What is the penalty for simple assault in Pennsylvania?


Quick Answer

According to FindLaw.com, simple assault in Pennsylvania is a misdemeanor of the second degree, which carries up to 2 years in prison if convicted; however, there are also first-degree misdemeanors for simple assault that carry up to 5 years and third-degree misdemeanors that carry up to 1 year. A first-degree misdemeanor for simple assault occurs when an adult of 21 years of age or older assaults a child of 12 or younger and a third-degree misdemeanor occurs when both parties in the fight or scuffle entered it consensually.

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Full Answer

To be guilty of simple assault the offender must

  • Attempt to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause bodily injury to another
  • Negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon
  • Attempt, by physical menace, to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury
  • Conceal or attempt to conceal a hypodermic needle which then, during an arrest or search, penetrates the skin or a law enforcement officer or an employee of correctional facilities, mental hospitals, county jail, or prison.

Aggravated assault is committed when serious bodily injury occurs when the offender is acting in an extreme indifference to human life or if it is carried out against a police officer or other public safety official. Aggravated assault carries prison time of up to 10 years and is considered a felony.

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