Charged With Assault? Consult a Criminal Law Lawyer in Muhlenberg PA

by | Mar 13, 2019 | Law Firm

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It doesn’t take much for an altercation to escalate into something violent. Even when someone else is the verbal aggressor, a person may face criminal charges if they throw the first punch. Before entering a guilty plea to assault charges, these people should know about their rights.

Simple Assault Offenses in Pennsylvania

In the state of Pennsylvania, assault crimes include simple and aggravated assault. Penalties depend on the nature of the assault, the victim, the defendant’s history, and other factors.

Simple assault is usually a misdemeanor and includes intentional or reckless injury, negligent injury with a deadly weapon, putting someone in fear of bodily injury, or intentionally sticking an officer with a needle.

Most simple assaults are charged as second-degree misdemeanors, with potential penalties including up to two years in prison and a $5000 fine. However, for victims under age 12, it’s a first-degree misdemeanor, with penalties of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Cases of Aggravated Assault

As the name implies, aggravated assault is more serious. It may involve intentional bodily injury to a civilian or public servant, bodily injury with a dangerous weapon, or harm to a child under the age of six.

An aggravated assault is typically charged as a first- or second-degree felony. First-degree felonies carry a potential sentence of up to 20 years, as well as a $25,000 fine. Second-degree felonies carry a sentence of up to ten years and a $25,000 fine.

Assault Defenses

As a criminal law lawyer in Muhlenberg PA may tell a potential client, a person acting reasonably to defend themselves or someone else may be able to reduce or eliminate charges. The key word here is reasonable. For instance, if one person threatens to slap another, it’s not self-defense for the second person to brandish a gun or knife.

Call an Attorney Today

An assault conviction carries serious penalties that may affect a person’s future long after they serve the sentence. Before pleading guilty to simple or aggravated assault, a defendant should consult a Criminal Law Lawyer in Muhlenberg PA to learn about their legal rights. Learn about Missan Law Office online or call today to request a consultation.