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Several laws cover crimes involving harm to an unborn child in Pennsylvania. Are you facing such charges in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, or western PA? You may have valid concerns about your future if so. Although penalties for harm to an unborn child can vary significantly in Pennsylvania, all can have a major impact on your rights and freedom.

You need a proper legal defense in these circumstances. At Stanton D. Levenson, P.A. Law Offices, we can provide you with effective, dedicated legal representation. Find out what a birth injury lawyer in Pennsylvania can do for you by contacting us today to schedule a meeting. A Pennsylvania neonatal injury lawyer can review your case and advise you on your options.

Crimes involving harm to an unborn child in Pennsylvania include:

Aggravated Assault of an Unborn Child

Aggravated assault of an unborn child occurs when a person attempts to cause serious bodily injury to an unborn child or causes such injury intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the unborn child’s life.

Aggravated assault of an unborn child is a first-degree felony. Under the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, a first-degree felony is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $25,000.

Potential Defenses in an Aggravated Assault of an Unborn Child Case

There are several defenses that a fetal injury lawyer in Pennsylvania may consider when a client faces charges of aggravated assault of an unborn child. Various factors will influence how a maternal health negligence attorney approaches a client’s defense in these circumstances.

Potential defenses include:

  • The defendant did not attempt to injure the unborn child
  • The defendant was not behaving recklessly when they accidentally caused serious bodily injury to the unborn child

A fetal and maternal injury attorney in PA can build a solid case that pokes holes in the prosecution’s case and indicates that the prosecution hasn’t met the necessary burden of proof.

Voluntary Manslaughter of an Unborn Child

A person who kills an unborn child without lawful justification commits voluntary manslaughter of an unborn child if, at the time of the killing, they are acting under a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation by:

  • The mother of the unborn child, whom the actor tries to kill but negligently or accidentally causes the death of the unborn child, or
  • Another person whom the actor tries to kill but negligently or accidentally causes the death of the unborn child.

A person who intentionally or knowingly kills an unborn child may have a defense if, at the time of the killing, they reasonably believed that their actions were justified, such as if the person was acting in self-defense. However, if the person’s belief was “unreasonable,” they may be convicted of voluntary manslaughter of an unborn child.

Voluntary manslaughter of an unborn child is a first-degree felony in Pennsylvania, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Potential Defenses in a Voluntary Manslaughter of an Unborn Child Case

Defenses a Philadelphia birth injury attorney might use in cases involving voluntary manslaughter of an unborn child charges include:

  • The defendant had a reasonable belief that they were acting in self-defense at the time of the killing
  • The defendant had a reasonable belief they were acting in defense of others at the time of the killing
  • The defendant was not attempting to kill anyone, and the killing of the unborn child was accidental

Every case is unique. Prenatal harm legal counsel in Pennsylvania can review the details of your case and determine the proper defense strategy. 

Murder of an Unborn Child

Murder of an unborn child can be a first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree crime depending on the circumstances:

  • First-degree murder of an unborn child – First-degree murder of an unborn child occurs when it is committed by an intentional killing. A conviction of first-degree murder of an unborn child carries a penalty of mandatory life imprisonment.
  • Second-degree murder of an unborn child – Second-degree murder of an unborn child occurs if it is committed while the defendant is perpetrating a felony. A conviction of second-degree murder of an unborn child also carries a mandatory life sentence.
  • Third-degree murder of an unborn child – Any other act qualifying as murder of an unborn child is third-degree murder of an unborn child and carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Potential Defenses in a Murder of an Unborn Child Case

Defenses that a Pittsburgh fetal harm lawyer may use if a client faces murder of an unborn child charges include:

  • The killing was not intentional
  • The killing was an act of self-defense
  • The killing was committed under duress

In any case, regardless of the charges, your lawyer may also consider whether you have an alibi. If you have an alibi for the time the crime was committed, your lawyer may help you gather the evidence necessary to poke holes in the prosecution’s case.

What to Do When Facing Harm to an Unborn Child Charges in Pennsylvania

If you’re facing charges of harm to an unborn child in Pennsylvania, you may be unsure of what to do next. Keep in mind that you are innocent until proven guilty, and you may have defenses available to you. Furthermore, you have legal rights, and exercising these rights can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. You have the right to remain silent during an arrest and to refuse to answer any questions from the police without a lawyer present. Furthermore, if you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, the state must provide you with one free of charge.

Do not discuss your case with anyone, including family members or friends, or post about it on social media. Don’t attempt to contact or associate with anyone else involved in your charges, including an accuser, accomplice, or any other party.

Contact a maternal and fetal injury attorney as quickly as possible. At our Pennsylvania birth injury law firm, an attorney may help you in the following ways:

  • Explaining the specific charges against you
  • Explaining the penalties you may face
  • Reviewing the details of your case to determine the best defense strategy
  • Reviewing the prosecution’s case to find weaknesses
  • Fighting for the best possible outcome

No fetal harm legal representative in PA can guarantee a specific resolution to your case. However, a pregnancy complication lawyer can work to have the charges against you dismissed altogether or negotiate with the prosecution for a plea bargain, which may involve pleading guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for less harsh penalties. Factors that may influence plea bargaining include:

  • The nature of the crime
  • Your criminal history
  • Weaknesses in the prosecution’s case
  • Your willingness to accept a plea bargain

Contact a Pennsylvania Harm to an Unborn Child Defense Lawyer

If you’re facing charges involving harm to an unborn child, you may be overwhelmed and unsure of the next steps. An unborn child damage lawyer in PA can offer the legal guidance you need during this challenging time.

At Stanton D. Levenson, P.A. Law Offices, we aggressively defend the rights of our clients. Our Pennsylvania harm to an unborn child defense lawyers handle both state and federal cases, so we have the knowledge and resources to take on even the most complicated cases. Get started today by contacting us online or calling us to set up a time to discuss your case with a Pennsylvania pregnancy injury attorney.