What To Do If Accused Of Aggravated Assault
Being accused of aggravated assault can turn your life completely upside down – especially if you aren’t aware of the seriousness of this allegation or what to do next.
What Is Aggravated Assault?
In Pennsylvania, aggravated assault is legally defined as having used a deadly weapon to knowingly and intentionally harm another person. It’s typically classified as a second-degree felony that carries a maximum sentence of up to ten years.
However, if the incident was serious, it could be charged as a first-degree felony, which can put you in the slammer for a maximum of twenty years. If you are convinced of aggravated assault, it’s unlikely that you’ll be sentenced to probation, but you could be ordered to pay a fine of up to $25,000.
Although the bail amount is higher for violent crimes, such as aggravated assault, you can get released from jail on bond, but the judge does reserve the right to deny bail in certain cases.
What Are The Possible Defenses For Aggravated Assault?
There are several possible defenses to an aggravated assault charge. The most common one is self-defense. This means that you used a weapon against the victim to protect yourself, someone else, or your property from an imminent threat or bodily harm.
Since the definition of aggravated assault is “knowingly” and “intentionally”, another possible defense is that you weren’t of sound mind at the time of the incident. You can’t be held legally responsible if it was an accident or you weren’t aware of what you were doing.
How Can An Attorney Help?
If you’ve been accused of aggravated assault, and the victim decides to press charges against you, then you’ll need to hire the best defense attorney in Philadelphia. Since you may need to attend a bail hearing, the sooner you reach out to an attorney, the better it is for your case.
An experienced attorney can review the facts of the case and come up with a defense strategy. If you have a valid defense, they can advise you to plead not guilty and take the case to trial. Even if you are indeed guilty, they can negotiate bail and make a plea bargain with the district attorney to get you the least amount of jail time possible.
Don’t take your chances with a public defender or self-representation. If you’ve been charged with aggravated assault or any other crime in Philadelphia, contact our law firm today!