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Assault

MURDER – HOMICIDE – ASSAULT CASES

Assault cases come in many forms; from simple assaults were there is merely bodily injury to aggravated assaults were there is serious bodily injury or injury to police or injury with a deadly weapon to attempted murder all the way up to the most serious crime – premeditated and deliberate murder or first degree murder – or involuntary manslaughter, voluntary manslaughter, third degree murder or second degree murder – and homicide by vehicle.  Prosecutors are known to charge murder generally in the initial stages of litigation.  As the case progresses, discovery becomes available and as the defense conducts its investigation, facts and circumstances come to the surface that help to mitigate the charge or perhaps provide a complete defense to the charges. 

Self-defense, defense of others or sometimes defense of property, is a complete defense to simple assault, aggravated assault, attempted murder, and even first degree murder/murder one/premeditated murder.  Men and women are permitted to protect themselves against an initial aggressor and need not retreat especially in their home, place of business, etc. 

It is vitally important to employ the services of an attorney as early as possible if you think you may be charged with – or even a witness to – homicide, attempted murder, assault, or assault or homicide by vehicle. Employing an attorney when you discover that the police are interested in speaking to you (or before if possible) is essential.  The protection of your rights at the earliest possible point is extremely important.  Often times people accused of homicide give statements.  This is typically due to the fact that homicide investigators are experienced and well trained in the art of interrogation.  They may also employ coercive tactics in an effort to extract statements from individuals.  Often their efforts work. 

Mr. Pagano has gotten statements suppressed in several homicide cases; Commonwealth v. Robert Harris, Commonwealth v. Treidy Colon and Commonwealth v. Tanya Williams.  In another case, Commonwealth v. Nafis Pinkney, detectives coerced a statement from the Defendant which was not suppressed.  The statement was introduced into evidence and read to the jury.  However, Mr. Pinkney was found not guilty and he was acquitted of all charges and released after being in prison awaiting trial for four years. 

The law does not permit police, detectives or homicide investigators to hold citizens – suspects or witnesses – for prolonged periods of time, incommunicado, without basic essentials such as food, a bed or bathroom, in an effort to obtain statement.  Pre- arrest delay for purposes of obtaining a statement is illegal.  In some cases the police have probable cause to arrest, detain and even charge a suspect with homicide.  In such cases, the law requires the police to charge such persons promptly. 

In 15-20 % of wrongful conviction cases – where DNA conclusively proves that an innocent person was convicted – the innocent Defendant gave a confession to police.  Obviously, innocent people are arrested, innocent people confess to crimes they did not commit; innocent people are convicted and punished for crimes they did not commit.  Innocent people may confess to police for a variety of different reasons.

The early collection of evidence and investigation on your behalf could be the difference between being charged or not, or a conviction and acquittal.  Mr. Pagano has represented people investigated for murder who are ultimately not charged with any offense as a result of evidence collected, investigative efforts or sound legal advice. 

A murder case can be dismissed before trial due to a prosecutor’s misapplication – and a Judge’s misapplication – of evidentiary rules.  In the case of Commonwealth v. Terrance Burton, the charges were dismissed after a Municipal Court judge held the case for trial after a preliminary hearing pursuant to a motion to quash.  The prosecutor attempted to bring the case to trial on the basis of a dying declaration.  A motion to dismiss the case was filed on the grounds that the dying declaration did not fall within the hearsay exception and was not legally admissible.  All charges were dismissed.

Each case has unique evidence and circumstances that must be thoroughly reviewed and analyzed by the Law Office of Gregory J. Pagano in order to advise you on how to proceed with the defense of your case. No matter what the circumstances of your case, the Law Office of Gregory J. Pagano will provide personal attention and work tirelessly to get you the results you need.

I hired Mr. Pagano for a criminal trial. He was very well prepared for all aspects of my case. His investigation into the facts of of the case went beyond my expectations. I found Gregory Pagano to be a very dedicated and professional lawyer. I would highly recommend Mr. Pagano.

- Perry