An assault conviction in Montgomery County, PA can lead to jail time, an expensive fine, and a permanent criminal record. This could possibly prevent you from passing a background check, getting a job, joining the military, owning a gun, or even renting an apartment. If you are facing assault charges, an assault lawyer in Montgomery County from the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. can help you move past them and get on with your life.
McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., is led by criminal defense attorney David McKenzie, a former prosecutor who spent the beginning of his career working on the other side of cases like yours. From this experience, he knows the tactics the prosecution might use against you and can create an aggressive defense. For a free case evaluation, call us at 610-680-7842.
Simple Assault vs. Aggravated Assault
There are two kinds of assault charges in Pennsylvania: simple assault and aggravated assault. Although one is a misdemeanor and the other is a felony, both charges carry significant penalties that can haunt you for years after you have paid your debt to society.
The details of the allegations against you determine whether you get charged with simple assault (a misdemeanor) or aggravated assault (a felony).
In most cases, simple assault is a second-degree misdemeanor. However, if the assault is part of a fight entered into by mutual consent, it is a third-degree misdemeanor; if it occurs against a victim 12 years or younger by a suspect 18 years or older, it is a first-degree misdemeanor.
You can get convicted of simple assault in Pennsylvania if the prosecution is able to prove any of the following beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You knowingly or recklessly caused or attempted to cause bodily injury to another person.
- You negligently caused bodily injury to another person using a deadly weapon.
- You used physical menace to attempt to put another person in fear of imminent bodily injury.
- You used or attempted to use a hypodermic needle, which you concealed or attempted to conceal on your person, to penetrate a law enforcement officer or an employee of a correctional institution, detention center, or mental health facility during an arrest or search of your person.
Aggravated assault is a felony in Pennsylvania. If committed against a police officer, correctional officer, or firefighter, it is a first-degree felony. If committed against anyone else, it is a second-degree felony in most cases.
A judge may convict you of aggravated assault in Pennsylvania if the prosecution can prove any of the following beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You caused “serious bodily injury” to another person and, in doing so, demonstrated an extreme disregard for human life.
- You placed or attempted to place a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or firefighter in fear of their life while they were on the job or performing job-related duties.
- You intentionally caused or attempted to cause serious bodily harm to a teacher or school employee while they were on the job or performing job-related duties.
- You used a stun gun or noxious gas to incapacitate any government employee listed above while they were on the job or performing job-related duties.
Note: Under Pennsylvania laws, “battery” and assault are the same offense.
Penalties for an Assault Conviction in Pennsylvania
If you are convicted of assault in Pennsylvania, you can expect severe consequences, which may include jail time, a fine, probation, and a permanent mark on your criminal record.
The severity of the punishment depends upon your specific charges.
Simple assault is a misdemeanor of the first, second, or third degree (usually the second). It carries the following penalties:
- First-degree misdemeanor: Up to five years’ imprisonment.
- Second-degree misdemeanor: Up to two years’ imprisonment.
- Third-degree misdemeanor: Up to one years’ imprisonment.
Aggravated assault is a felony of either the first or second degree. It carries the following penalties:
- First-degree felony: Up to 20 years’ imprisonment.
- Second-degree felony: Up to 10 years’ imprisonment.
An assault lawyer in Montgomery County from the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., can aggressively defend you against any assault charge. Call us at 610-680-7842 for a free case evaluation.
How an Assault Lawyer in Montgomery County Can Help
An assault lawyer in Montgomery County, PA can help you move past an assault charge and get on with your life. In order for the charge to stick, the prosecutor must prove you intended to injure the victim, and you knowingly inflicted harm, among other things.
We do not have to prove you are innocent of these charges; we simply have to create enough doubt that the prosecution cannot prove you are guilty.
We can create reasonable doubt in your case using a wide range of possible defenses, including:
- You did not intend to harm the other person.
- You did not knowingly inflict injury upon the other person.
- The other person did not suffer bodily injury from the incident.
- You were acting in a manner in self-defense when you inflicted harm on the other person.
- The other person provoked you to an unreasonable degree.
- You had unknowingly taken intoxicating substances, which impaired your judgment.
To discuss how a Montgomery County assault lawyer from McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., can defend you against these charges, call our office at 610-680-7842.
For a Free Case Evaluation, Call McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. Today at 610-680-7842
McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. is ready to defend you against assault charges. Our founding attorney is a former criminal prosecutor who is familiar with the tactics used by the other side. He can put his knowledge and resources to work for you. For a free case evaluation, call 610-680-7842 today.