An assault crime in Pennsylvania is a crime against another person’s body. This can come in the form of sexual assault and rape, simple assault or aggravated assault. It can also include stalking and reckless endangerment.
Oftentimes in domestic situations or fights between spouses/partners, a person gets charged with assault because there are no separate laws for domestic violence.
If you were charged with assault due to domestic violence in Pennsylvania, you most likely are wondering what will happen to you, your future and your family. Assault charges are very serious and can have serious repercussions for the rest of your life.
Many times family arguments can easily get out of hand, and regrets can come quickly. And sometimes people are wrongfully accused. If a person calls the police out of anger, not realizing that law enforcement take domestic dispute calls very seriously – their spouse or significant other can end up in jail and charged with a violent crime.
If you have found yourself in a domestic violence situation, an experienced and aggressive Pittsburgh criminal attorney should be contacted immediately – Call Pittsburgh Assault Lawyer Chris Thomas today for a free case evaluation.
If you are charged and found guilty – you could face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. A guilty verdict could evict you from your home, prohibit you from seeing your children and leave a permanent mark on your record, making it difficult to find a job.
It is important to not feel hopeless or powerless after an arrest. You have not yet been convicted of an assault crime and there are many options to defend your innocence, your rights and your liberties.
Talk to a skilled Pittsburgh criminal lawyer immediately after being charged in order to have the best chance of building a strong legal defense.
In order to be charged with simple assault, you must have attempted to cause, or intentionally caused bodily injury to another person, or, negligently caused bodily injury with a deadly weapon.
In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, bodily injury is defined as impairment of a physical condition or substantial pain.
The PA Criminal Code defines Simple Assault specifically as:
Except as provided under section 2702 (relating to aggravated assault), a person is guilty of assault if he or she:
It is the intent, and not the physical act itself, that is important. Should you attempt to swing a bat at a person but miss, and the person remains uninjured, it is enough that you attempted to cause bodily injury and put the person in fear of imminent danger. The fact that they were not hurt is irrelevant.
Domestic violence is often an emotional, complicated situation. Over the years, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has tried to put an end to domestic violence by prosecuting more cases and increasing the penalties for those found guilty.
Domestic violence cases can involve spouses, former spouses, significant others, children, and parents. Crimes that can be charged in domestic violence cases include: simple assault, aggravated assault, rape, sexual assault, stalking, and reckless endangerment.
What many people do not realize is that the Commonwealth of PA brings the charges against the perpetrator – not the family member.
Your girlfriend/boyfriend or spouse/partner may not wish to see you go to jail and may ask that the charges be dropped, but in most instances, the case will move forward. The family member may even refuse to testify – or change their testimony in court.
The prosecution will simply try to discredit the changed testimony by offering as evidence the sworn statement from the night the incident occurred. Further, a police officer does not have to witness an act of domestic violence in order to arrest you. All an officer needs is probable cause that a simple assault occurred.
If you are found guilty of simple assault against a family member, in addition to your criminal punishment, you may also be put under a Protection From Abuse order, or PFA, which can last up to three years.
A PFA forbids you from contacting or being near the victim, which includes returning to your family home if you share it with the victim. A violation of a PFA is cause for arrest.
The stakes are simply too high to try to solve the issue on your own. If you are found guilty it can ruin the rest of your life. You need an experienced and aggressive attorney who can protect your rights and your freedom. Call Pittsburgh Attorney Chris Thomas today for a Free Case Evaluation.
Charges for a Simple Assault in PA typically mean you will face a second degree misdemeanor.
Two exceptions are if the fight was of mutual consent or if a child under 12 is involved.
If the fight was of mutual consent with both people responsible, then it is downgraded to a third degree misdemeanor.
If the assault involved a child under age 12, and the accused is over 21, the charges are upgraded to a first degree misdemeanor.
These are very harsh penalties for what may have seemed like a harmless act or something of which you may be completely innocent. Fighting these charges through an experienced legal defense is the best way to protect your freedom and liberties.
Call an experienced and aggressive Pittsburgh Assault Lawyer today for a free legal consultation.
At SMA Law Group, our criminal defense attorneys work to make a positive difference in our clients’ lives. We are skilled and experienced at winning assault cases and fighting for charges to be reduced or dropped altogether.
In order to protect your freedom and your reputation we will work to ensure that you have a strong case to bring before the judge. We will use all our legal knowledge and ability to get the best possible outcome for your case.
Our aggressive and compassionate attorneys are here to guide you through a difficult time.
Attorney Thomas is here to answer your questions, listen to your situation, explain your rights and offer the best steps to defending your rights and getting your future on track.