Charged with an Assault in Pennsylvania? We Can Help

Assault is a very serious crime in Pennsylvania.  If you have been charged, here are some things you should remember:Arrested-300x201

  • Even a “Simple Assault” charge can result in jail time.  For example, “Simple Assault with Mutual Consent” (i.e. a plain old fashioned one-on-one fist fight where both people want to fight), can result in up to one year in prison.
  • Having the word “assault” on your criminal record can turn off many future employers from hiring you.  An assault conviction will remain on your criminal record forever and anyone who does a routine background check will be able to see it,
  • Assault cases can be won.  Just because you have been charged does not mean an automatic conviction.  The right attorney will investigate the facts of your case and challenge the government’s case.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania defines assault as an attempt to intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to another, negligently causing bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon, or physically menacing or putting fear of bodily injury in another person.

Assault can be classified in a number of categories, including:

  • Assault and Battery
  • Assault of a Minor
  • Vehicular Assault
  • Assault with a Weapon
  • Felony Assault (aggravated assault)
  • Protected Class Felony Assault (teachers, police, EMS, etc.)
  • Threats

Pennsylvania Assault Penalties

The punishments for assault in PA vary depending on the severity and method of assault. Most assault cases break down into two categories: Simple Assault and Aggravated Assault.

Simple Assault

A Simple Assault charge usually involves minor or no injuries, but can be applied for simply holding a weapon or threatening someone with harm. See the chart below for the penalties for Simple Assault.

Charge Level of Offense Maximum Penalty
General Misdemeanor 2 2 Years in Prison
Mutual Consent (fighting) Misdemeanor 3 1 Year in Prison
Against a minor (under 12) Misdemeanor 1 5 Years in Prison



Aggravated Assault

Aggravated Assault (also known as Felony Assault) is considered a violent crime and usually involves serious bodily injury or an attempt to cause serious bodily injury. Aggravated Assault charges may apply if you acted “with extreme indifference to human life” or assaulted a protected class person such as a police officer, teacher, judge, prosecutor, EMS or medical personnel. See the chart below for the penalties for Aggravated Assault.

Charge Level of Offense Maximum Penalty
Causes Serious Bodily Injury orAttempts to Cause SBI Felony 1 20 Years in Prison
Fear of SBI or Bodily Injury to Protected Class Felony 2 10 Years in Prison


As you can see, the penalties for assault in Pennsylvania can be very severe. Don’t let an assault conviction rob you of your freedom for years to come.  Call 1-866-MCSHANE for a fee consultation. We’ll discuss your legal options and help you fight for your rights and your freedom.


Justin McShane

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

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