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Assault and other violent crimes are common in Pennsylvania. According to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, there were 536 violent crimes committed in Chester County and 487 in Lancaster County during the most recent year for which data is available.

A conviction for assault entails serious consequences in Pennsylvania. Even the least serious assault charge can result in incarceration and hefty fines. In addition, you will have a permanent record of your conviction. However, if you are facing accusations of assault, you may still have a chance to fight the charges.

If you have serious criminal charges like assault or battery being brought against you, you have the right to a fair and honest legal defense. Having a skilled criminal defense attorney who is committed to providing comprehensive legal guidance means you have someone in your corner who will defend your rights.

At Strand Law Offices, LLC, we have the necessary expertise and resources to help you pursue a successful defense strategy in your case. Consider speaking with a knowledgeable and dedicated assault defense attorney in West Chester, Pennsylvania, to fight for an acquittal or the dismissal of the charges against you.

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Two Types of Assault (Simple and Aggravated)

Pennsylvania law recognizes two types of assault charges: Simple and aggravated. The two charges are associated with severe penalties. However, aggravated assault carries more serious punishment.

  • Simple assault. Simple assault can be charged as a third-, second-, or first-degree misdemeanor. Examples of third-degree and first-degree misdemeanors are mutually entering into a fight and assaulting a minor under the age of 12 by an adult aged 21 or older, respectively.

  • Aggravated assault. Individuals may face aggravated assault charges when they inflict serious bodily injury on another (or attempt to), assault someone with a deadly weapon, and assault against certain protected public officials and employees. Aggravated assault is either a first- or second-degree felony, depending on the circumstances of the offense.

Penalties for Assault Charges in Pennsylvania

The possible penalties for assault charges depend on the circumstances of the offense, the defendant’s criminal record, whether the crime involved the use of a deadly weapon, and other factors. Prison time for assault charges ranges from up to one year in some circumstances to a maximum sentence of 20 years for a first-degree felony.

The punishment for committing the crime can result in long-lasting consequences, hefty fines, and possible jail time, among other penalties. Regardless of whether the assault is a misdemeanor or felony, an assault conviction on your record can cause irreparable harm to every aspect of your life. It can have far-reaching effects such as your job, relationships, and renting qualifications. Don’t risk your future by fighting your charges alone. An experienced attorney can assess whether you have any grounds for dismissal, explore plea options, or represent you at trial.

Defenses to Assault Charges

There are many possible defense strategies available for defendants facing assault charges in Pennsylvania. However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to identifying the right defense strategy in your case. Each case is unique so possible defenses vary greatly depending on the details surrounding your specific assault case. Some of the most common defenses to assault charges in Pennsylvania are:

  1. Self-defense. In many cases, attorneys representing defendants facing assault charges successfully get the charges dismissed or reduced by arguing that their client was trying to defend themselves. However, the defendant must be able to prove that there was an immediate threat of harm and that the amount of force used must be reasonable.

  2. Defense of other people. The defendant may also avoid a conviction for assault if they used force against another person because they feared for the safety of others.

  3. Defense of property. Another defense to assault charges is if the defendant was trying to defend his or her property or personal belonging. Common examples of properties that the defendant may need to defend are a home, automobile, phone, and others.

  4. Duress. If the defendant was threatened or coerced into assaulting another person, they might use the “duress” defense to avoid a conviction for assault.

There are many other defenses that may be available in your case. Consider contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney in West Chester, Pennsylvania, to thoroughly review your case and identify the most appropriate defense strategy in your case.

Assault Defense Attorney Serving West Chester, Pennsylvania

At Strand Law Offices, LLC, we have successfully represented countless individuals facing simple and aggravated assault charges in Chester County, Lancaster County, and surrounding counties throughout Pennsylvania. We have the necessary resources to interview witnesses, collect evidence, identify weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, and take other steps to zealously defend you against your charges. You can call our office right now to discuss your particular case. We are available 24/7.