When you do the same thing over and over, you tend to stop thinking about the risks that it entails. For example, you drive so often that you probably take safety precautions subconsciously, without really thinking about it. For certain dangerous activities, like driving or jogging on a public road, your habits likely already safety-related behaviors.

However, if you have other social behaviors that aren’t readily identified as risky, you may not think about the dangerous situation you put yourself in until it’s too late. Small mistakes can become real problems if they result in criminal charges.

You may have some regular habits that increase your risk of a criminal assault charge in the future. Looking at your lifestyle can help you determine if there are ways you can reduce your risk.

Do you frequently drink in public locations?

A lot of people like to stop off at a restaurant or a bar and have a drink either on their way home from work or perhaps in the evening after dinner while running errands. Unfortunately, when you make a habit of consuming alcohol in public locations, especially if you do so frequently in the same place, you run the risk of getting into an altercation with someone else.

Alcohol has a tendency to exacerbate arguments and add drama to social situations. It also reduces your typical level of restraint. In other words, what starts off as mere rudeness from another patron could quickly devolve into a physical altercation that has serious criminal consequences for you.

Do you go out to parties every weekend?

If you make it a point of going to other people’s houses for large informal gatherings, you increase your chances of having a serious disagreement with someone eventually.

Arguments could break out for any sort of reason, from flirting with the wrong person to making the mistake of discussing politics after drinking. Any sort of fight or even an attempt to intimidate and scare another person could potentially result in assault charges.

How does Pennsylvania define assault?

You probably already know that you could get charged with assault if you put your hands on someone else or cause a person bodily harm. In some cases, you could face aggravated assault charges.

However, assault doesn’t just involve injury. It can also involve intentionally intimidating someone with your body size or gestures. If you make someone think you are about to attack or hit them, that could result in assault charges under Pennsylvania law.

Anytime you intentionally cause bodily harm to another person, you run the risk of assault charges for that as well. The good news is that if you get charged with assault, you still have the ability to defend yourself in court.

Whether you were simply acting in self-defense or the situation arose because of aggression from another party, there are many potential strategies that can help you mitigate the risk of a conviction.