A battery charge – known as simple or aggravated assault in Berks County – can turn your life upside down. If you’re convicted, you could face employment challenges and a negative impact on your personal life. Knowing these implications of a conviction is often stressful, leading to additional worry and frustration.
You don’t need to bear this weight alone, however. At McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., we’re proud to provide legal services to those in need of an advocate. As your legal team, we can review our case and explain potential next steps. We’re here to protect your rights and fight for your future.
Working With a Battery Defense Lawyer in Berks County
A battery defense lawyer from our team can provide you with the following services if we take you on as a client:
- Providing you the phone number of our lead Attorney, David McKenzie
- Answering your calls 24/7
- Offering consistent case updates
- Explaining your options
- Representing you in and outside of court
- Fighting to reduce or dismiss your charges
How We Can Defend You
There are several defenses we can rely on in a battery case. Some defensive arguments not noted here may apply, as the arguments we use hinge on the specifics of your case. We may argue:
- You didn’t intentionally injure the victim
- You didn’t knowingly harm anyone
- The other party didn’t suffer any injuries
- You unknowingly became intoxicated, losing your judgment before the assault
- You were acting in self-defense
To prepare for the courtroom and sentencing negotiations, we can gather various forms of evidence, including:
- Witness statements
- Footage of the incident
- Police reports
- Expert input
- Medical records
Negotiating a Plea Deal
Plea deals often have a bad reputation. This is because plea deals require the defendant (the person charged with a crime) to admit guilt. Admitting guilt, at first glance, sounds completely counterintuitive.
However, in some battery cases, pleading guilty is the best way to control outcomes. For example, if the prosecution has an insurmountable amount of evidence, a defendant can plead guilty, allowing their lawyer to enter settlement negotiations. These negotiations could reduce prison time and avoid a potentially uncertain trial.
At McKenzie Law Firm, PLLC, we will never enter a plea deal without your consent. However, we’ll let you know if we believe a plea deal makes sense for your case. Then, we can negotiate with prosecutors to work towards reducing your penalties.
Testimonials from our criminal defense clients provide an even clearer picture of what it’s like to work with McKenzie Law Firm, PLLC:
- “Very professional and made me feel like I truly had the right people in my corner. Worked with me and made me feel like more than just another client! Would definitely refer friends and relatives to Attorney McKenzie in the future!” – Eric G.
- “David helped me through a tough time and delivered on everything discussed. Amazing service and kindness. Would recommend.” – Matt W.
- “McKenzie Law Firm are fighters in the truest since of the word. David and his team stopped at nothing to aid me in my legal situation. I am forever indebted. My new heroes!” – Samuel C.
Battery Charges in Bucks County
In Bucks County, battery isn’t technically a crime. Instead, the term battery, which typically refers to someone physically assaulting someone else, is broken into two crimes: simple assault and aggravated assault. These crimes carry their own penalties and qualifying factors.
Under 18 Pa. C.S. § 2701(a), simple assault includes the following cases:
- Someone attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another
- Someone negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon
- Someone attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury
- Conceals while attempting to use or successfully uses a hypodermic needle as a weapon against a state employee trying to carry out their job
Typically, simple assault is punishable by a second-degree misdemeanor. However, caveats apply, including:
- If you mutually entered a fight or scuffle, you can be charged with a third-degree misdemeanor
- If someone 18 or older assault a child below the age of 12, they can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor
Aggravated assault is like simple assault but focuses on cases that involve serious injuries. These are the instances that qualify as aggravated assault under 18 Pa. C.S. § 2702(a):
- Someone 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
- Someone attempts to cause or intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon
- Someone attempts to cause injury or serious injury to an enumerated list of public employees
The complete list of public employees is too long to include here. However, some examples include the following
- Police officers
- Teaching staff
- Attorneys and other public legal employees
- Utility workers
- Healthcare practitioners
Aggravated assault is either a first or second-degree felony, depending on the specifics of the case.
Simple and Aggravated Assault Punishments
In Berks County, the punishments associated with a crime are determined through a grading system. This system evaluates several factors, including:
- The grade of a crime (is it a misdemeanor or felony?)
- An individual’s previous criminal history
- The involvement of deadly weapons
- The “mitigating circumstances” associated with a crime (“mitigating circumstances” involve occurrences or facts that lessen the severity of a crime)
This means that you can’t predict the potential sentencing outcomes of a battery case until a judicial review takes place. However, generally, those charged with aggravated assault will face far more severe penalties than those charged with simple assault. Both crimes can result in jail or prison time.
A Charge Is Not a Conviction
Remember, a criminal charge is not a conviction. As a resident of Bucks County, you still have several rights, including:
- The right to testify (or not) during trial
- The right to legal counsel
- The right to a fair trial
The existence of these rights means that you still have the opportunity to fight for your innocence or a reduced sentence. Our firm’s battery defense lawyer in Berks County can help you exercise these rights.
Secure a Battery Defense Lawyer in Berks County Today
The sooner you contact our offices, the sooner we can gather evidence and build your defense. Contact our offices today for a case evaluation. During this meeting, we can discuss your goals and explain exactly what we can do for you.