CRIMINAL DEFENSE / Services / Violent Crimes
CRIMINAL DEFENSE / Services / Violent Crimes

Violent Crimes


Is categorized in Pennsylvania as Murder of the 1st Degree (a premeditated, intentional killing), Murder of the 2nd Degree (a homicide committed during the course of a felony) and Murder of the 3rd Degree (defined as “all other kinds of murder,” this offense requires “malice,” a legal term generally defined as “hardness of heart, cruelty, and recklessness of consequences.”)

Representative cases of ours include representing those charged with 1st Degree Murder, accomplices to an underlying felony (i.e. robbery) who find themselves charged with 2nd Degree Murder, and those charged with 3rd Degree Murder due to allegations of homicide by vehicle.


Aggravated assault is typically charged by the Commonwealth whenever there is any evidence of an attempt to cause serious bodily injury or serious injury incurred by the alleged victim. We have successfully defended against this charge, notwithstanding clear serious bodily injury suffered by the victim, on the theory that the Commonwealth cannot establish “malice” as defined above in the context of 3rd Degree Murder. This is a very important concept for the effective defense attorney to review in assessing whether Aggravated Assault can actually be established by the Commonwealth beyond a reasonable doubt, as malice is clearly a required fact that the District Attorney must be able to establish to the fact-finder.


Simple Assault is a misdemeanor involving either the infliction of bodily injury or putting someone in fear of “imminent serious bodily injury” (the classic example being pointing a gun at someone without legal justification).

A successful defense of this charge might involve having it downgraded to a summary offense (i.e. Harassment) resolving the case quickly with the payment of a fine. We have been successful in defending and mitigating countless Simple Assault cases.


Voluntary Manslaughter is an intentional killing committed “under a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation,” this includes a scenario wherein the defendant unreasonably believes that the homicide was justified (e.g. an unreasonable act of self-defense).

Involuntary Manslaughter is an unintentional killing committed during the course of reckless or grossly negligent conduct.