Simple & Aggravated Assault In Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania law categorizes assault offenses as either simple or aggravated. Whether your assault charge is a misdemeanor simple assault or felony aggravated assault depends on the circumstances of your case. Either way, with an assault conviction, you may face jail time and significant fines. It is important to have an experienced Central Pennsylvania Assault Attorney by your side to help you fight your assault charge. Contact Central Pennsylvania Assault Attorney Lee S. Cohen today for your FREE CONSULTATION!
To be convicted of simple assault, you must:
- Knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly cause bodily harm to another — it is enough if you attempt to do so as well;
- Negligently cause bodily harmto someone using a weapon;
- Attempt to scare someone into thinking you are going to seriously harm them – usually words alone are not enough – you must be in a position to carry out the threat immediately, and you must have taken steps to do so; or
- Conceal or attempt to conceal a hypodermic needle on yourself and either knowingly or intentionally stab a law enforcement officer or any employee or officer of a correctional institution or mental hospital with that needle while they are searching or arresting you.
Simple assault is considered a second degree misdemeanor. However, if you are involved in a mutually agreed upon fight, the crime is only a third degree misdemeanor. On the other hand, if the assault is committed against someone under twelve years old, and you are eighteen years or older, then the crime is considered a first degree misdemeanor. A simple assault conviction can result in five years of jail time and fines up to $10,000.
To be convicted of aggravated assault you must:
- Attempt to cause serious or severe bodily harm to someone else, or knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly cause serious bodily injury to someone else with extreme indifference to their life;
- Attempt to cause or knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly cause bodily harm to any police officers or others listed in the Pennsylvania Code while those officers or others are on duty;
- Attempt to cause or knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly cause bodily harm to someone using a deadly weapon;
- Attempt to cause or knowingly or intentionally cause bodily harm to those employed by elementary or secondary schools, regardless of whether the school is public or private;
- Physically attempt to put any of the officers or others listed in the Pennsylvania Code in fear of imminent and serious bodily harm;
- Use tear gas or noxious gas, or use a devise such as a taser gun, against any officer or others listed in the Pennsylvania Code;
- Attempt to cause or knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly cause bodily harm to a child who is younger than six; or
- Attempt to cause or knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly cause serious bodily injury to a child who is younger than thirteen years old.
Aggravated assault offenses are considered either first or second degree felonies and are punishable by up to twenty years in jail and can carry fines as high as $25,000.
Due to the fact that any assault charge can result in jail time or large fines, not to mention the long-lasting impact that a criminal conviction has on your everyday life, it is important to have an experienced Central Pennsylvania Assault Attorney by your side though every step of the legal process. If you or a loved one has been charged with assault, contact Central Pennsylvania Assault Attorney Lee S. Cohen, call (717) 920-2220, or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.