Battery charges, also known as assault charges, can negatively impact your life by affecting your career prospects and social standing. By hiring a battery defense lawyer, you can fight these charges and protect your future.
At McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., we understand that you’re in a difficult position. We’re prepared to handle your case with patience and intentionality. Continue reading for more information about working with our criminal defense lawyers.
Battery Versus Assault
Battery and assault are considered different crimes in some states:
- Battery: Battery refers to the specific act of physically harming someone.
- Assault: Assault refers to the act of menacing someone or making them fear harm.
In Chester County, though, these two crimes are both considered assault. There are two types of assault in this county: simple assault and aggravated assault. Each type has its own legal consequences.
Under 18 Pa. C.S. § 2701, you commit simple assault when:
- You attempt to or intentionally cause bodily injury to someone else.
- You negligently cause bodily injury to someone else with a deadly weapon.
- You attempt by physical menace to make someone else fear serious bodily injury.
- You attempt to conceal a hypodermic needle or knowingly use one to injure a police officer or correctional system employee during the arrest process.
In these instances, simple assault is punishable by a second-degree misdemeanor.
Two instances can alter the severity of a simple assault charge:
- You mutually enter a fight or scuffle: This crime is punishable by a misdemeanor of the third degree.
- You are over the age of 18 and assaulted a minor younger than 12: This crime is a first-degree misdemeanor.
Simple assault is a broad criminal category involving everything from physical intimidation to bar fights. However, these crimes are important to understand because even a scuffle at the bar can end with imprisonment.
Aggravated assault applies to more serious cases involving deadly weapons and physical attacks on essential workers like police officers and teachers.
More specifically, these are the instances that qualify as an aggravated assault:
- Attempts to or successfully causes serious bodily injury to someone else with a complete disregard for human life
- Attempts to or successfully causes intentional serious bodily injury with a deadly weapon
- Attempts to or successfully causes serious bodily injury to a minor under the age of 13 if the perpetrator is above the age of 18
- Attempts to or successfully causes bodily injury to a minor under the age of six if the perpetrator is above the age of 18
In addition to these crimes, seriously physically harming or menacing any of the following types of employees can lead to an aggravated assault conviction:
- Police officers
- Parole officers
- Legal staff
- Government employees
- And more
The state’s 18 Pa. C.S. § 2702 provides the complete list of protected employees.
The punishment for aggravated assault is either a second-degree felony or a first-degree felony, the penalties for which include the following:
- Between ten and 20 years in prison
Bodily Injury Versus Serious Bodily Injury
The primary distinction between simple assault and aggravated assault is the type of bodily injury involved. Most simple assault cases entail bodily injury, whereas aggravated assault cases include serious bodily injury.
This is how these two legal definitions differ:
- Bodily injury: An impairment of physical or mental condition or an incident that causes substantial pain
- Serious bodily injury: An injury that causes a significant risk of death, or permanent bodily disfigurement or impairment
In many cases, the difference between a simple assault conviction and an aggravated assault conviction hinges on these definitions. A battery defense lawyer in Chester County can review the details of your case to determine if the severity of an injury has been over-inflated.
Why Hire a Chester County Battery Defense Lawyer?
The legal codes detailing simple assault and aggravated assault are long, complex, and contain several caveats. To succeed in a battery defense case, it’s essential that you understand the ins and outs of these codes. However, without legal training, it’s often difficult to make sense of building a compelling defense.
This is where a battery defense lawyer in Chester County could support you. At McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., we have many years of legal experience. We can aggressively fight for your innocence by:
- Gathering evidence and contacting eyewitnesses
- Negotiating with prosecutors
- Taking the stand during the trial in your defense
- Enter a plea deal, if applicable
- Explain your options
Possible Defenses in a Battery Case
To reduce your sentence or prove your innocence, our team could use one of the following defenses:
- You didn’t intentionally harm the victim
- You were acting in self-defense
- The other person wasn’t injured or didn’t suffer a serious bodily injury
- You weren’t aware that you injured the victim
- You were provoked into an act of physical violence
These are only a few examples. A defense not noted here may apply to your case. Our team can tailor our legal strategy to your unique case.
Accessible Legal Support
Criminal charges are stressful, as they can permanently alter your life. However, working with a battery defense lawyer doesn’t need to be. At McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., we prioritize accessibility and client comfort.
These are the services we provide that make interacting with our firm seamless:
- Providing frequent case updates
- Promptly returning your texts, calls, and emails
- Offering the phone number of the lawyer assigned to your case
- Answering all your tough legal questions
Discussing a Plea Deal
If you’ve paid attention to high-profile criminal cases or are a fan of legal television, you may have heard the phrase “plea deal.” Plea deals are easy to disregard as an option because they require the defendant (the person accused of a crime) to admit guilt. In doing so, the defendant foregoes the opportunity to make their case during trial.
However, this legal tool can benefit some instances by:
- Allowing your lawyer to negotiate the terms of your sentence when the prosecution has a strong case
- Speeding up the outcome of your case
- Avoiding the uncertainty of a trial
If you’ve entered a plea deal or are considering entering a plea deal, a Chester County battery defense lawyer from our firm can manage your case. We can discuss the pros and cons of this arrangement. Remember, we won’t ever enter a plea deal unless you’re comfortable doing so.
Work With a Battery Defense Lawyer in Chester County Today
If you have questions about your case or need further information about working with a battery defense lawyer, don’t hesitate to contact our offices. You can call our firm for a no-obligation case evaluation today.