Allentown Aggravated Assault Attorney
In our adversarial criminal law process, prosecutors are not really interested in justice. Instead, they are only interested in wins. That’s the way the system works, not only in assaults, but also in other areas, like DUI. Wins are also the way prosecutors climb the career ladder. To help them obtain these wins, prosecutors have a small army of fellow lawyers and investigators. Without an aggressive attorney as their advocate, ordinary citizens stand little chance against this juggernaut.
At the Allentown law firm of van der Veen, O’Neill, Hartshorn, and Levin, you’ll find the attorney you need when you need one the most. Our experienced Allentown aggravated assault attorneys serve as strong voices for defendants in Lehigh County and nearby jurisdictions. We use proven methods to deliver results that exceed your expectations, whether we go all the way to trial or negotiate a favorable plea agreement.
From Simple to Aggravated Assault
Misdemeanor assault is one of the most common criminal cases in Allentown. Officers routinely answer calls about domestic fights, barroom fights, and so on. Aggressive prosecutors always charge the most serious crime that the facts will support. So, if there is any evidence of the following, one can expect aggravated assault charges:
- Serious Bodily Injury: SBI essentially means putting someone in the hospital. An emergency room patch-up usually suffices. Attempting to cause SBI also constitutes aggravated assault.
- Alleged Victim Status: Police officers, teachers, and pretty much all other public officials enjoy special protection under Pennsylvania law. For example, threatening an individual may not even constitute assault. But threatening public servants who are doing their jobs constitutes aggravated assault.
- Deadly Weapon: Any use of a DW is an aggravated assault, no matter how badly the alleged victim was injured. In Pennsylvania, basically anything other than a fist is a deadly weapon. That includes not only knives and guns, but also sticks and stones.
Aggravated assault is a very serious charge. Assault with SBI or a DW is a second degree felony which carries a maximum ten years in prison. Assaulting a public servant, or any aggravated assault which involves indifference to human life, is a first degree felony (maximum twenty years). All these charges usually involve high fines and lengthy court supervision periods as well.
Defenses to Allentown Aggravated Assault Charges
Assault with SBI is perhaps the most frequently-charged type of aggravated assault. It is also one of the most easily defended types of aggravated assault.
As mentioned, SBI basically means putting someone in the hospital. Medical records are generally admissible in court, as long as they meet very specific requirements. If the supporting affidavit does not have exactly the right language, the underlying evidence is inadmissible. So, your criminal defense attorney needs to pay attention to the details.
Furthermore, assault with SBI is arguably a specific intent crime. The defendant must intend both the conduct (assault) and the result (serious bodily injury). Voluntary intoxication is a defense to specific intent crimes.
Other types of defenses, such as self-defense, may be available as well in these cases.
Lack of evidence is a very good defense in any criminal matter. Prosecutors must establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. To do so, they must rely on alleged victims and other individuals who are not professional witnesses. A tenacious attorney can often break down such a person’s testimony and create reasonable doubt.
Reach Out to Assertive Attorneys
You need a serious lawyer to defend your serious aggravated assault case. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Allentown, contact van der Veen, O’Neill, Hartshorn, and Levin. Convenient payment plans are available.