Greensburg Assault Attorney | Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys
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Everyone knows that unfortunately some situations can escalate quickly, and people occasionally react in ways that they never expected. Stress, an emotional stimulus, or a lapse in judgment may lead you to lash out. If you were charged with assault as a result, you’re still entitled to an opportunity to explain things, and to seek the best possible resolution. Don’t just accept the consequences. It’s essential to have a Greensburg assault attorney to represent your interests, from day one.

At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, our violent crime lawyers in Greensburg are committed to fighting for the rights of those accused of simple or aggravated assault. We know that allegations can be misleading, exaggerated, or outright false, so we’re dedicated to providing a solid defense.

Call us at (724) 834-1275 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our Greensburg assault lawyers.

What Does Assault in Greensburg Mean?

Pennsylvania’s assault laws are tough and can be complicated with simple assault encompassing four types of conduct:

  • Attempting or causing bodily injury, intentionally or recklessly;
  • Causing bodily injury through negligent use of a weapon;
  • Using menacing acts to make someone fear that bodily injury is imminent; or,
  • Concealing a hypodermic needle and penetrating a police officer, an employee of a correctional facility, or other individual mentioned by the statute.

On the other hand, aggravated assault incorporates more serious acts, like causing injury through the use of a deadly weapon, threatening harm to members of law enforcement, and other conduct designated by law.

How can I be arrested for assault?

You can be charged with either simple or aggravated assault if you engage in any of the acts specified by law, or if the victim falls within one of the categories stated in the statute.

Is assault a felony in Greensburg?

Simple assault is a second-degree misdemeanor under Pennsylvania law. The exception is if the assault occurs through a physical encounter or fight that both parties engage in consensually. In such a case, the offense is considered a third-degree misdemeanor.

Aggravated assault is always charged as a felony in Pennsylvania. The degree depends upon the circumstances, including the type of conduct and the nature of the victim. If the person you assaulted is a police officer, teacher, employee in public transportation, or any other within the statute, the crime is a first-degree felony. Committing the specified acts against any other person could mean an arrest on second-degree felony charges.

Note that an offense that would typically be charged as simple assault could be elevated to the aggravated form of the crime in domestic violence situations.

Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon?

Under the statute, you could be charged with aggravated assault if your conduct involves use of a deadly weapon. Acts that are included under this offense are the attempt to cause bodily harm, as well as intentionally or knowingly completing the crime. A deadly weapon includes a firearm, regardless of whether it’s loaded. The statute also covers any device capable of causing death or serious bodily injury, or a mechanism which is designed to be a deadly weapon.

Assault Penalties in Westmoreland County, PA

There are varying criminal sanctions for an assault conviction in PA, including:

  • Third-Degree Misdemeanor Simple Assault: If you’re convicted of this offense through an intentional, consensual interaction with the alleged victim, you could be sentenced to one year in custody and a fine up to $2,500.
  • Second-Degree Misdemeanor Simple Assault: For this type of assault, your sentence for a conviction could be a maximum of two years’ imprisonment and a fine up to $5,000.
  • First-Degree Felony Aggravated Assault: The more serious of the two degrees of felonies, this crime could carry up to 20 years’ incarceration and a maximum fine of $25,000.
  • Second-Degree Felony Aggravated Assault: You face a maximum of 10 years imprisonment and a fine up to $25,000 for this offense.

Beyond assault jail time, a conviction on a misdemeanor or felony charge means that you’ll have a criminal record. You may experience difficulties with employment, loans, educational opportunities, and immigration. If the situation involved domestic violence, your rights to child custody and visitation could be restricted.

However, you should always bear in mind that an arrest doesn’t mean a conviction. The prosecuting attorney must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the highest level of proof under the US legal system. There may be multiple opportunities for an assault attorney to attack the evidence, witness testimony, or negotiate for a reduced outcome.

Defending Against Assault Charges

Every situation is unique, and depending on the specifics of your case, your lawyer may develop a defense around claims that:

  • You lacked the specific intent to cause harm;
  • You acted in self-defense or defense of others;
  • The victim was not acting within the scope of employment regarding the professions described in the statute;
  • Your acts were not such that a reasonable person would have felt intimidated or threatened;
  • You didn’t cause bodily injury; or,
  • The weapon in your possession does not meet the “deadly” criteria.

By implementing a strong defense strategy, your potential assault sentence could be significantly reduced or lead to an outright dismissal. Plus, lack of knowledge may be a key component to your defense when looking at assault against public officials and other individuals specified by the statute. If you didn’t know that the victim held one of these positions, your assault attorney might have grounds to get the charges reduced.

Contact a Greensburg Assault Attorney Today

When you look at the harsh criminal penalties for simple or aggravated assault in PA, you realize the importance of retaining skilled, knowledgeable counsel. You can trust Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC with your case, We’ve represented many clients in Greensburg and throughout Westmoreland County in similar situations.

For more information on your defense options, please call (724) 834-1275 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We’ll review your situation and explain why an assault lawyer is your most valuable asset in defending yourself.

Why Hire Us?