Assault charges include simple assault, aggravated assault and domestic assault. Intent is a significant factor for legal charges.
Simple Assault Charges Defined
An offender can be charged with simple assault if they intentionally cause bodily injury to another person or attempt to injure someone else even if the offender does not succeed. The act of intimidating or causing someone to fear that they are in danger of the offender is also a form of simple assault.
Degrees and Levels of Simple Assault Charges
- Simple assault is a misdemeanor of the second degree
- Simple assault can be elevated to a misdemeanor of the first degree if the victim is under the age of 12 and the offender is over the age of 21
- Simple assault can be a misdemeanor of the third degree if a mutual fight occurs
- Self-defense can be claimed by an offender but only if the weapon the offender used has the same force as the one being used against the offender
Consequences of Simple Assault
- A first degree misdemeanor can bring up to five years in prison
- A second degree misdemeanor can bring up to two years in prison
- A third degree misdemeanor can bring up to 1 year in prison
Aggravated Assault Charges Defined
Aggravated assault is when an offender attempts to cause serious harm to another person. Who the offender harms and how can make a large difference in the charges against them.
Degrees and Levels of Aggravated Assault Charges
- Aggravated assault can be a first degree felony if the offender harms officers, agents, or employees of an organization in the prison system or the courts while they are on duty
- Aggravated assault can be a felony in the second degree if the offender intentionally harms someone or attempts to harm a school official while they are on duty, attempts to harass a school official while on duty, or attempts to use noxious gases or incapacitation devices against a school official on duty
Consequences of Aggravated Assault
- A felony of the first degree can bring up to 20 years in prison
- A felony of the second degree can bring up to 10 years in prison
- If the offender was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the offense it will be harder to prove criminal intent
- The offender has the right to argue self-defense, but if the offender is being charged with harming an employee of the courts or prison system, pleading self-defense is no longer an option
Domestic Assault Defined
Domestic assault covers assaults that occur on family members or an offender’s significant other.
Degrees and Levels of Domestic Assault Charges
- An offender can also be charged for the possibility that you may harm a family member
- An offender can be charged with a misdemeanor but if the offender has injured someone it can be charged as a felony
Consequences of Domestic Assault
- If an offender is found guilty of domestic violence they can face prison time, loss of the right to own a firearm, or be placed under a protection from abuse order for up to three years which forbids the offender from contacting or coming near the alleged victim
- The offender may also have to take an anger management class, go to counseling, or perform community service
- In a domestic violence case the offender will not be released until first going before a judge
- Even if the claims against the offender are untrue they will spend at least one night in jail
Attorney Maureen Coggins is confident she can assist with the legal issues facing you or your family. With over 20 years of experience with the State of Pennsylvania while pursuing both state and federal criminal cases, Attorney Coggins brings a diverse and successful background to help seek the best possible outcome for your case. For a consultation, please contact her office at (610) 400-3017 or through email.