Legal Updates

Pennsylvania Criminal Assault Charges

Simple assault is a relatively common charge in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the city of Philadelphia.  The exact definition of the crime is commonly misunderstood.  Under Pennsylvania Section 2701 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code a person is guilty of simple assault if he:

(1)  attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another;

(2)  negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon;

(3)  attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; or

(4)  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.

Any of the aforementioned acts rise to the level of assault in Pennsylvania.  if found guilty of the crime, the charge is a misdemeanor of the second degree unless committed:

(1)  in a fight or scuffle entered into by mutual consent, in which case it is a misdemeanor of the third degree; or

(2)  against a child under 12 years of age by an adult 21 years of age or older, in which case it is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

If you have been charged with simple assault, it is important you know your options.  Speak with a Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer to understand your options.  You may be eligible for alternative programs.  It is important you think through all possible defenses before trial.  Call our Philadelphia office at (267) 535-9776 for a free consultation.