When many of us think of assault, we picture one person hitting another person and injuring them. However, under Pennsylvania law, many behaviors can constitute as assault and no one necessarily has to suffer injury. Under 18 PA C.S.A 2701, any intentional attempt to injure or harm another person, intentionally or negligently causing another person injury, can be classified as a simple assault.

In Pennsylvania, many simple assaults are considered second-degree misdemeanors and can result in up to two years in jail upon conviction. In cases where both parties mutually consented to the fight, the charge may drop to a third-degree misdemeanor, which can result in up to a year in jail upon conviction. The most serious simple assault charge, a first degree misdemeanor which could result in five years in prison, involves an adult (18 or older) assaulting in a child under the age of 12.

A simple assault charge is anything but simple to defend against, but your charges may be dismissed or reduced with an effective defense strategy. A criminal defense attorney on your side can represent you in court and establish that you did not have the requisite intent to be convicted of the crime at hand or that you were acting in self-defense. While bodily injury is not necessary, lack of bodily injury may be helpful to show that the assault did not occur in the first place, or that the assault was not as serious as prosecutors are making it out to be.

To find out more about the defenses that apply to your specific case, consider discussing your case with a criminal defense attorney in your area.