If you have found yourself accused of a serious crime, you undoubtedly want to know how to handle your case. This may be the first time you have ever gotten into serious trouble, and you may wonder how you even ended up here. Still, you are here and need to understand your legal options.
If you want to handle your case as best as possible, information will play an important part. You will likely need information on evidence authorities have against you, what took place during your arrest, what the incident entailed and what the exact charges are that you face. All of this information and more could have effects on your criminal defense strategy.
What is the charge?
If authorities took you into custody after you ended up in a physical altercation with another person, you may be facing an assault charge. Under Pennsylvania law, you could face a charge for simple assault or aggravated assault. Simple assault involves the following elements:
- You negligently caused physical harm to another person with a deadly weapon.
- You stabbed a law enforcement officer with a hypodermic needle while the officer was searching or arresting you.
- You tried to use physical menace to make another person believe that you were going to seriously harm him or her.
- You recklessly, intentionally or knowingly attempted to cause another person bodily harm.
When it comes to aggravated assault, the prosecution must prove the following elements:
- You used a noxious gas or a stun gun to incapacitate a city or state official, such as a firefighter, police officer, correctional officer or another similar official.
- You caused bodily injury to another person and showed extreme indifference to human life.
- You attempted to cause serious bodily harm to a teacher or member of the teaching community while he or she was at school working.
- You caused or attempted to cause serious bodily injury to a city or state official while he or she was on duty.
In the event of a conviction, aggravated assault charges can come with more serious consequences than simple assault, so it is important to understand the exact charge you face.
Creating your defense
You could have a number of defense options available to you, but it will depend on the specific details of your case. You may wish to go over your legal options with a criminal defense attorney to ensure that you fully understand how they apply to you.