Last month a Bellefonte man was charged with simple assault. It stemmed from a fight with his neighbor.
Most neighbors resolve their disputes peacefully. As a Bellefonte man found out last month when he was charged with simple assault after a fight with his neighbor, when violence between neighbors does break out, criminal charges often follow.
Simple assault is one of the most commonly charged offenses in Pennsylvania because so many things can be considered assaults.
In Pennsylvania, the Crimes Code at 18 PA C.S.A. 2701 says simple assault is an intentional attempt to cause another person bodily harm. You can also be charged with simple assault for causing someone harm through negligence (such as accidentally stabbing someone with a knife) as well as using a deadly weapon negligently.
Simple assault does not require an injury. If one person attempts to hurt another, such as by throwing a punch that misses, a simple assault has occurred.
Although the name implied this is a basic crime, there is nothing “simple” about simple assault. The penalties for these crimes are very serious. Although it is always a misdemeanor in Pennsylvania, there are multiple degrees of simple assault, which carry increasingly serious possible penalties. They are as follows:
- Third Degree Assault – up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine
- Second Degree Simple Assault – up to two years in jail and a $5,000 fine
- First Degree Misdemeanor – up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine. If the offender is over 21 years old and the victim is under 12 years old, charges usually default to first degree simple assault.
A simple assault charge goes on your permanent criminal record. You will need an experienced and skilled attorney if you are charged with these crimes. Manchester and Associates has had many favorable verdicts when it comes to simple assault and we can help.
Manchester and Associates is a law firm dedicated to criminal defense that operates throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since 1978. 5-star ratings prove what our firm is all about: making sure that the best possible outcome for our clients is achieved. We use a teamwork approach in all our major cases and one of our team members is a former District Attorney. This gives us an advantage of reviewing your case from both the prosecution and defense side. Our lawyers have handled multiple simple assault cases across the state of Pennsylvania. Let our collective trial experience earned over several decades aid your defense.