Aggravated assault is one of the most serious charges you can face in Pennsylvania. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has held that proving aggravated assault requires the government to demonstrate the mental intent to cause serious bodily injury or to use a deadly weapon in such a way as to show an intent to injure someone. In other cases, aggravated assault can be charged where there is an assault on certain protected classes of individuals including police officers.
So, if you have been charged with aggravated assault in Berks County, Pennsylvania, what steps should you take to preserve your innocence? Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Immediate Preservation of Evidence is Crucial
One thing that many people forget when they’re charged with a crime is that they should immediately begin preserving evidence that might help to demonstrate their innocence. This includes:
- Reaching out to companies who may have surveillance footage of what happened, including the lead up to a fight. Other videos and content may exist, too.
- You should think about whether the Facebook messages of your friends might contain DMs or other information from the alleged victim of a crime that would demonstrate that they were the ones that were threatening or instigating violence.
Working with a criminal defense attorney can help you think of ways to demonstrate your innocence and can help you to move quickly to ensure that this type of evidence is not lost. Many businesses overwrite their security footage every 15 or 30 days, so it is important to move quickly if you believe this type of evidence may exist.
Don’t Make it Easy to Prove Your Mental Intent
One mistake that many individuals make when they’re charged with an assault is to go online, make bold statements and criticize the person who has accused them of the crime. While this sort of frustration is understandable, anything you say can be used against you.
In some cases, angry statements can help the government to show your mental intent and the anger you have toward the alleged victim. This information really shouldn’t be admitted into court in most cases, but it creates another hurdle that your legal team has to get over in order to preserve your innocence in an aggravated assault case.
Don’t Talk to the Police
Finally and most importantly, in an aggravated assault case you should not speak to the police without first speaking to your attorney. You have an absolute right to be represented by an attorney, even during the investigative phase of an aggravated assault case. If a police agency in Berks County wants to speak with you, they can go through your attorney.
The rule about not speaking to police is true even when you are innocent! It is important that you speak to counsel before making decisions about whether to make a statement to the police of not.
If you have been charged with aggravated assault in Berks County Pennsylvania or anywhere in Pennsylvania, it is important for you to speak to an attorney.
At Cornerstone Law Firm, we can help you make decisions about your criminal case and how to handle your charges. Call us today for a consultation.