggravated assault means you had little regard for whether you harmed another human being.
What Makes an Assault an Aggravated Assault?
Injuries must be more severe for aggravated assault charges. You may wonder how serious bodily injury is determined. Generally speaking, any type of bodily injury which results in serious, permanent loss, disfigurement or impairment is considered serious bodily injury. Any action which creates a significant risk of death is also considered serious bodily injury.
When your actions could conceivably result in death or serious injury, you have shown extreme indifference to another human being’s life. Put another way, a critical component of aggravated assault as compared to simple assault is malice—recklessness of consequences, cruelty, or flat out wickedness. It is not required that specific intent to injure a specific person be shown in the state of Pennsylvania to charge aggravated assault.
The use of a deadly weapon can change a simple assault into an aggravated assault, even if the weapon was not actually used. Most people think of a deadly weapon only as a firearm, however any weapon which is capable of causing death or serious injury is considered a deadly weapon. Guns, of course are considered deadly weapons, along with knives, brass knuckles, a baseball bat, a broken bottle, or any other item which could be used as a deadly weapon.
Protection of Certain Public Officials and Employees Under Pennsylvania Aggravated Assault Laws
Simple assault charges may also be elevated to aggravated assault charges if the person you assaulted is in the class of public officials and employees who are entitled to protection under Pennsylvania law. Specifically, these public officials and employees include:
- Private detectives
- Parole officers
- Correctional officers
- Teachers (public and private schools)
- School employees (public and private schools)
- School board members (public and private schools)
- Police officers
- Law enforcement officers
- EMS employees
- Public defenders
- Attorneys General
- District Attorneys
- State officials
- State legislators
- Public utility employees
- Department of Environmental Protection employees
- County children’s service agency employees
A simple assault against any of the above public officials or employees may be elevated to aggravated assault charges in the following situations:
- If gas or an incapacitation device such as a TASER is used against the person.
- If you attempt to place a public official or employee in fear of imminent harm by using physical “menace.”
- If you cause or attempt to cause bodily injury while the protected person is performing his or her public duties or is working.
- If you knowingly, recklessly or intentionally cause or attempt to cause serious bodily injury while the protected person is performing his or her public duties or is working.
Penalties Associated with Aggravated Assault
Your specific penalties for a conviction of aggravated assault will depend on the degree of your conviction—whether a first or second-degree felony. If you are convicted of second-degree aggravated assault, (no serious bodily injury involved) and you could face up to ten years in prison, and a fine as large as $25,000. Assault With a Deadly Weapon Causing Bodily Injury is also a second-degree felony, and, if convicted, you could face up to ten years in prison, and a fine as large as $25,000. If you caused serious bodily injury to another person, or if you assaulted a public official or employee listed above, then you will face a first-degree felony, and, if convicted, could face up to 20 years in prison, and a fine as large as $25,000.
Getting the Help You Need from the Ciccarelli Law Offices
A conviction for aggravated assault could result in your spending ten to twenty years in prison, completely derailing your life and your future. Consequences for a conviction of aggravated assault can vary greatly, based on the circumstances surrounding your charges, whether or not you have prior criminal convictions, and even the attitude of the prosecutor and judge. An experienced criminal defense attorney from the Ciccarelli Law Offices will be familiar with these judges and prosecutors, and will know how they are likely to respond. We will, of course, do our best to have your charges dismissed, but if that is not possible, we will negotiate for lower charges. We want to help you through this difficult time, and will zealously represent you. At Ciccarelli Law Offices, success is our mission—we are driven to serve and ready to fight. Contact Ciccarelli Law Offices at (610)-692-8700.