A genuine case of aggravated assault is a serious offense. When an attacker harms another individual, whether by blows to the face or body, the assailant can face both criminal and civil charges. On the other hand, some people face false claims of assault when they were not to blame, and it is quite common for people to file legal charges due to personal or professional grudges. Under such circumstances being charged with an assault claim is daunting, and getting clear of trouble is even more difficult.
The penalties for such a serious offense are terrible to consider and can ruin an individual’s life. With solid legal representation, however, the burden can be made easier. Many people lose criminal cases, not because they were guilty but because of a lack of professional help. Therefore, if you have been charged with a baseless criminal claim or civil suit, you should consult an experienced Philadelphia criminal lawyer as soon as you are confronted with such a claim.
Here are some common scenarios which call for experienced legal help:
You are not aware of the assault case that you have been charged with
It is always vital to understand the type of charge against you. Based on that information, you can take any necessary steps to mount a defense. When a person strikes another repeatedly, and intentionally, targeting multiple body parts, the attacker can be charged with aggravated assault.
Aggravated assault is a second-degree felony. A charge can also be made if a person threatens another with a beating. In Pennsylvania, a second-degree felony carries a maximum sentence of up to ten years in prison, and up to a $20,000 fine, though the court is not obligated to impose a fine. In the case of aggravated assault charges, there is a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison. It comes under second-degree felony. An experienced criminal defense attorney can aggressively defend the case, and, if needs be, can also negotiate with the prosecution should that prove a better course. A criminal defense attorney will present your case in the best possible light.
You are already in the Police Station
Sometimes people step back from seeking legal help, thinking it is too late to call an attorney when they are already in police custody. This is not correct. If you or any of your family or friends are in such a situation, you certainly have a right to discuss the details of the case with a defense attorney who will act on behalf of the accused.
Police frequently make mistakes, and arrest a person by mistake, or too early, and without having done sufficient investigation. A good criminal defense lawyer can sometimes negotiate with the police to prevent any misconceptions, or can begin to discover the evidence held by the police. Due to knowledge of criminal law and procedure, an experienced lawyer can sometimes take appropriate steps in favor of the accused.
In all events, the accused has the right to remain silent in the face of police questioning. It is therefore best to refuse to speak about the incident, any allegations, or to answer any questions until you have had the opportunity to consult with an attorney. Under such circumstances it is imperative to demand to consult a lawyer as soon as one is detained.
You are about to appear before a judge
An attorney can still help you even if you have been summoned to appear before the court. Whatever the case may be, whatever be the situation, you should hire a lawyer to represent you in this difficult situation—a legal professional can negotiate with the court, and, if need be, can ask for a postponement to prepare the case and present it in the best possible light. Legal professionals can also negotiate with the prosecution, in an effort to seek reduced charges or a reduced sentence, should the case appear weak. He can also advise on how best to respond in different situations until the case is entirely resolved.
You already have faced criminal charges in the past
Any past criminal record makes matters more complicated for a defendant, even if charges arose years before. Prosecutors will often seek to use a past criminal record against a defendant to win their case, even though there are strict limitations on what material can be introduced into evidence. A prosecutor might seek to question your past and ask for many details. In such a case it is vital to hire a legal professional to fight for your rights. The rules of evidence are quite complex, and not all elements of a criminal record can be introduced in a current criminal case. An experienced defense lawyer understands the rules and can object to any improper evidence being dragged into a criminal case.
If you are still uncertain about hiring an assault lawyer to assist with a criminal defense, here are some reasons to assist you in deciding.
What are the roles and responsibilities of an assault lawyer on defense?
Unquestionably, defendants who hire attorneys to handle a serious matter like an aggravated assault case gain access to more expertise and experience than those who try to work the matter out on their own. Let us consider some of the criminal defense lawyer’s principal roles and responsibilities.
- Assessing and investigating the case: Before undertaking a defense, the criminal defense lawyer will evaluate the case in detail. Your attorney will investigate every aspect of the issue so that he can present the best possible case on your behalf. Ideally, this will prove your innocence, however, the attorney will always seek to resolve the matter in as favorable a manner as possible. In any event, an experienced criminal defense attorney will take all possible measures to reduce the potential risk to the defendant. By careful analysis, a defense attorney can estimate the likely outcome and the possibilities. This analysis, if acted upon, can help safeguard your interests.
- Meet all deadlines- Criminal cases have specific deadlines for both the prosecution and the defense to meet as the matter progresses through the court. If the defense misses a deadline, vital opportunities to help explain your side of the case might be lost. On the other hand, a missed prosecution deadline can often spell the end of their case at once. A legal professional will keep careful note of all deadlines, and do anything needed to protect your rights in the case.
- Keep you updated on case progress- As the case proceeds, between hearings, you may not know the status of the case. To win any case, you must be able to assist your attorney, and you need to be fully informed of the matter. An attorney will keep you up-to-date about any developments or happenings in your case.
Many people do not realize that they can find professional help if they are confronted with a criminal charge. As a result, many face the threat of a life-changing situation when hit with a criminal charge. If you are facing this problem, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer at once.