When someone is charged with an aggravated assault offense in West Chester, Chester County, or anywhere in Pennsylvania – they are facing the potential of serious criminal penalties and a felony conviction. West Chester criminal lawyer Michael DiCindio believes that a successful defense in these cases require prompt investigation and preservation of evidence, interviews of any potential witnesses and an in depth understanding of the law and the concepts associated with aggravated assault crimes in Pennsylvania.
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Aggravated assault crimes are graded as either a felony of the first degree or felony of the second degree. They occur when someone is alleged to have assaulted another civilian citizen – but in Pennsylvania, you may be charged with aggravated assault when you have committed the offense against certain individuals from protected classes of citizens laid out by statute. Examples of which would be a police officer, firefighter or even a probation officer, to name a few. The distinction between the lower simple assault offense and an aggravated assault offense is typically the level of intent, the level of force or weapon used, the severity of the injury caused or who the victim of the assault was (a statutorily protected class or not).
Sentence guidelines for aggravated assault crimes typically contemplate serious criminal penalties and the potential for incarceration (county and state prison). This means that in order to successfully defend against the charges or to reach the best outcome possible in an aggravated assault case, a criminal lawyer should be hired and consulted immediately. With the passage of time, it is often that case, evidence becomes stale or unobtainable and witness memories or recollections of the events may be clouded or unclear. There is no time to waste in these circumstances – a defense strategy should begin to be considered immediately.
18 Pa.C.S. § 2702. Aggravated assault.
(a) Offense defined.–A person is guilty of aggravated
assault if he:
(1) attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causes such injury intentionally, knowingly or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life;
(2) attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes serious bodily injury to any of the officers, agents, employees or other persons enumerated in subsection (c) or to an employee of an agency, company or other entity engaged in public transportation, while in the performance of duty;
(3) attempts to cause or intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to any of the officers, agents, employees or other persons enumerated in subsection (c), in the performance of duty;
(4) attempts to cause or intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon;
(5) attempts to cause or intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to a teaching staff member, 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;
(6) attempts by physical menace to put any of the officers, agents, employees or other persons enumerated in subsection (c), while in the performance of duty, in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; or
(7) uses tear or noxious gas as defined in section 2708(b) (relating to use of tear or noxious gas in labor disputes) or uses an electric or electronic incapacitation device against any officer, employee or other person enumerated in subsection (c) while acting in the scope of his employment.
(b) Grading.–Aggravated assault under subsection (a)(1) and (2) is a felony of the first degree. Aggravated assault under subsection (a)(3), (4), (5), (6) and (7) is a felony of the second degree.
The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes that may be relevant. The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Please contact DiCindio Law for a consultation and to discuss what law is relevant to your case.
Michael DiCindio is a West Chester criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals accused of crimes throughout all of Chester County, including West Chester, Phoenixville, Malvern, Coatesville, Paoli, Downingtown, Tredyffrin, West Goshen, Honey Brook, Oxford, Devon, Pottstown, Chesterbrook, Parkesburg, Kennett Square, and Avondale as well as in Montgomery County, Lancaster County, Delaware County, Philadelphia County, Bucks County and Berks County.