Charges & Punishments for Assault & Battery
Assault and battery is a serious criminal charge that results in hefty fines and possible jail sentences, depending on the severity of the assault. Convictions of these crimes carry a wide range of punishments where law enforcement has broad discretion in their charges and sentencing.
Assault and battery are defined as two separate crimes, although battery by necessity includes the crime of assault. Simple assault is the intent to commit battery against someone or causing fear of bodily harm by means other than words. Battery is the actual use of force to cause bodily harm.
There are three types of misdemeanor assault and battery charges someone can be charged with, including assault and battery, the causing of injury to another, assault, the causing of fear through a show of force, and affray, which is fighting in public. If a weapon is used during the crime, or if the assault escalates to include robbery or rape or other crimes, then the simple assault will rise to aggravated assault, which is a felony. A Philadelphia assault lawyer will be able to protect you from aggressive investigative techniques and potentially point out pivotal mistakes that could help you in criminal defense.
Punishments for assault and battery convictions can vary depending on past criminal records or first-time offenses. Punishments will include a monetary fine, jail time, or both. If you’re a first-time offender, a more lenient sentence is likely. With a previous criminal record or a history of repeated offenses will likely see a harsher sentence.
In cases where the offense is more severe, charges can be raised to aggravated, which is a felony and the most serious type of criminal defense. With a monetary fine, a felony assault and battery conviction hold one or more years in prison or jail.
For cases where a crime is committed against specific classes of persons, many jurisdictions have enacted enhanced penalties, which result in more severe punishments. The enhanced penalties include crimes against public servants or their family members, including police officers, firefighters, school teachers, paramedics, and magistrates.
In Pennsylvania, simple assault is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor. This is punishable by imprisonment of up to two years and a fine of up to $5,000. If the crime occurred against a child under the age of 12 by an adult aged 21 or older, that is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor and holds a punishment of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If the case involved a mutual consent fight, that is classified as a third-degree misdemeanor, which carries a punishment of up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.
Simple assault is a serious crime and requires an experienced attorney to handle the case. Consult with an attorney at The Law Offices of RIchard J. Fuschino, Jr. if you’ve been arrested or charged with assault and battery. Our team of local criminal lawyers understand the law and focus the court’s attention on the facts unique to your case. We’ll be able to tell you how your case and its unique complexities are likely to be handled in court and how we’ll draft the appropriate defense strategy.