Philadelphia Criminal Lawyers for Aggravated Assault on Police and Prison Guards
Fight Back Against Philadelphia, PA Assault Charges
Criminal defense attorneys Zak T. Goldstein, Esq. and Demetra Mehta, Esq. have successfully fought and won countless Aggravated Assault cases. We represent clients who are charged with assaulting police and other members of protected classes in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties of Delaware, Chester, Bucks, Camden, and Montgomery. We have obtained dismissals and acquittals in numerous Aggravated Assault cases. We are understanding and experienced defense attorneys who will use our skill and knowledge of the criminal justice system to help you get the best possible result when fighting assault charges. If you are facing assault charges, we can help. Call 267-225-2545 now for a free criminal defense strategy session.
Jury Acquits Attorney Goldstein's Client of Assaulting Police Officer
Our criminal lawyers have proven track records of successfully defending clients against assault charges. We have even obtained full acquittals in both bench trials before judges as well as in jury trials. In the recent case of Commonwealth v. I.N., Attorney Goldstein obtained a full acquittal in a jury trial on Aggravated Assault (F2) charges. In that case, the defendant was charged with Aggravated Assault as a felony of the second degree for allegedly punching a police officer. However, the officer had not suffered any visible injuries, and the officer gave inconsistent statements on where exactly the officer had been struck while attempting to arrest I.N. Following Attorney Goldstein's cross examination of the police officer complainant on all of these inconsistencies between the testimony and the officer's prior statements, the jury acquitted the defendant of all charges. It took the jury only one hour to deliberate before it returned with a full not guilty verdict.
SECOND DEGREE FELONY AGGRAVATED ASSAULT (ASSAULT ON POLICE, CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS, SEPTA EMPLOYEES, AND MEMBERS OF OTHER PROTECTED CLASSES)
In normal circumstances, punching someone could lead to Simple Assault charges because Simple Assault occurs when a defendant causes or attempts to cause bodily injury. However, there is an enhancement under Pennsylvania law which makes it a felony of the second degree to commit a Simple Assault on a police officer, prison guard, or other protected person while that person is acting in the course of their official duties. Accordingly, it is a felony of the second degree instead of a misdemeanor for someone to punch or attempt to punch a police officer or prison guard. In addition to police officers and prison guards, the Aggravated Assault statute also makes it a felony to cause or attempt to cause bodily injury to paramedics, judges, district attorneys, public defenders, SEPTA employees, and many other officials. This means that a person who is charged with trying to punch a police officer and missing can be charged with Aggravated Assault instead of what would normally be Simple Assault if the complainant were not a law enforcement officer. Unfortunately, this form of Aggravated Assault is often charged against defendants who resist arrest, attempt to run away, or have been injured by police officers.
Defenses to Assault on Police Charges
Many of the same types of defenses that would apply in a normal assault case also apply against F2 Aggravated Assault on a law enforcement officer or other protected class. Potential defenses to assault charges include:
- Credibility - In cases where the complainant did not sustain real injuries and claims only to have received some bruising, we are often able to show that the Aggravated Assault charge really stems from the fact that the defendant resisted arrest or that the officer injured the defendant and needed an after-the-fact justification for doing so. Therefore, it is critically important that a defendant who is charged with Aggravated Assault immediately take photographs of any injuries and begin collecting statements from witnesses.
- Sufficiency of the Evidence - F2 Aggravated Assault on a police officer does not include all types of Simple Assault on a protected class. Instead, it requires that a defendant knowingly or intentionally caused or attempted to cause bodily injury to a protected class. The Simple Assault statute permits prosecutors to obtain a conviction where the defendant acts recklessly in causing bodily injury, but the assault on police section of the Aggravated Assault statute does not. Therefore, a defendant who inadvertently strikes a police officer while flailing about and resisting arrest may be properly charged only with Simple Assault and not Aggravated Assault if the defendant did not act recklessly.
- Official Duties - If the complainant was not on duty, then the Aggravated Assault statute would not apply. This means that the enhancement does not apply to a defendant who causes bodily injury to an off-duty police officer. Of course, if the defendant causes serious bodily injury, then the defendant could still be charged with Aggravated Assault. But if the defendant simply engages in a normal fight with an off-duty complainant that does not lead to serious bodily injury, then that would likely be a Simple Assault instead of an Aggravated Assault.
- Remember: The Commonwealth must always prove each element of the statute beyond a reasonable doubt.
WE CAN HELP WITH ASSAULT CHARGES
Our Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys and assault lawyers have handled all types of Aggravated Assault cases and will be able to provide advice about the best options and defenses for you. If you are charged with Aggravated Assault in Philadelphia or the surrounding counties like Bucks, Delaware, Chester, or Montgomery, do not delay. Valuable evidence could be lost. Contact one of our attorneys today at 267-225-2545 for a free criminal defense strategy session.