In Pennsylvania, you can face up to two years in prison even for the lowest level of assault charge. These are serious criminal charges with very serious penalties.
There are two basic categories of assault charges in Pennsylvania: simple assaults and aggravated assaults. Within those categories, assault charges are further broken down by things like who they are committed against and the result of the crime.
Pennsylvania Assault Laws
Simple Assault Laws and Penalties
A simple assault is typically one that doesn’t result in serious injury. In all actuality, it doesn’t have to result in any injury at all. You can be charged with simple assault without even touching someone—simply by putting them in fear that you would.
Whether holding a weapon and threatening someone or almost hitting them with a car, you can face a simple assault charge.
In most cases, simple assault is a misdemeanor 2 charge and carries up to 2 years in prison. If it involves a fight that both parties entered into mutually, called “mutual constent”, it is charged as a misdemeanor 3 and carries up to one year in prison.
If the assault is committed against someone under the age of 12, however, it’s considered a misdemeanor 1 and can result in 5 years behind bars.
Aggravated Assault Laws and Penalties
Felony assault, or aggravated assault is considered a violent crime and carries some harsh potential penalties. In addition to prison time, a conviction of this nature would make you a “convicted felon”, not a label to be proud of.
Aggravated assault is committed when serious bodily injury is caused by acting in extreme indifference to human life or if it’s carried out against a police officer or other similar public safety official.
A general aggravated assault charge is a felony 2 and carries up to 10 years in prison. If you act with extreme indifference to human life, it could be charged as a felony 1 and carry as much as 20 years.
If it’s committed with the use of a deadly weapon and leads to injury, it is a felony 2 charge and carries 10 years.
If you are facing assault charges in Pennsylvania, you need to speak with a local attorney. Contact us today to speak with an attorney about the charges.