Some people may believe they must cause serious injury to another person in order to be charged with assault.  This is a common misconception, however, as under some circumstances defendants may face assault charges when little to no injury has occurred at all.  There are two main types of assault charged in Pennsylvania, each with a different set of potential consequences.  Which type of charge you face depends upon the specifics of the allegations against you by the alleged victim.  No matter what type of assault charge you face, you always want to contact an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney for help because these are serious charges with potentially serious penalties.

Simple Assault

Simple assault charges can result from any situation in which another person believed you were going to make unwanted physical contact with them.  You do not actually have to injure or even touch the other person, as the fear alone is enough to constitute a simple assault charge.  Examples of simple assault may include displaying a weapon in your hand, threatening to hurt someone, pulling back your fist as if you are about to hit them, or driving toward someone with your car to make it seem as if you will collide with them.  Simple assault may be charged anywhere from a 3rd degree misdemeanor to a 1st degree misdemeanor depending on the situation and age of the victim and a conviction may carry one to five years in prison.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault charges result from situations in which you allegedly attempted to cause serious bodily injury to another person, or if you actually caused injury under circumstances that demonstrate an extreme indifference for human life.  This charge also includes attempts to seriously injure police or other safety officers.  Aggravated assault is a violent crime and may be charged as a 1st or 2nd degree felony.  This means that if you are charged with aggravated assault, you may face up to 20 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.

As you can see, assault convictions may carry serious penalties.  If you have been arrested or charged based on assault allegations, you should call (215) 546-0340 as soon as possible to schedule a consultation with experienced criminal defense attorney Brian Zeiger.  The attorneys at The Zeiger Firm are here to help you.

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