If you’ve been charged with assault in Montgomery County, it’s a serious matter that demands immediate attention from an experienced defense attorney. Assault charges can result in costly fines, lengthy jail or prison terms, and the creation of a criminal record which will haunt you for years to come.
Types of Assault Charges in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
Too many people make the mistake of thinking that their assault charges are “no big deal.” Don’t wait until it’s already too late and you’re facing the prosecutor in court — get aggressive legal representation from a firm with more than 20 years of experience handling thousands of felony and misdemeanor cases. At Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, we defend juvenile and adult clients against allegations including:
- Simple Assault
- Aggravated Assault
- Aggravated Assault by Vehicle (DUI)
- Domestic Violence
- Assault on a Sports Official
- Assault by Prisoner
- Discharge of Firearm
- Terrorism and Terroristic Threats
- Reckless Endangerment
- Ethnic Intimidation
To set up a free and completely private legal consultation, call the Montgomery County criminal defense lawyers of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania today.
Simple Assault vs. Aggravated Assault
Assault is not a generic term. On the contrary, there are a few different types of assault which defendants can be charged with in the state of Pennsylvania. It’s important for defendants and their loved ones to have a good understanding of the nature of the allegations, as well as the potential penalties, so that you are better prepared for your court appearances.
Most allegations fall into one of two charges: simple assault, and aggravated assault. (If you hear the term “assault” without another word in front of it, the term likely refers to simple assault.)
Simple assault is the lesser of the two charges, because it involves a lesser degree of injury to the victim. A person can be charged with simple assault if he or she:
- Intentionally or recklessly causes “bodily injury” to another person.
- Attempts to injure another person.
- Negligently injures another person with a deadly weapon.
- Tries to make another person fear for their immediate physical safety.
Simple assault is typically categorized as a Second Degree Misdemeanor. However, there are two exceptions:
- If you and the other party mutually agreed to enter a fight, the charge is reduced to a Third Degree Misdemeanor.
- If you were 18 or older at the time, and the alleged victim was younger than 12, the charge is raised to a First Degree Misdemeanor.
Aggravated assault is more serious, because it involves an extreme or long-term injury or other aggravating factors. To give just a few examples, a person can be charged with aggravated assault in Pennsylvania if he or she:
- Intentionally or recklessly causes “serious bodily injury” to another person.
- Intentionally causes or attempts to cause injury with a deadly weapon.
- Intentionally injures or attempts to injure a police officer, sheriff, firefighter, court official, parole officer, probation officer, or other people in related positions.
Aggravated assault can be either a First Degree Felony or a Second Degree Felony.
Other offenses, including stalking, are categorized as Third Degree Felonies.
How is a “Serious Bodily Injury” Defined in Pennsylvania?
You may have noticed that simple charges involve only bodily injury, while aggravated charges involve serious bodily injury. Similarly, simple charges involve the negligent infliction of injury with a deadly weapon, while aggravated charges involve intent. Therefore, it’s important to explain where simple charges end — and where aggravated charges begin.
Under Pennsylvania’s legal definition, which is provided by 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. §2301, bodily injury simply means “impairment of physical condition or substantial pain.” By comparison, serious bodily injury involves an “injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”
Negligence means acting without foresight, or failing to anticipate possible safety hazards, while intent means deliberately engaging in conduct.
Criminal Penalties for Assault Charges in Pennsylvania
Depending on factors like the specific offense being alleged and the circumstances of the alleged incident, assault charges can range from low-level misdemeanors to high-tier felonies. The potential criminal penalties, such as fines and incarceration, vary dramatically depending on the way the offense is graded.
The Pennsylvania justice system imposes the following maximum penalties for criminal convictions:
- Third Degree Misdemeanor
- Fine — $2,000
- Sentence — 1 year
- Second Degree Misdemeanor
- Fine — $5,000
- Sentence — 2 years
- First Degree Misdemeanor
- Fine — $10,000
- Sentence — 5 years
While misdemeanor penalties can be severe, the criminal consequences for felony convictions are even tougher:
- Third Degree Felony
- Fine — $15,000
- Sentence — 7 years
- Second Degree Felony
- Fine — $25,000
- Sentence — 10 years
- First Degree Felony
- Fine — $25,000
- Sentence — 20 years
Once again, the above fines and sentences represent the maximums. Our criminal defense attorneys may be able to reduce your charges, or even have them dismissed altogether.
Call Our Montgomery County, PA Assault Defense Attorneys Today
If you’re being charged with assault in Montgomery County, or if one of your loved ones has been placed under arrest, the assault lawyers of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates may be able to help.
To start exploring your options in a free and confidential case evaluation, call our law offices right away at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania. We proudly represent residents throughout Montgomery County, including the communities of Bala Cynwyd, Bryn Mawr, Cheltenham, Horsham, King of Prussia, and Norristown.