Serving Scranton, Tunkhannock, and Wyoming County
Prosecutors stringently pursue assault charges in Pennsylvania. Without assault defense lawyer, if you are found guilty of even a minor, simple assault charge, you may face up to two years of jail time. These are serious criminal charges with potentially severe penalties. You should contact William Peters of Peters Law Firm in Northeast Pennsylvania if the state has accused you of committing assault.
Simple assault is usually an offense that does not result in serious injuries. To be convicted, the charged offense does not have to result in any concrete harm at all. A person might be charged with simple assault even if he or she did not touch anyone. It is enough for the charged person to put another in apprehension or fear of being touched or harmed. Simple assault occurs when an offender attempts to cause bodily injury or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury, even without any actual injury.
The intent required for simple assault depends on whether it resulted in actual injury.
If the victim did not suffer any harm, then the prosecution has to prove that the person charged with the crime had specifically intended to attempt to cause injuries, was in a position to carry out the threat of harm right away and took an affirmative step to commit the crime. But if the injury resulted from the act, the prosecution’s burden is lighter – it only has to prove that the person knew or should have known that the act has the potential to cause injury.
Additionally, Pennsylvania law normally considers simple assault as a second-degree misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 2 years of jail time.
However, if the person charged with the offense is at least 21 years old, and the purported victim is younger than twelve years old, then the crime is a first-degree misdemeanor with a possible one-year jail sentence. If the assault occurred during a fight in which the offender and the victim mutually consented to the use of force, Pennsylvania law considers that to be a third-degree misdemeanor that may carry up to five years in prison.
Felony assault, also known as aggravated assault is a violent offense that carries potentially harsher penalties than simple assault. Felony assault, under Pennsylvania law, involves inflicting serious injury on another person with extreme disregard for human life, attacking another with a deadly weapon, or committing assault against police offers or certain public officials. A felony assault charge is typically a second-degree felony that may carry up to ten years of jail time. However, if the person performs the act in a manner that shows an extreme indifference toward human life, Pennsylvania law allows the prosecution to charge an individual with a first-degree felony that may result in as much as twenty years of jail time. Hiring an assault defense lawyer should be at the top of your list!
The Peters Law Firm can provide effective services for assault charges in the Northeastern Pennsylvania area. In the Scranton area, contact us at (570) 963-1610, Tunkhannock and Wyoming County at (570) 836-0700 or throughout Northeast Pennsylvania at our main office in Clarks Summit by calling (570) 585-0707 or by visiting us.