Simple vs. Aggravated Assault in Pennsylvania

simple-vs-aggravated-assault-in-pennsylvaniaIn Pennsylvania, as in other states, there’s a distinction between simple assault and aggravated assault. The difference can be critical and mean the difference between probation and fines or incarceration. The important thing to understand about both simple and aggravated assault—there’s no requirement of physical contact or touching. You can be charged with assault for causing a reasonable apprehension of impending harm.

Simple Assault in Pennsylvania

Simple assault is customarily charged as a misdemeanor in Pennsylvania, with a maximum fine of $5,000 and potential for up to two years of incarceration. Assault typically requires intent, but a person may be charged with assault for negligently causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon. In addition, if the victim is under the age of 13 and the perpetrator is at least 21, the charges may be elevated, resulting in the possibility of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault, a felony in Pennsylvania, involves the attempt or actual causing of “serious bodily harm.” A conviction for aggravated assault can carry a penalty of 20 years in prison and fines of as much as $25,000. It’s not necessary that you actually cause “serious bodily harm,” but that you intended to do so. “Serious bodily injury” in Pennsylvania generally refers to an injury that would create a “substantial risk of death, or that would cause serious permanent disfigurement, or that would lead to protracted loss or impairment of a bodily member or organ.

Contact the Law Office of Michael Curtis Greenberg

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Your first consultation is free. We’ll meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We take all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

For an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 855-598-3650.

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015
by
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Simple vs. Aggravated Assault in New Jersey

simple-vs-aggravated-assault-in-new-jerseyLet’s say that you were involved in an altercation and police were called to break it up. You may be facing an assault charge. In New Jersey, that can take at least two different forms—simple assault of aggravated assault. Here’s the difference.

Simple Assault

Simple assault is a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey (what most others states refer to as a “misdemeanor”). Simple assault requires intent—accidentally striking a person is typically not assault, unless you meant to hit another person, but missed (this is known as “transferred intent”), or if the unintended assault was with a deadly weapon.

To constitute assault, your actions must be either intentional or reckless and must be for the purpose of causing bodily injury to another person. However, there’s no requirement that you make actual physical contact or that there be any touching at all. If you create a reasonable apprehension of immediate harm, that can be prosecuted as simple assault.

Aggravated Assault

In New Jersey, aggravated assault is an indictable offense, comparable to a felony in other jurisdictions. There are a number of factors that cause a simple assault to be elevated to an aggravated assault:

  • The use of a weapon (including the type of weapon)
  • The extent of injury to the victim
  • Whether the victim was a police officer or public employee performing his or her official duties
  • Whether the assault was by automobile

Contact the Law Office of Michael Curtis Greenberg

Don’t lose go to jail. We will fight to protect your rights!

There’s no charge for your first consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We accept all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

To schedule an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 855-598-3650.

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015
by
The American Society of Legal Advocates