Assault allegations or being charged with assault in Pennsylvania can be a frustrating situation, especially when you feel the arresting officers did not take your side of the story into account.
A minor altercation like punching someone, even if that person also punched you, could still result in up to one year in prison under PA laws.
A simple assault conviction is a misdemeanor and the punishment typically means spending up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
If you face disorderly conduct charges, you may receive a summary offense, which falls under separate conviction guidelines.
An aggravated assault conviction in PA is punishable as a felony with up to 20 years in prison.
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. You should talk to a skilled criminal lawyer immediately after being charged in order to have the best chance of building a strong legal defense.
For expert answers regarding your situation, call an experienced and aggressive Pittsburgh Assault Lawyer for a free legal consultation.
Our Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer Christopher Thomas has years of experience in defending the rights of people in Western Pennsylvania. Contact him today.
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In Pennsylvania, there are two types of charges for assault charges – simple assault and aggravated assault. If you were charged with disorderly conduct (arguing, threatening or using obscene language) you may face summary charges instead of assault charges.
If you were involved in a domestic violence incident, you may be charged with simple assault.
While simple assault may have an “easy” name, it still comes with very tough penalties. However, aggravated assault is a much more serious charge (a felony) that could result in up to 20 years in prison.
Basically, simple assault involves attempting to cause or causing bodily injury to another person or negligently causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon.
For instance, punching someone is simple assault. Attempting to physically hurt someone, even if the attempt is unsuccessful, is also classified as simple assault. Injuring someone due to negligence is also simple assault – for example, not being careful while handling a gun.
The PA Criminal Code defines Simple Assault as:
Except as provided under section 2702 (relating to aggravated assault), a person is guilty of assault if he or she:
Assault is classified as Aggravated Assault when the accused attempts to cause or causes serious injury intentionally, knowingly or recklessly “under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life”.
The difference between the simple and aggravated assault has to do with both the seriousness of the physical injury incurred and risk of death involved in the crime.
Read more about Aggravated Assault here.
If you were charged with assault of a law enforcement officer in Pennsylvania, you face a felony, up to 40 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) can include police officers, as well as judges, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, parole officers, probation officers and constables. Assaulting a law enforcement officer is also considered Aggravated Assault.
If you have been charged with assault in Pennsylvania, contact Pittsburgh Assault Lawyer Christopher Thomas for a free legal consultation.
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, meaning the parties mutually entered into the fight, 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.
There 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.
HOW SMT Legal CAN HELP
At SMT Legal, 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.