AGGRAVATED AND SIMPLE ASSAULT CHARGES
Your Life Is On The Line
Assault crimes in Pennsylvania include Felony Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault, Recklessly Endangering, and Disorderly Conduct. The penalties for assault can be steep including lengthy incarceration, depending on the type of assault, specific victim, defendant’s criminal history, and other factors. Law Enforcement tends to charge the “winner” of the altercation without truly reviewing the facts and the law of self-defense. The Shaw Law Group has handled numerous cases where presenting and proving justification was critical.
Aggravated Assault is a more serious criminal charge, and is generally charged as a felony. Aggravated Assault involves:
- Attempted or intentionally causing serious bodily injury to another;
- Attempted, intentionally, or recklessly causing serious bodily injury to a police officer or public servant;
- Attempted or intentionally causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon;
- Causing bodily injury to a teacher or school employee; or
- Causing bodily injury to a child under the age of 6.
If an assault occurs against certain officers, government employees, and other public servants, it can be considered aggravated assault. This includes:
- Police officers
- District attorneys
- Public defenders
- Parking enforcement officers
Aggravated assault can be charged as a 1st-degree felony or a 2nd-degree felony, depending on the type of assault involved. As a 1st degree felony, a conviction for aggravated assault can result in 10 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. As a 2nd degree felony, a conviction for aggravated assault can result in 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Aggravated Assault convictions usually result in serious state prison sentences.
Simple Assault is generally a misdemeanor. Simple Assault includes:
- Intentionally or recklessly causing injury to another.
- Negligently causing bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon.
- Attempting to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
- Intentionally sticking a law enforcement officer or prison employee with a hypodermic needle.
- Most cases of simple assault are charged as a 2nd-degree misdemeanor, with penalties including 1 to 2 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. However, if the victim is a child under the age of 12, simple assault is a 1st-degree misdemeanor, with penalties including 2.5 to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Defenses to Assault Charges
Aggravated Assault carries the harshest penalty of all of the assault crimes. Serious prison time is usually imposed for Aggravated Assault convictions. A Simple Assault conviction can result in probation or potentially jail depending on the injury/victim. Freedom is taken from those convicted, and the ability to pursue ambitions and enjoy life will be severely hampered. Assault convictions make employment difficult to obtain or keep and may disqualify you entirely from certain vocations. It is a defense to criminal assault charges if the defendant was acting in reasonable self-defense or in the defense of another. The Shaw Law Group’s extensive trial experience works to make sure that your side will be presented persuasively in Court.
Your chances of staying out of prison increase greatly by hiring our qualified experienced attorneys. We have vast experience with assault cases and trials and will represent you in court and work relentlessly to protect your freedom. There are defenses to assault charges that have proven successful, such as:
- Lack of intent
- No bodily injury
- Involuntary intoxication
For Simple Assault charges, you may be able to plead no-contest and enter into an accelerated rehabilitative disposition, or ARD program which will effectively dismiss all charges once you successfully complete the program and pay all costs and fines. ARD is at the Court’s discretion. Judges are most willing to allow it when: 1) You have had no priors 2) You have not entered an ARD in the past and 3) the victim assents.
If you or a loved one is facing a simple assault charge, call us now for a free and confidential consultation. We are experienced in defending assault charges and work hard to get the best results for clients in Central Pennsylvania. For a free initial evaluation of your case, contact us today by email, phone or chat.
A conviction for assault can carry serious penalties that may affect your future even after serving your sentence. Before you plead guilty to Simple Assault or Aggravated Assault make sure you understand your options and your rights.
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We are known for our straightforward, aggressive approach to defending clients against violent crime charges and for our ability to effectively challenge the prosecution at every stage of a case. We draw on our expert resources and our legal knowledge to investigate and build the strongest strategic case that we can on your behalf. Our team of attorneys knows the best defenses for each unique case, and we know how to challenge each part of the Commonwealth’s case at the preliminary hearing; through pre-trial motions, and at trial with a judge or a jury. We also have extensive experience in skillfully negotiating for better outcomes for our clients, and we have obtained the best results even in cases in which the Commonwealth has a great deal of evidence. If you or a loved one are under investigation or facing assault charges, you need the best defense attorneys in your corner. Call for a free strategy session with one of our lawyers today.
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