Philadelphia Aggravated Assault Lawyer
Aggravated assault in Philadelphia is a major felony which carries significant penalties. Aggravated Assault usually means that the person who was assaulted suffered serious bodily injuries, or there was an attempt at serious bodily injuries. Aggravated assault can also be charged when a person from a “protected class” is assaulted.
Aggravated assault in Philadelphia is treated as a very serious offense. It is commonly charged as a felony and carries with it hefty penalties. Due to the fact that aggravated assault is an attempt to cause serious bodily injury to another individual, either knowingly or recklessly, completely disregarding the value of human life, prosecutes will treat this charge in an extreme and harsh fashion. A felony aggravated assault of the first degree in Pennsylvania can carry up to 20 years’ incarceration, while a felony of the second degree carries up to 10 years’ incarceration. It is crucial to your freedom to have an experienced and exceptional Philadelphia criminal defense attorney on your side when facing an aggravated assault charge.
Aggravated Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury
If you cause serious bodily injury to a person, you will be charged with aggravated assault. A serious bodily injury is defined as causing an injury that impairs a significant bodily function. Clear examples of this are when someone loses an eye, finger, or other appendages from an assault.
The boundary between Simple Assault – a less grave, though still serious crime – and aggravated assault is not always so clear. For instance, take a stabbing where a person undergoes surgery to repair the stab wound. While a stab wound can be significant, it can also be superficial, and not affect any vital organ or break any bones, thereby not impairing a significant bodily function. For this reason, this example may not qualify as an aggravated assault.
Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer or Other Protected Class
You can also be charged with aggravated assault on a police officer or other member of a protected class if you merely shove, kick, or otherwise touch a police officer or other protected class person. The Pennsylvania legislature decided a long time ago that attacking certain people would result in a higher type of crime and/or punishment. The following types of people are considered “protected” and even a shove can result in an Aggravated Assault charge, even if no significant injury occurs:
(c) Officers, employees, etc., enumerated.–The officers, agents, employees and other persons referred to in subsection (a) shall be as follows:
- Police officer.
- County adult probation or parole officer.
- County juvenile probation or parole officer.
- An agent of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole.
- Deputy sheriff.
- Liquor control enforcement agent.
- Officer or employee of a correctional institution, county jail or prison, juvenile detention center or any other facility to which the person has been ordered by the court pursuant to a petition alleging delinquency under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile matters).
- Judge of any court in the unified judicial system.
- The Attorney General.
- A deputy attorney general.
- A district attorney.
- An assistant district attorney.
- A public defender.
- An assistant public defender.
- A Federal law enforcement official.
- A State law enforcement official.
- A local law enforcement official.
- Any person employed to assist or who assists any Federal, State or local law enforcement official.
- Emergency medical services personnel.
- Parking enforcement officer.
- A magisterial district judge.
- A constable.
- A deputy constable.
- A psychiatric aide.
- A teaching staff member, a school board member or other employee, including a student employee, of any elementary or secondary publicly-funded educational institution, any elementary or secondary private school licensed by the Department of Education or any elementary or secondary parochial school while acting in the scope of his or her employment or because of his or her employment relationship to the school.
- Lieutenant Governor.
- Auditor General.
- State Treasurer.
- Member of the General Assembly.
- An employee of the Department of Environmental Protection.
- An individual engaged in the private detective business as defined in section 2(a) and (b) of the act of August 21, 1953 (P.L.1273, No.361), known as The Private Detective Act of 1953.
- An employee or agent of a county, children, and youth social service agency or of the legal representative of such agency.
- A public utility employee or an employee of an electric cooperative.
- A wildlife conservation officer or deputy wildlife conservation officer of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
- A waterways conservation officer or deputy waterways conservation officer of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Philadelphia Aggravated Assault Lawyer
If you have been charged with aggravated assault, you should contact an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to handle your case immediately. Any Aggravated Assault case carries with it a maximum of anywhere from 7 to 20 years, depending on the grading of the offense, and the damage inflicted on the other person. An attorney will be able to fight your case by examining the evidence, and potentially taking your case to trial to obtain a not guilty verdict, or else a verdict for a lesser offense. Oftentimes, a lawyer will be able to mount a defense, such as self-defense or other legal arguments, to beat the case, or to make it harder for the prosecution to prove guilt. Please call us today for a free consultation.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.