Violent crimes often irreparably harm the lives of both the victim and the person accused of committing the crime. Convictions of violent crimes, such as rape, aggravated assault, and murder, typically result in lengthy prison sentences, significant fines, impaired relationships, and diminished employment opportunities. If you are faced with a charge of a violent crime, it is critical to retain an assertive attorney who will aggressively advocate on your behalf. The Scranton violent crime lawyers at Lenahan & Dempsey, P.C., have ample experience defending people charged with serious crimes. We understand that your liberty and your life as you know it may be at risk. If you engage our services, we will fight tirelessly to help you pursue the best legal outcome available under the facts surrounding your charges.Violent Crimes and Potential Penalties
There are numerous crimes that are defined by Pennsylvania statutory law as crimes of violence. Generally, they are crimes that cause bodily harm to a person. Violent crimes are graded based on the severity of the harm that they cause, and they range from first-degree felonies to third-degree misdemeanors. Examples of felonies of the first degree include rape, kidnapping, and aggravated assault that causes serious bodily injury. Examples of felonies of the second degree include strangulation of a family or household member and aggravated indecent assault.
The maximum penalties that a person convicted of a violent crime may face depend on how the crime was charged. A violent crime attorney can advise Scranton residents on the specific penalties that they may face. A person convicted of a first-degree felony may face up to 20 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines, while a person convicted of a second-degree felony may face up to 10 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. A third-degree felony carries a potential penalty of up to seven years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. Certain crimes that are not characterized carry their own sentences. For example, a conviction of first-degree murder will result in either a sentence of life imprisonment or the death penalty, while second-degree murder will result in life imprisonment. In many instances, there are mandatory minimum penalties that a court must impose, regardless of any mitigating factors.The Justified Use of Force (Self-Defense)
In many cases, a person charged with a violent crime may be able to argue that he or she was acting in self-defense. Under Pennsylvania law, the use of force is justified under certain circumstances, such as when a person uses force for his or her own defense. It is important to note that when a person charged with a violent crime argues that he or she was acting in self-defense, the person does not deny that he or she committed the alleged act. Instead, the defendant and their Scranton violent crime attorney assert that the acts were justified under the circumstances.
The use of force toward someone else is justified when the person using the force believes that it is immediately necessary for his or her protection against another person’s use of unlawful force. The use of deadly force is only justifiable in cases in which the person using the force believes that it is necessary to prevent his or her death, kidnapping, rape, or serious bodily harm. Deadly force is also not justifiable if the person using the force provoked the initial act against him or her, or if the person knows that he or she can avoid using deadly force by retreating. A person is not required to retreat in his or her home, however.Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
A conviction of a violent crime may result in lasting damage to your freedom and reputation. If you are charged with a violent crime, it is vital to meet with an experienced attorney to discuss the details of your case. At Lenahan & Dempsey, P.C., we can craft compelling arguments in your defense to help you seek a favorable outcome. We represent people throughout Lackawanna, Lycoming, Luzerne, Monroe, Columbia, and Montour Counties who have been charged with violent crimes and other offenses, such as white collar crimes, elder abuse, terroristic threats, gun crimes, drug crimes, theft crimes, juvenile crimes, and more. We have offices in Scranton, Tunkhannock, New Berwick, and the Poconos Mountains region. You can call us to discuss the specifics of your case at no obligation at 888.536.2426, or you can contact us via our online form to set up a meeting with a violent crime lawyer in the Scranton area.