For most, breaking the law is a relatively straightforward thing. For example, if you’re driving over the speed limit, you’re speeding. But there are other situations where the law being broken might not be so clear. Additionally, some cases might present multiple broken laws where multiple charges can be applied. Take, for example, pistol-whipping. Is it a gun charge or an assault charge?
Firstly, What Is Pistol-Whipping?
Not all gun violence comes in the form of shootings. Guns can be wielded as a sort of melee weapon instead. Pistol-whipping involves using the butt or the sides of the gun as a blunt weapon, often hitting the head of the victim to stun them or to knock them out. It’s easy to see why one might be confused as to what charges might be brought up in this situation, which is why it’s important to evaluate it further.
What Type of Charges Might Be Filed in a Situation Involving Pistol-Whipping?
The first thing to address is the potential gun charges that might be filed as a result of having a firearm involved in the incident.
Did you have a firearm on you that you did not have a permit for? If so, you’re likely looking at a third-degree felony. Simply having a firearm on you that you don’t have a permit for is already a first-degree misdemeanor. However, when you commit another criminal offense on top of not having a permit for your weapon, you elevate it to a third-degree felony, for which you could face up to seven years in jail and/or a fine of up to $15,000.
But what about charges related to the actual crime itself? Unfortunately, adding the gun to the situation only puts you in a more difficult situation. Pistol-whipping someone can result in a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Aggravated battery involves doing something like hitting someone, which is a misdemeanor at most. However, when you hit someone with a deadly weapon, you can be looking at a first or third-degree felony.
As you can see from the above, multiple charges may accompany your use of a weapon in an illegal manner, which can make things complex for those looking to understand how it might affect them.
What Do I Do Moving Forward? Brennan Law Offices Is Here to Help
So, you are concerned about what charges might accompany pistol-whipping someone else. What’s next? Here are a few steps to take:
- Look for the best criminal defense lawyer in Philadelphia that you can find. They’ll evaluate your case and let you know what to expect, what to do moving forward, and how they’ll work with you to defend you in the future.
- Be honest about everything with your lawyer, and be careful what you say to law enforcement. Lawyers are unable to give you the best possible support and leverage their years of experience if there’s something you’re hiding that could come up in a court of law later. Always be straightforward and give them the full scope of the crime and the circumstances surrounding it.
- Are you someone who’s looking for support to get your records expunged? Let’s face it; everyone makes mistakes. Unfortunately, pistol-whipping can have repercussions that affect you long after the incident itself. See if, instead, you can find the best expungement lawyers in Philadelphia to work with who can help you get back to the life that you wish to lead.
Whether you need expungement support or a criminal defense lawyer, we here at Brennan Law Offices are ready to defend you. Contact us to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys now!Read More
Being charged with harassment in the state of Pennsylvania is a serious offense that can come with jail time and fines if you’re found guilty in court. A conviction of harassment can make your life more difficult when it comes to finding housing and employment. As experienced domestic violence lawyers in Philadelphia, we understand how a harassment charge is handled in the courts and provide you with an effective defense. Read on to learn more about being charged with harassment and how a lawyer can help.
How Harassment is Defined Under the Pennsylvania Criminal Code
The Pennsylvania Criminal Code Title 18 Sec. 2709 considers certain actions to be harassment. The actions can be physical or virtual, and consist of the following actions:
- Repeated communication whether being told to stop or not.
- Threatening to physically contact another individual.
- Striking, kicking, shoving, or other forms of physical contact with another individual.
- Following or stalking someone in one or more public settings.
- Repeated anonymous communication.
- Sharing lewd or threatening words, drawings, spoken language, or caricatures of another person.
- Communicating at inappropriate or inconvenient times.
- Repeated communication in one form or another.
Penalties for Harassment Charges
Harassment charges are classified as summary and misdemeanor. A summary charge is a minor classification and carries a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and a maximum fine of $300. A misdemeanor charge comes with a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. There are several influencing factors that go into the severity of the charge, and they can affect the outcome of your case. Some of the influencing factors include:
- The type of behavior you were engaging in at the time.
- The length of time you were engaging in the behavior.
- Any previous offenses for related or unrelated issues on your record.
- The previous offenses are related to harassment or not.
The penalties are just part of the reason why you need to retain an attorney, especially if there’s a sexual component in the harassment. A sex crime defense attorney in Philadelphia can develop a defense on your behalf and look for weaknesses in the case that can go in your favor.
Call the Brennan Law Offices Today for Help With Your Case
Everyone is entitled to have their case heard in court and defend themselves against a criminal charge. At the Brennan Law Offices, we’re here to help our clients preserve their rights, especially when they’ve been charged with a serious crime. Our team of criminal defense attorneys is ready and able to give you the time and attention your case deserves.
You don’t have to accept your fate, no matter if you’re charged with harassment or another serious criminal charge. Contact us at the Brennan Law Offices to schedule a consultation and talk to us about your case.Read More
The right to own a firearm is a right protected by the U.S constitution, but it has its limitations. Using a weapon to inflict bodily harm on purpose to another person amounts to an aggravated assault charge. Other common types of assault include sexual assault and simple assault, whereby you injure someone without a weapon. Both assault charges and weapon charges are serious offenses requiring a reputable attorney’s services. Here’s what you should know about these two charges.
A Background On Assault Charges
Assault charges can either be simple or aggravated. You’ll face an aggravated assault charge if you intentionally harm another person physically. Such charges will also apply when you recklessly cause bodily injury using a deadly weapon.
Unlike aggravated assault, simple assaults usually involve actions that don’t rise to the felony level of aggravated assault. They include acts like bar fights, street fights, sexual assault, and behavior threatening such actions.
If you’re faced with an assault charge, particularly sex assault, working with a reputable Philadelphia assault lawyer increases the chances of beating your case. Such experts offer invaluable help as they can put a strong prosecution case based on defenses like mistaken identity, false accusations, etc.
An Overview Of Weapons Charges
Weapon charges apply if you possess a firearm without a license. You may also face this charge if you use a dangerous weapon or body armor to commit a criminal act. Having a firearm or a deadly weapon in a school is considered a second-degree felony, so you’ll face weapons charges.
Depending on the severity of your offense, you could face up to 20 years in jail. That’s why when faced with such a charge, working with a Philly criminal defense lawyer with experience representing individuals with weapons charges is essential. Undoubtedly, this is the surest way to receive the best outcome in your case.
How Do Assault & Weapon Charges Compare?
Assault charges and weapons charges are different but with some distinct similarities. For instance, when accused of a first-degree felony on both charges, you’ll face up to 20 years in jail. A second-degree felony carries a maximum of 10 years of jail time. This is different from a misdemeanor charge. In assault charges, you’ll face up to 1 year in prison for a third-degree misdemeanor and up to 2 years for a second-degree misdemeanor. As for weapons charges, they carry a maximum of five years imprisonment for misdemeanors of the first degree.
It’s also possible to be accused of both charges. This happens if you use an illegal firearm to cause bodily injury on purpose to another person.
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In the realm of the legalities of assault, one question we’re commonly asked is “Is it assault if they hit me first?” This question brings in the topic of self-defense and its legal implications. Understanding the nature of assault and self-defense can help you if you are facing related charges.
What Is Assault?
Assault is an intentional act to put another person in harm’s way. It doesn’t always result in physical injury, but the aggressor must have intended to cause harm or get into offensive contact with the victim.
In this light, a punch, slap, or other action must be intentionally directed at the victim, irrespective of the motive. This means:
- It doesn’t matter if the goal of the aggressor was a joke or to scare the victim
- The aggressor need not have intended to cause harm or be offensive as long as they’ve made contact with the victim
Also, an assault is only regarded as such if there is reasonable apprehension, i.e., the victim has a reasonable belief that the act will cause danger to their life. As such, the victim doesn’t need to prove they feared for their lives, only that they knew that such an act might occur.
If the aggressor and the victim don’t know each other, then the legal standard applies to ordinary people under similar circumstances. However, if they know each other, the lawyer may use this information to determine whether the victim’s response was reasonable.
When Can You Claim Self-Defense?
This means an assault charge won’t stick if you act in self-defense. Any person who reasonably believes that someone poses an imminent threat to their body has a legal right to apply force to protect themselves. A Philadelphia assault lawyer can prove the following:
- You believed without a doubt that you were in imminent danger of bodily harm
- You didn’t have another reasonable way to avoid the situation
- The fear of excessive physical harm was reasonable
- You didn’t provoke the victim
- You were legally present; if you’re trespassing, you can’t claim self-defense
- Your response is proportional to the victim’s actions. As such, you can’t use a deadly weapon like a knife or a gun to defend yourself. If you do, you’ll likely be charged with aggravated assault
It’s important to note that self-defense must not be in retaliation to a confrontation or conflict. If the aggressor stands down after hitting the victim, you can’t punch them back. Also, self-defense won’t hold if you’re the initial aggressor.
On the contrary, you’re held responsible for personal injury inflicted on the victim, even if you didn’t initiate the fight. A criminal attorney in Philadelphia, PA, can help you determine if the force used was necessary and reasonable.
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If you’ve been charged with assault while defending yourself, proving self-defense in a court of law can be challenging. That’s why you need a legal expert from Brennan Law Offices. Call us today to get the legal assistance you need.Read More
Being accused of committing any crime in Pennsylvania can be a life-changing event. Your reputation may suffer irreparable harm even if a trial proves your innocence. Troubling as that already is, certain crimes have more severe punishments if you’re found guilty.
Offenders who receive the harshest punishment in Pennsylvania are those found guilty of murder. The murder of the first degree involves intentional killing. The murder of the second degree may be assessed on an individual if they kill someone in the process of committing a felony. Third-degree murders account for all other types of murders.
Severe penalties are leveled on those who commit the aforementioned crimes.
A first-degree murder charge is regarded as a capital offense in Pennsylvania and is thus punishable by death. Offenders may also be hit with a life sentence. Second-degree murder carries a life sentence. An individual charged with third-degree murder may be sentenced to a maximum of 40 years in prison.
First-degree felonies also carry significant penalties in Pennsylvania. Anyone found guilty of a first-degree felony in the state can be sentenced to a prison sentence that lasts for 20 years. In addition, they may be ordered to pay a fine of $25,000.
Crimes classified as first-degree felonies in Pennsylvania include
- Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
- Arson endangering a person
- Theft of property valued at $500,000 or more
At Brennan Law, our sex crime defense lawyers in Philadelphia can help you navigate the criminal justice process and defend your rights if you’ve been accused.
Right behind first-degree felonies in terms of severity are the second-degree felonies. The penalties for second-degree felonies in Pennsylvania are still quite severe.
You may be ordered to serve 10 years in prison if you are found guilty of this offense. Fines are also included as penalties for these crimes. The maximum fine for a second-degree felony is $25,000.
Crimes regarded as second-degree felonies in Pennsylvania include:
- Aggravated assault
- Indecent assault
- Sexual assault
- Involuntary manslaughter
- Theft of property worth at least $100,000 but no more than $500,000
Seeking the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia, PA is a must if you are charged with a second-degree felony.
Third-degree felonies also come with severe penalties for offenders in Pennsylvania. The maximum prison sentence for a third-degree felony is seven years. Meanwhile, the maximum fine for an individual who committed a third-degree felony is $15,000.
Examples of crimes regarded as third-degree felonies in Pennsylvania are:
- Possession of child pornography
- Possession of drugs with intent to distribute
- Theft of property with a value of at least $2,000 but no more than $100,000
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Gun charges should never be taken lightly, as they could result in a fine and incarceration. If you’ve been charged with one of these most common gun charges in the city of Philadelphia, a criminal defense lawyer can help.
1. Carrying a Firearm Without a License
Possessing a firearm without a license is a common gun-related crime in Philadelphia. You can be charged with this crime if you are carrying a gun on your person or inside your vehicle.
The severity of the penalties you’ll face for committing this crime will depend on your eligibility for a license. Individuals already eligible for a permit may be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. If you’re caught with an unlicensed firearm and you’re not qualified to hold a license, the police will likely charge you with a third-degree felony.
2. Carrying Firearms on Public Streets or Public Property
You’re not allowed to wander around public streets and other types of public property in Philadelphia unless you have a valid license. Anyone guilty of committing this crime may be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.
Exceptions to this law are carved out for specific individuals. Those individuals include but are not limited to members of law enforcement and the military, individuals traveling to or from target practice if their firearms are not loaded, individuals taking unloaded firearms home after legally purchasing them, and more.
3. Illegal Transportation of a Firearm
Transporting a firearm in Philadelphia can become a crime if you’re not legally allowed to own one. Typically, a person on probation for a prior offense is prohibited from possessing a firearm, so transporting one is also considered a criminal offense. You may also be barred from owning and transporting a firearm if you have been charged with certain crimes.
Charges for illegally transporting a firearm could range from a first-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree felony. Work closely with a Philadelphia, PA criminal attorney if you’ve been falsely accused of illegally transporting a firearm.
4. Illegal Sale of a Firearm
Firearm sellers must meet specific requirements to complete their transactions without violating any laws. These requirements include waiting at least 48 hours from when an application for purchase was submitted to deliver the firearm. The firearm should also be wrapped and unloaded when it is delivered.
Anyone guilty of this crime can be hit with charges ranging from a second-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony.
5. Illegal Possession of a Firearm with an Altered Manufacturer’s Number
A firearm with an altered manufacturer’s number can prove difficult to trace if it is ever used in a crime. That’s why Philadelphia laws prohibit individuals from possessing firearms with altered serial numbers. You can be hit with a second-degree felony if you are deemed guilty of this crime.
Seek Legal Assistance from a Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney
The consequences of gun-related crimes in Philadelphia are not to be taken lightly. Often, gun-related charges are associated with other criminal charges. Whether you need a gun lawyer or a Philadelphia drug lawyer, we’re here for you. Contact us today to get the representation you deserve.Read More
When determining the charges a defendant should face for their actions, it’s important to account for all variables. An investigation could reveal that a gun was involved in the commission of a crime and that element will likely change the case significantly. Three crimes in particular come with more serious penalties if firearms are involved.
Assault occurs when an individual intentionally acts in such a way that another person may reasonably believe that they are the target of an imminent harmful action or unwanted contact. Even the threat of committing that harmful action or unwanted contact could constitute assault.
An example of assault could be an altercation inside a bar wherein one person pushes a fellow patron. The patron who was pushed could construe that action as assault and pursue charges against the other party. Notably, assault charges can be pressed even if the victim wasn’t injured.
Assault charges become more serious if a gun is involved. At that point, the crime will be regarded as aggravated assault with a firearm. The offending party may have fired a gun in the direction of another person with the intent to harm them. Similar to simple assault, a person can be charged with aggravated assault even if the victim managed to avoid injury.
If you’ve been accused of this crime, you must get in touch with a Philadelphia assault lawyer as soon as possible. Assault charges are no joke so handle them seriously right from the start.
A person may be accused of intimidation if they coerce another party. Someone accused of a violent crime may resort to intimidation to avoid charges. They may pay a visit to a key witness in their case and threaten them with physical harm if they testify.
Whether or not the victim of intimidation feels fear as a result of the defendant’s actions is not going to affect the outcome of the case. The defendant can be found guilty of that crime even if their attempt to intimidate fails. Intimidation becomes a more serious offense if a gun is involved. Firing into the establishment or vehicle occupied by the plaintiff may constitute intimidation.
A person may be found guilty of committing a robbery if they take another party’s property by force. Penalties for committing a robbery are already quite serious, but the introduction of a firearm can lead to more dire consequences for the defendant.
An armed robbery conviction typically comes with an extended prison sentence. Hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer so you can protect yourself against a false armed robbery charge.
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Probation helps individuals to avoid spending time in jail with an opportunity to live everyday life without confrontation. However, if you are charged with assault, you may have violated your probation. With the possible hardship coming your way, you need a Philly criminal defense attorney from the Brennan Law Offices to defend your rights in the pending case.
When to Contact a Lawyer
Once the courts have ruled on the order of probation in your case, the conditions of your agreement are explained immediately after the hearing. Any failure to follow those guidelines will result in possible jail time. Still, individuals get themselves arrested and charged with assault while on probation.
After being charged with assault that violates your probation agreement, you should immediately contact an experienced Philadelphia assault lawyer. They understand the consequences you will be facing following your arrest. Their knowledge can guide you through the Philadelphia legal system process and construct a solid defense for your actions. But you must first report the assault charge to your probation officer within 48 hours after your release from custody. If you fail to contact the proper authorities, you could face additional charges of probation violation.
After paying bail and being released from holding, your attorney will begin investigating the incident. The results will provide a basis for your defense in the upcoming trial. The findings of their investigation could show a claim of self-defense, mistaken identity or false allegations by the accuser. Each will raise a strong case for the dismissal of the assault charge and reinstatement of your original probation agreement without delay.
What is Next After Being Charged With Assault While on Probation
Once you are accused of violating your probation, a hearing will be set to contest those allegations. A probation violation hearing differs from a criminal trial as the case will be heard in front of a judge and not a jury. A prosecutor must prove that you have violated the guidelines of your probation agreement. Usually, your attorney handling your assault charges can represent you at the probation violation hearing. They can gather witnesses to testify on your behalf.
What happens next is at the court’s discretion. A judge will look at all the factors pertaining to your case before making a final ruling. Do not get disheartened if the courts are not lenient with their sentencing. The seriousness of the crime will determine if your probation will get revoked and you begin serving your original sentence.
Contact a Professional
Facing a criminal charge that potentially violates your probation can become a stressful situation for all. No person should take on the Philadelphia legal system alone. At the Brennan Law Offices, we are proactive advocates for our clients. Our staff of Philly criminal defense attorneys understands the process can be intimidating and confusing. We will gather enough evidence to defend your rights in the courtroom. Contact us and schedule an appointment today.Read More
Trying to find a criminal defense team that understands the different degrees of crimes, fines, and sentencing is essential if you have recently been charged with a standard blue-collar crime. The term blue-collar crime refers to those instances where there is physical harm and property damage involved in the charge. Below are the most common blue-collar crimes in Philadelphia.
The most common blue-collar crime in Philadelphia is DUI offenses and being intoxicated in public. DUIs can be costly and could spend time in prison if there are multiple attempts. DUI offenses can be managed with the right assistance and criminal lawyers are familiar with the sentencing and fines that come with these charges.
Selling and Possession of Drugs
Selling or possessing drugs is very common among blue-collar crimes in Philadelphia. How these charges are filed will depend on the number of drugs that you have in your possession at the time of the arrest and if you intended to distribute these are not. With the help of a criminal lawyer, you have a valuable resource that understands the different fines and charges and can help you navigate the situation.
Assault and Physical Altercations
Many blue-collar crimes surround assaults, fights, and physical altercations in public. These assaults can also be domestic disputes at home or an argument in a bar or sports arena that escalate into physical violence. If you have been accused of putting your hands on another individual, depending on who hit first, the damage caused by the attack can impact how you are charged. These charges can sometimes range up to attempted murder if the courts believe your intent was to continue harming them.
Burglary and Petty Theft
Breaking into cars or stealing from another individual is also a common blue-collar crime that happens throughout Philadelphia. These thefts include stealing directly from a person, breaking into a car, or breaking and entering a private home or business with the intent of stealing items within. Depending on how many similar charges a person has, these theft charges can range from a misdemeanor.
Some of the more common crimes are sex crimes, which include harassment, assault, and rape. Charges for these types of crimes start at a third-degree misdemeanor all the way to a first-degree felony that could land you a 20-year sentence plus fines.
Get A Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you have recently been charged with one of these aforementioned blue-collar crimes, you need access to the best criminal defense lawyer in Philadelphia today. Brennan Law Office is available to assist you with your needs. Contact us today for a consultation so that you can get the representation you deserve.Read More
White-collar crimes often do not receive as much media attention because they are non-violent and financially motivated. People investigated for committing white-collar crimes are often powerful executives. However, white-collar crimes are becoming increasingly more complex due to recent technological advancements. Here’s a thorough breakdown of white-collar crimes and their classification:
Generally, white-collar crimes are classified based on individual crimes and corporate crimes. Money laundering and employee insider trading are common examples of corporate white-collar crime. Individual white-collar crimes are orchestrated by one person. Ponzi schemes, computer hacking, and identity theft are common examples of individual white-collar crimes. Brennan Law Offices will represent you if you need a white-collar crime attorney in Philadelphia.
The most common white-collar crime is fraud. Today’s criminals often use multiple schemes to illegally obtain someone’s money. A common trick that criminals use is sending an invoice to someone for a lot of money in exchange for something. The criminal retains the money but fails to do what they promised.
Ponzi schemes involve fraudulent investing. The scam artist contacts excited investors about the possibility of securing a significant return. The way the Ponzi scheme works is that the initial investors will receive a return based on the funds of new investors. Once the scam artist is unable to receive enough new investments to pay off the older investors, the scheme folds. Most of the investors end up sustaining huge losses.
Millions of people are impacted by identity theft every year. Hackers can gain sensitive information to impersonate someone else.
Insider trading commonly involves employees learning confidential information that gives them an unfair advantage when investing in different financial markets. Employees commonly use insider trading to secure a larger return on their investment than anticipated.
Money laundering involves criminals who manipulate potentially millions of dollars by funneling the money through multiple bank accounts and legitimate financial streams. By mixing the fraudulent money with legit revenue, the criminals can deny committing a crime.
Embezzlement involves employees withdrawing money illegally or even transferring money from a company account into their accounts.
How Brennan Law Office Can Assist You
If you are researching for a white-collar crime attorney in Philadelphia to represent you, contact Brennan Law Office immediately. We will represent you and make sure that you receive the appropriate due process. Due to the sophistication of these allegations, you need representation that you can trust. The experienced lawyers here at Brennan Law Office will provide thorough advice regarding your options to ensure that you are informed throughout the entire legal process.Read More