Assault is any unlawful attempt or threat to commit a violent act on another person, regardless of whether the act occurs. There are many different kinds of assault under Pennsylvania law, from the simple to the severe. They cover everything from bar fights to the possession of weapons of mass destruction, and they include a wide range of punishments, from fines to 40 years in prison. If you have been charged with assault, you will need to know the specifics in order to build a defense.
If you are facing assault charges in the Pennsylvania area, call Brian Manchester, an experienced assault defense lawyer in Pennsylvania. Call today. It is important to begin working on your defense immediately.
Simple and Aggravated Assault: The Basics in Pennsylvania
Simple and aggravated assault are the two most common types of assault cases. Simple assaults include everyday scuffles and bar fights where one person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly injures (or tries to injure) another person. They also include fights involving deadly weapons and attempts to physically intimidate others. Aggravated assaults, on the other hand, include attacks that cause (or try to cause) serious bodily harm. They also include some attacks on government officials; attacks that use deadly weapons to cause serious bodily injury; attacks on educators; and attempts to menace public officials.
Assault Against Cops and Guards in Pennsylvania
Assaults against police and correctional officers are covered by special statutes. Assaulting a police officer by firing a gun is a felony in Pennsylvania punishable by as many as 40 years in prison. A prisoner can be convicted of a felony, punishable by as many as 10 years for a first offense, for assaulting a correctional officer with serious force; this includes the throwing of bodily fluids contaminated with communicable diseases. Throwing uncontaminated bodily fluids on correctional officers is a felony punishable by as many as seven years in prison.
Assault in the Form of Endangerment, Harassment and Intimidation in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s assault statutes contain a number of provisions prohibiting harassment, stalking and similar behaviors. Reckless endangerment is a misdemeanor punishable by as many as two years in prison for a first offense. A Terroristic threat, which is a threat of violence intended to cause terror, is a misdemeanor punishable by as many as five years in prison for a first offense. Harassment ranges from petty offenses to misdemeanors. Stalking is a misdemeanor punishable by as many as five years in prison for a first offense. Any assault, arson, criminal mischief, vandalism or other property damage that is committed with malice against an ethnic group is also considered ethnic intimidation, which is treated as more severe than the underlying crime.
Other Kinds of Assault in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania law provides for a number of other types of crime in its assault statutes. They include the throwing of objects into cars and the dropping of objects onto roadways, both misdemeanors, as well as the firing of guns into occupied buildings, a felony punishable by as many as seven years. They make the assault of sports officials punishable by as many as five years. They make it a crime for caregivers to neglect or physically restrain the people who depend on them. The statutes prohibit the drugging of others for the purpose of sexual assault and similar crimes. Threatening to use weapons of mass destruction is also considered assault. The actual possession, manufacture, transportation or use of weapons of mass destruction in Pennsylvania is a type of felony assault. And terrorism — any violent act intended to coerce or intimidate the public or government — is punishable by as many as 40 years in prison.
If you or a loved one are in the Pennsylvania area and have been charged with assault, call Brian Manchester, an experienced assault defense lawyer in Pennsylvania. He can help you build the defense you need today.