Simple Assault Charges
Pennsylvania law defines simple assault as an attempt to cause bodily injury or harm to another person. According to Pennsylvania criminal code (18 PA C.S.A. 2701), a person commits simple assault when the defendant:
- Intentionally, recklessly, or knowingly attempts to cause bodily injury to another person
- Negligently causes bodily injury to another person using a deadly weapon
- Attempts to intimidate or put another person in fear of possible serious bodily injury using physical menace
- Intentionally harms or penetrates a law enforcement officer with a hypodermic needle while being arrested or searched.
Examples of Simple Assault
Some examples of simple assault include:
- Pushing someone, even if it’s lightly
- Pulling someone’s hair
- Swinging your fist at someone and missing
- Throwing an object at someone
- Threatening to hit a person
Possible Penalties for Simple Assault
Potential penalties for simple assault charges in Pennsylvania usually depend on the nature of the offense, the victim’s age, and other circumstances surrounding the incident. If convicted, possible penalties include:
- Charges: Third-degree misdemeanor (a scuffle or fight which both parties mutually consented to enter)
- Fines: $2,500
- Prison Sentence: Up to one year
- Charges: Second-degree misdemeanor (simple assault)
- Fines: $5,000
- Prison Sentence: Up to two years
- Charges: First-degree misdemeanor (an alleged victim is under 12 years while the alleged defendant is over 18 years)
- Fines: $10,000
- Prison Sentence: Up to five years
A misdemeanor assault conviction can also remain on your criminal record forever.
Aggravated Assault Charges
Pursuant to Pennsylvania criminal code (18 PA C.S.A. 2702), a person is guilty of aggravated assault if he:
- Attempts to cause serious or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause injury to another person while showing extreme indifference to the value of human life.
- Attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause serious bodily injury to a police officer, parole officer, firefighter, deputy sheriff, sheriff, enforcement agent, or correctional officer performing their duties.
- Attempts to cause or intentionally and knowingly cause bodily injury to another person using a deadly weapon.
- Attempts to cause or intentionally and knowingly cause bodily injury to a member of the teaching community, including staff member, school board member, and student employee.
- Attempts to intimidate or put a police officer, parole officer, firefighter, deputy sheriff, sheriff, or any other officer in fear of possible serious bodily injury using physical menace
- Uses tear or noxious gas, an electric or stun gun to incapacitate any of the city or state officials mentioned earlier while performing their duties.
Possible Penalties for Aggravated Assault
Depending on the type of assault involved, aggravated assault may be charged as a first-degree felony or a second-degree felony. If convicted, possible penalties include:
- Charges: Second-degree felony
- Fines: $25,000
- Prison Sentence: Between 5 and 10 years
- Charges: First-degree felony
- Fines: $25,000
- Prison Sentence: Between 10 and 20 years
A felony assault conviction can also remain on your criminal record forever.
Work With an Experienced Assault Defense Attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Trying to defend your Pennsylvania assault allegations without proper guidance or legal representation can increase your chances of getting convicted and facing the maximum punishment for your offense. If convicted, you could face severe consequences including a lengthy prison sentence, hefty fines, and a permanent criminal record. That’s why it is so important to work with a knowledgeable Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights and create a strong defense strategy for your case.
For over 20 years I have been working to provide experienced legal counsel and reliable representation to clients facing both simple assault and aggravated assault charges. As your legal counsel, I will review every aspect of your case, conduct a thorough investigation, and craft a strong defense strategy that is uniquely tailored to the needs of your case. I will fight vigorously to protect your rights at every turn and address all of your needs and concerns from start to finish. If you or someone you know is facing assault charges, don’t face them alone. Contact my office today to schedule a free case consultation.