Even when classified with the term “simple,” any criminal charge for assault needs to be taken seriously. A conviction for this offense can potentially result in several years of imprisonment and very hefty fines.
People are frequently arrested and charged for this crime in domestic situations, but there are several others who find themselves accused of this criminal offense because of police misunderstandings of the actual situations. It is important for anybody who has been charged with this crime to understand that just because this is not the most severe form of assault on the books in Pennsylvania does not mean prosecutors will not attempt to exact severe punishments.
Philadelphia Simple Assault Lawyer
If you were recently arrested and charged with this form of assault, you should immediately seek skilled legal counsel. Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC represents clients throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia County, Montgomery County, Bucks County, Delaware County, and Chester County as well as New Jersey.
Our simple assault attorneys provide aggressive legal defense against these charges, and we work tirelessly to achieve the most favorable outcome to such cases. You can have our firm review your case during a free, confidential consultation as soon as you call (215) 665-1695 today.
Pennsylvania Simple Assault Information Center
- What actions can result in these criminal charges?
- How might an alleged offender be punished if he or she is convicted?
- Are there any defenses that can help get these charges reduced or dismissed?
Under Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute Title 18 § 2701, a person can be charged with this form of assault if he or she either:
- attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another
- negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon
- attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury
- conceals or attempts to conceal a hypodermic needle on his person and intentionally or knowingly penetrates a law enforcement officer or an officer or an employee of a correctional institution, county jail or prison, detention facility or mental hospital during the course of an arrest or any search of the person
This crime is usually classified as a second-degree misdemeanor, although a fight or scuffle that was entered into by mutual consent is a third-degree misdemeanor. If the alleged crime was committed against a child under 12 years of age by a person 18 years of age or older, this is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor.
Under Pennsylvania law, the maximum sentences that a person convicted for this crime depend on the specific classification of the criminal offense:
- Third-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines
- Second-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to two years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines
- First-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
When determining a sentence, a judge will also take into account two figures. One is an alleged offender’s Offense Gravity Score (OGS), which is a number Pennsylvania Code Title 204 §303.15 that denotes the severity of the crime. For example, a third-degree misdemeanor simple assault offense has an OGS of 1, second-degree has an OGS of 3, and first-degree has a 4.
The other figure that calculates into a sentencing judge’s decision is the alleged offender’s Prior Record Score (PRS), as determined under Pennsylvania Code Title 204 §303.7. Points are assigned for an alleged offender’s previous convictions, and are added together to place a numeric value on the alleged offender’s criminal history.
A judge uses the OGS and PRS together when determining an appropriate sentencing range.
Being arrested for this kind of assault in Pennsylvania does not necessarily mean that a conviction is automatic. With the aid of experienced legal representation, an alleged offender may be able to have charges reduced or completely dismissed through defenses that include, but are not limited to:
- Defense of another party
- Defense of property
- No criminal intent
- Lack of evidence
Find a Simple Assault Lawyer in Pennsylvania
Were you recently arrested and charged with this form of assault in Southeastern Pennsylvania? You will want to be sure to get the help of a proven simple assault attorney as soon as possible.
Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC provides legal defense against these charges for clients in and around Chester County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County. We also represent clients in New Jersey, and our firm will thoroughly evaluate your case when you call (215) 665-1695 right now to schedule a free consultation.