Close-up of man in handcuffs

Assault and Battery Defense Attorneys in Pennsylvania

Assault charges in Pennsylvania come with serious penalties and can turn your life upside down. Our criminal defense attorneys at Gross McGinley, LLP help clients navigate the law and understand the charges they may be facing. Regardless of the crimes you’ve been charged with, you deserve the best legal defense possible. Our assault lawyers are dedicated to providing quality legal representation you can trust.

What to know about assault and battery charges:

How is assault defined under Pennsylvania criminal law?

What is simple assault?

Which penalties could I face for a simple assault conviction?

Is aggravated assault a felony in PA?

What are the penalties for aggravated assault?

How can the criminal defense attorneys at Gross McGinley help with my assault and battery case?



What Is Assault?

Generally, the law defines assault as an attempt to harm someone else. In Pennsylvania, two types of assault may be charged: simple assault or aggravated assault, which in some states is called battery. While the terms assault and battery are often used together, battery is not a separate offense under Pennsylvania criminal law. Whether you’ve been accused or you’re already facing assault charges, it’s crucial to seek the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help protect your rights and act as your advocate.



Simple Assault

Someone who attempts to cause injury to another person may be charged with simple assault. A person can also be charged with simple assault if they knowingly, recklessly, and deliberately cause injury to another person. Some examples of simple assault charges in Pennsylvania include:

  • Pointing a gun at someone
  • Negligently causing injury with a deadly weapon
  • Putting someone in fear of bodily injury by physical menace
  • Hiding a hypodermic needle and intentionally stabbing a police officer or staff at a hospital or corrections facility

It’s important to understand that even attempting to harm someone can result in assault charges. For example, if you’re involved in a bar fight and take a swing at someone but miss, you can still be charged with simple assault.



Penalties for Simple Assault in Pennsylvania

Although simple assault is charged as a misdemeanor in Pennsylvania, penalties can be harsh. A third-degree misdemeanor is the least serious simple assault charge. It carries a $2,500 fine and up to one year in jail. A second-degree conviction can result in a $5,000 fine and up to two years in jail.

If you’re convicted of a first-degree simple assault charge, you may be subject to a $10,000 fine and up to five years in jail. Simple assault of a minor under 12 years of age typically results in first-degree misdemeanor charges as well.

Sometimes, a simple assault charge is anything but simple. You can count on our criminal lawyers to utilize evidence and our knowledge of criminal law to help get charges reduced or dismissed and build a solid defense if your case goes to trial.



Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault is a more serious felony charge. One of the possible differences between simple assault and aggravated assault is causing or attempting to cause serious bodily injury. Under the law, serious bodily injury is an injury that may result in permanent damage, such as an impairment or disfigurement. It can also be an injury that creates a substantial risk of death.  Another difference can be committing simple assault against someone from a protected class, such as a police officer, teacher, physician, etc.

Examples of aggravated assault include:

  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing serious injury in circumstances that show extreme indifference to the value of human life.
  • Causing or attempting to cause bodily injury to public workers such as police officers, firefighters, correctional officers, court personnel, or public school employees.
  • Causing or attempting to cause injury to a child under the age of six. It does not have to be considered a serious injury to be charged with aggravated assault in these circumstances.
  • Causing or attempting to cause serious injury to a minor age 12 or under.
  • Causing or attempting to cause injury using a deadly weapon or tear gas.

It’s important to understand that crimes such as sexual assault are charged in a different category under Pennsylvania criminal law. Regardless of which type of charge you’re facing, our assault attorneys know how to develop aggressive defense strategies and work to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.



Penalties for Aggravated Assault in Pennsylvania

Aggravated assault may be charged as a first- or second-degree felony. The maximum sentence for a second-degree felony is 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. A first-degree felony conviction can result in penalties of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.



Why Choose Us?

The assault lawyers at Gross McGinley, LLP provide criminal defense representation without judgment. In our justice system, defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty, and anyone accused of a crime is entitled to legal representation by a qualified attorney. Our team is happy to answer any questions you may have and clearly explain the charges, investigative and prosecutorial processes, and the potential consequences of entering a plea or being convicted of assault.

Each case is unique. Our assault attorneys craft a defense based on each client’s specific circumstances and legal options. Our teams of attorneys and legal professionals are dedicated to working collaboratively to provide personalized services with compassion, integrity, and respect. If you or a loved one is facing assault charges, we can help.

Contact Our Criminal Defense Attorneys in Pennsylvania

Gross McGinley, LLP has provided forward-thinking guidance and legal representation to clients in Pennsylvania for more than 40 years. Our commitment to professionalism and our clients-first philosophy is at the heart of everything we do. To schedule a consultation with a criminal defense lawyer, contact us online or call us at 610-820-5450.

Assault Team

View Profile Gross McGinley Allentown Law Firm Attorney Michael J. Blum

Michael J. Blum

Senior Counsel
View Profile Gross McGinley Allentown Law Firm Attorney Robert M. Campbell

Robert M. Campbell

Senior Counsel
View Profile Gross McGinley Allentown Law Firm Sara Hart Charette

Sarah Hart Charette

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Julianne Danchak

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Andrea Figueroa

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Eric A. Harakal

View Profile Lehigh Valley criminal defense lawyer Philip Lauer

Philip D. Lauer

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Alexander O. Ward


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