Assault Charges: A Fist Fight Or More
Assault charges encompass a wide range of interactions between two or more people. Due in part to the broad definition of assault and the numerous situations in which a physical altercation or heated argument could develop, assault is one of the most commonly charged offenses in Pennsylvania.
Stiff penalties accompany assault charges. At Robert S. Muir, Attorney at Law, I understand that assault charges are rarely clear-cut and work diligently to build a strong defense.
Classifications Of Assault Charges
Pennsylvania categorizes assault into two forms — simple and aggravated. Charges can stem from an altercation between strangers or allegations of domestic violence. The penalties for assault charges often include steep fines and incarceration.
Simple assault charges occur when a person either negligently or intentionally causes bodily injury to another person. However, law enforcement can charge you with assault for menacingly intimidating someone, meaning if you threatened imminent physical harm but never touched the victim, you could still face misdemeanor simple assault charges.
Aggravated assault charges are much more serious and can be classified as either a first- or second-degree felony. Charges arise when intentional or reckless behavior causes serious bodily injury. In circumstances involving assault with a weapon or an injured minor, mandatory minimum sentences may apply.
Start Your Defense Right Away
Possible defensive strategies for assault charges include self-defense and provocation. Working with an attorney immediately following the charge benefits your case. Your lawyer needs time to review and collect evidence, interview witnesses, verify the facts of the case and assess evidence gathered by the prosecution. The sooner the process begins, the stronger your defense.