Can You Be Charged with Attempted Assault in Pennsylvania?
According to Pennsylvania criminal law, a person can be charged with either simple or aggravated assault for attempting to commit the crime if they take substantial steps toward completing it. The act of attempting to assault another person, by either putting them in imminent harm or causing serious bodily injury, is a crime itself.
While you cannot be charged with “attempted assault,” if you are wondering if attempted assault is a crime, it still is. Depending on the severity of the offense and any aggravating factors that may exist, such as the use of a weapon or premeditation, convictions may result in lengthy prison sentences.
When you are charged with any violent crime in Pennsylvania, it is important to know what you are charged with and why. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the types of assault charges under Pennsylvania law, how each of them plays out with sentencing and other penalties, and any information regarding other factors that can impact your sentence.
Don’t face the courts alone if you have been charged with an assault crime. Get in touch with an experienced and resolute lawyer who will fight for your rights. At Marinaro Law Firm, we prepare for trial from day one and use our extensive experience as litigator and forensic chemist to help our clients. Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.
What Does Being Charged with Assault in Pennsylvania Mean?
Being charged with assault in Pennsylvania means you are suspected of committing a violent act against another person. This act can include physically attacking someone or threatening them with violence. In Pennsylvania, many assault crimes are divided into simple and aggravated assault.
What Does Simple Assault Mean?
Simple assault involves intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another individual. It can also include negligently causing bodily harm using a deadly weapon.
Depending on many factors, which include the severity of the situation, a simple assault charge is considered a second-degree misdemeanor. With this charge, you can be sentenced to no more than two years in prison and pay up to $500 in fines.
What Does Aggravated Assault Mean?
Aggravated assault is when you intentionally attempt to cause serious bodily injury or use extreme force against another person. Additionally, assault with a deadly weapon when committing this crime can have you facing even more severe penalties.
Aggravated assault involves charges that can be either first or second-degree felonies, with 10 years or more in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
Other Types of Assault Charges in Pennsylvania
Other types of assault crimes in Pennsylvania cause imminent serious bodily injury to another person, whether that is implied or not. These include:
- Assault of a law enforcement or police officer
- Assault by a prisoner or aggravated harassment by a prisoner
- Assault by a life prisoner
- Recklessly endangering another person
- Terroristic threats
- Propulsion of missiles into an occupied vehicle or onto a roadway, which includes the discharge of a firearm, paintball guns, or paintball markers into an occupied structure
- Use of tear or noxious gas in labor disputes
- Ethnic intimidation
- Probable cause arrests in domestic violence cases
- Assault on a sports official
- Neglect or abuse of a care-dependent person
- Unauthorized administration of an intoxicant
- The unlawful possession, threat to use, or manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction
- Endangerment of a public safety official
What Are Criminal Attempt Crimes?
In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, criminal attempt, criminal solicitation, and criminal conspiracy are three distinct crimes. These crimes can be prosecuted separately, but if the act in question is enough to move the intent forward, you can be charged with the crime itself.
A criminal attempt is when you take substantial steps toward committing a crime but fail to complete it. An example of this may be someone attempting to rob a store but being stopped before they can carry out the robbery.
Under Pennsylvania law, a criminal attempt is considered a separate crime with its punishment structure. Depending on the severity of the underlying offense you have attempted, you could face prison time. In addition, depending on the facts of each case, you may also be liable for civil damages if your actions resulted in any kind of injury or property damage.
What Is Pennsylvania’s Three-Strikes Law?
Pennsylvania’s Three-Strikes law, which was passed in 1995, is an important part of the state’s criminal code. It stipulates that anyone convicted of three or more serious crimes must be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
This law is particularly relevant regarding assault charges because if you have been convicted of two previous assault offenses, you may face a life sentence if found guilty for the third time
The law applies to felonies classified as “strikes” by the state, including aggravated assault, robbery with a deadly weapon, and murder. When you are convicted of three “strike” felonies within 10 years of each other, you are automatically subject to life in prison with no parole.
The Three-Strikes law also carries a higher sentencing burden for those already serving sentences when convicted of a third offense. In these cases, sentences can be extended up to double the original length until their third offense reaches the 10-year mark, or whichever occurs first.
Have Marinaro Law On Your Side When Charged with Attempted Assault in PA
When facing charges related to any criminal attempts to assault someone in Pennsylvania, you must have an experienced attorney who can help ensure your rights are protected throughout your case. The talented and dedicated team at Marinaro Law Firm is experienced in defending assault cases in PA and will be there at each step of your trial. Contact us when you are ready to reach out to us to set up a consultation and know that we will defend your rights the best way we know how.
- PACS – Title 18: Crimes and Offenses; Chapter 9 – Inchoate Crimes; § 901. Criminal Attempt.
- PACS – Title 18: Crimes and Offenses; Chapter 27. Assault; § 2701. Simple assault.
- PACS – Title 18: Crimes and Offenses; Chapter 27. Assault; § 2702. Aggravated assault.
- Pennsylvania Code – Title 101: General Assembly; Chapter 15 – Statutes; § 15.66 – Offenses and penalties