Federal Crime – Aggravated Assault and Battery - Eastern and Middle District of Pennsylvania

What Is Aggravated Assault and Battery?

An assault and battery charge involves putting someone in fear of imminent harm through a threat of contact or actual contact. Contact is not required for someone to have committed assault. Battery involves actual contact. Under federal law, this charge can become the more serious charge of aggravated assault and battery when one of the following takes place:

  • A dangerous weapon is used with the intent to cause injury with that weapon. (Threats are not enough)
  • A serious bodily injury occurs
  • There is the intent to commit another felony

Several different types of acts can enhance an assault and battery charge up to an aggravated assault and battery. The facts and circumstances of a situation will determine what type of aggravated assault and battery charge you may face under federal law at 18 USC 113. If you are facing federal criminal charges, then it is important to speak to an experienced federal criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

What Are the Potential Penalties for Aggravated Assault and Battery?

The actual sentence for an aggravated assault and battery conviction will be largely dependent on federal criminal sentencing guidelines and the interpretation of those guidelines. These guidelines are used to examine the facts and circumstances of a specific case for the judge to determine an appropriate sentence. Aggravated assault has specific interpretations and guidelines that are used in determining sentencing. A conviction for federal aggravated assault and battery can have a maximum of three, five, ten, or twenty years in federal prison, depending on the situation. Probation, fines, restitution, and other court costs can also be imposed upon a conviction for aggravated assault and battery. Make sure to look at your charges closely, as federal aggravated assault can be charged in different ways with varying penalties for conviction.

What Are Some Examples of Aggravated Assault and Battery?

Most assault charges are handled at the state level, under state guidelines. For an individual to be charged with federal aggravated assault and battery, that person must be within a special maritime and territorial jurisdiction. If someone strikes someone else using a crowbar in the correct jurisdiction, then that person can be charged with aggravated assault and battery. If someone threatens the use of a gun or shoots in someone else's direction, then they can be charged with aggravated assault and battery, and even attempted murder, depending on the circumstances. If someone commits an assault while committing another federal felony, such as robbing a bank, then they can be charged with aggravated assault and battery along with whatever other felony charges exist due to the alleged facts and circumstances. These are just some examples of aggravated assault and battery at the federal level.

What Are Some Examples of Defenses to Aggravated Assault and Battery?

One common defense to being charged with aggravated assault and battery is self-defense. There are specific situations when it is okay to use force to defend yourself. How much force and when you can use force depends on the facts of the case. If someone was trespassing in your house and you attacked them, that could be seen as self-defense. If your self-defense is more than what was needed, the jury might not believe it was self-defense. Other defenses include mistaken identification or that the charges are based on false statements from witnesses. If specific aggravating factors are not present, such as a weapon being used or a bodily injury occurring, then charges can be reduced to regular assault and battery. Each case is unique, so it is important to have your case professionally evaluated by an experienced federal criminal defense attorney to determine what defenses are available to you.

In What Court Will Your Case Be Heard?

There are three United States District Courts for Pennsylvania – one on the west side of the state, one in the middle of the state, and one in the east. If you have a federal criminal case in Pennsylvania, it will be heard in either of these courts. If you live in central or eastern Pennsylvania, then your criminal case will be heard in the middle or eastern district court. If you lose your case in a federal district court, then you can appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The only court higher than this is the United States Supreme Court.

How Hiring an Experienced Attorney Can Help

If you are facing criminal charges of any kind, then it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side. Your lawyer can help you understand the charges against you and what evidence the prosecution has. Understanding this information is critical for formulating and building your defense. An experienced federal criminal defense attorney can also help you decide if it is best to take the case to trial or work out a resolution. This attorney can also help negotiate a deal for you if you choose not to take your case to trial. Before making any decisions in your federal criminal case, make sure you understand everything about the allegations against you and what can happen to you if you are convicted. If you have questions, then contact us at the Lento Law Firm.

Why Hiring Lento Law is the Right Choice

If you are being investigated or prosecuted for aggravated assault and battery, then it is important to speak to an experienced federal criminal defense attorney immediately. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped people defend countless criminal charges in several jurisdictions. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to learn why hiring Lento Law is the right choice to help defend your federal case.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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