Violent crimes in Pennsylvania are some of the most viciously sought out convictions by prosecutors due to their impact on the community and victims of the crime. Whether the offense ranges from an armed Robbery or Aggravated Assault, down to a Simple Assault or Recklessly Endangering charge, these crimes can have serious implications on an accused. Harsh prison sentences and long probationary ‘tails’ combine with collateral issues like firearm disqualification and no-contact orders to greatly impact your reputation, your freedom and your future.
When confronted with a violent crime, District Attorneys in Pennsylvania will use every technique at their disposal to prosecute an accused to the fullest extent possible. Investigators will question any witnesses, including family members, who may have seen what happened. They will press the accused aggressively in order to obtain a statement–and build their case for a conviction.
When you have been charged with a violent crime you need a law firm that has access to the same skills, techniques and experience as possessed by prosecutors and investigators. We at Miller Lyden P.C. have experience with the criminal court process involving violent crimes. In addition we have access to private investigators, polygraph experts, forensic experts and the skill and knowledge in handling these delicate matters. Do not leave a violent crime charge to chance, you are facing long-term incarceration and a harsh burden for your family.
Theft by use of force, or Robbery as it is known, is one of the most serious of the violent offense charges in the Commonwealth next to Rape and Murder. Robberies of convenience stores and homes send ripples through the community and are vigorously pursued by the police as these crimes often involve deadly weapons and an accused is often a stranger to the victim. Robberies involving a deadly weapon, whether it be a firearm or a knife, can expose an accused to a sentence of 10 yrs or more for factual circumstances which can occur in less than a minute.
Robbery is a felony offense and is defined in § 3701 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code threatening to inflict either bodily injury or serious bodily injury on another in the course of committing a theft. It also occurs when an accused ‘physically takes or removes property from the person of another by force however slight.’ When a weapon is involved the seriousness of the offense increases. In addition to the upward sentencing range, robberies involving a firearm see an added 5 year mandatory imposed at time of sentencing.
Whether an armed robbery of a convenience store, or a snatch-and-grab purse robbery on a city street, robbery offenses require very special handling separate from other theft based offenses.
Aggravated Assault & Simple Assault
Assault on another person can be broken into several different categories, some much more serious than others. Depending on the circumstances of the ‘assault’ and whether serious injuries were inflicted, whether a weapon was involved, or whether the target of the assault was a special protected class (like a police officer or a teacher) can greatly influence both the grading and the punishment.
Aggravated Assault is the most serious type of assault in the Commonwealth. Aggravated Assault is a felony offense and is defined in § 2702 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code as causing or attempting to cause serious bodily injury to another. It is also charged in circumstances involving the use of a deadly weapon to cause or attempt to cause bodily injury on another, causing bodily injury on a protected class like a police officer or teacher, and lastly the use of a taser or tear gas on law enforcement.
Charges of this nature need to be addressed early on in the criminal court process and an accused should seek out knowledgeable defense counsel to explore options before Court. Carrying sentences that may call for multiple years in state prison, charges for Aggravated Assault can be defended. Often an Aggravated Assault is charged along with a Simple Assault by law enforcement. A well prepared criminal defense attorney can argue on your behalf for the lesser offense, often saving you harsh prison sentence in return for a plea to Simple Assault only!
Simple Assault encompasses circumstances which call for a less serious grading. Simple Assault is a misdemeanor offense and is defined in § 2701 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code as attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another. Domestic assaults and fights in public typically make up this cases in this offense category. With both an experienced defense attorney and a proper defense, these charges can be challenged at Preliminary Hearing allowing charges to be reduced or even dropped at Court.
Kidnapping is the crime of taking a person against their will to an undisclosed location. When involving a child, law enforcement agencies investigate a missing child immediately upon receipt of the report regardless of the age of the missing child or the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the child.
Kidnapping is a felony offense and is defined in § 2901 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code as unlawfully removing another a substantial distance from where the victim was found or unlawfully confining another for a substantial period in a place of isolation, with any of the following intentions: holding for ransom, holding as a hostage, inflicting bodily injury or terrorizing another, or lastly interfering with governmental or political function.
Kidnapping charges typically include other similar offenses and often involve a victim who is known to the accused. The facts of a case and the intentions of the parties are pivotal to the outcome of the disposition in these matters. Whether it involves a complete stranger or issues stemming from a contested child custody, if you or a loved one is accused of kidnapping it is imperative that you contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately to address the charges and preserve your freedom.
While the 2nd amendment gives American citizens a right to bear arms, that right does not extend to all people and all circumstances. Firearm possession depending on the facts of the case and the status of the accused can quickly turn into criminal behavior and lead to dire consequences. Convicted felons, persons subject of an active protection order, persons having been committed under a mental health order and minors may all fit into this category.
Persons Not to Possess a Firearm is a felony offense and is defined in § 6105 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code. In Pennsylvania convicted felons are not permitted to possess or even be around a firearm. If you’ve previously been convicted of an offense that barred you from owning a weapon, you will be charged with a crime if found in possession of a firearm. For convicted felons, possession of a firearm almost certainly means a 3 year prison sentence.
As it is usually a companion charge to a more serious offense, the charge of felon not to possess firearms can enhance the sentencing guidelines of its companion offense . In the case of a Robbery or Drug Offense, possession of a firearm may add a 5 year mandatory on top of what the accused is already facing. Pennsylvania judges are invoking this mandatory 5-year minimum jail sentence in relation to drug crimes, so you will need an experienced weapons charge attorney familiar with the criminal court process by your side.
Possession of a Firearm with Altered Manufacture’s Number is a felony offense and is defined in § 6110.2 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code. Regardless of the reason, the possession of a firearm with altered or removed identification numbers (serial numbers) shall lead to criminal charges. Merely possessing a firearm with a serial number filed off can warrant this 2nd degree felony charge and along with it a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
Firearms Not to Be Carried Without a License is defined at § 6106 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code and makes it a crime to conceal a firearm without proper permit. Carrying a concealed weapon without a license is a regrettable charge, especially for an accused unfamiliar with the law. Possessing a concealed weapon in Pennsylvania, whether in your vehicle or in public, can result in this offense and a potential felony for a person with no criminal record.
If you or a loved one is accused of crimes involving a firearm contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Miller Lyden P.C. handles all types of weapon charges and will begin immediately to resolve your charges in a way most favorable to you.