Simple Assault Law – Pennsylvania

 

SIMPLE ASSAULT (18 P.S. § 2701)

  • A person is guilty of assault if he or she:
  • attempts to cause bodily injury to another;
  • intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another;
  • negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon;
  • attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; or
  • conceals or attempts to conceal a hypodermic needle on his person and intentionally or knowingly penetrates a law enforcement officer or an officer or an employee of a correctional institution, county jail or prison, detention facility or mental hospital during the course of an arrest or any search of the person.

UNDERSTANDING KEY TERMS

“Attempt” is when, with intent to commit a specific crime, a person does any act which constitutes a substantial step toward the commission of that crime.

“Bodily injury” is an impairment of a physical condition or substantial pain.

“Serious bodily injury” is any bodily 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.

“Reckless” is when a person exhibits a conscious disregard for a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the material element exists or will result from his or her conduct. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that, considering the nature and intent of the person’s conduct and the circumstances known to him or her, its disregard involves a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the person’s situation. It does not require the specific intent to injure someone.

“Serious bodily injury” is bodily 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 (18 P.S. 2301)

MERGER AND LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSES

Offenses such as terroristic threats, harassment, endangering the welfare of children, rape, and robbery do not merge with a simple assault charge. Simple assault merges into aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person since the elements of simple assault are necessarily included in the other offenses.

GRADING

Simple assault is a misdemeanor of the second degree unless committed in a fight or scuffle entered into by mutual consent, in which case it is a misdemeanor of the third degree. If the act is committed against a child under 12 years of age by an adult 21 years of age or older, it is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

PENALTIES

A misdemeanor of the first degree can result in 5 years’ incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000.00. A misdemeanor of the second degree can result in 2 years’ incarceration and a fine of up to $5,000.00. A misdemeanor of the third degree can result in 1 year incarceration and a fine up to $2,000.00.

RESTITUTION

The Court may order the person to pay restitution when the victim suffers personal injury. The court will consider the extent of the injury in determining the amount of restitution.

SIMPLE ASSAULT LAWYERS – THE MARTIN LAW FIRM, P.C.

If you have been charged with simple assault in Pennsylvania, the Martin Law Firm can help. Contact us today to discuss the incident leading to your arrest at 215-687-4053.