Data from the Pennsylvania State Police shows that Bucks County had approximately 1,611 assault offenses that occurred in 2018. Uniform Crime Data shows that in Pennsylvania there were approximately 23,309 overall aggravated assault offenses in 2017. This was an increase from a total of 22,945 during the prior year. Among all types of offenses committed in the state, aggravated assault composed roughly 9.3% of the total. Statistics show that nearly 75% of those arrested for the charge were male.
Understanding Aggravated Assault § 2702
- Attempts to inflict bodily injury on another person, or willingly or recklessly demonstrates complete indifference for the safety of human life
- Attempts to inflict bodily injury on another person or willingly or recklessly demonstrates complete indifference for the safety of “officers, agents, and employees” who are “acting in the scope of their employment” or “because of their employment” including:
- Those from the police department, fire department, correctional institutions, or sheriff's department
- County officials such as parole and probation officers, members of the district attorney's office, and the court systems
- Members of the state government and state agencies
- Members of the federal government and federal agencies
- Those associated with schools, the school board, or the Department of Education
- Attempts to inflict bodily injury on someone willingly or recklessly by using a lethal weapon
- Uses noxious gas or “electronic incapacitation device” on any of the aforementioned parties
- Adults who attempt to inflict bodily injury on children
Two Levels of Felony Offenses
In Pennsylvania, felonies of the first-degree are those deemed as the most serious offenses. Examples of these offenses include murder, rape, and certain aggravated assault charges. The penalties that may be imposed are up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Those with multiple violent felony convictions may have their prison sentence extended to 25 years in some cases.
Felonies of the second-degree are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Examples of these offenses include sexual assault, burglary, and certain aggravated assault charges. Some felony charges in the state have mandatory minimum sentences that may apply.
Felony Sentencing Practices
The state applies two primary elements when determining sentences. These are known as the Offense Gravity Score (OGS) and Prior Record Score (PRS). These factors seek to calculate sentences based on the severity of the offense, the offender's prior criminal history, and other considerations. The Pennsylvania legislature is currently very active in reforming prison sentencing, parole and probation issues, and other aspects of the criminal justice system.
Differentiating Simple and Aggravated Assault
Aggravated assault charges should not be confused with simple assault charges. Simple assault is a misdemeanor charge that is either of the second or third-degree. These charges are generally punishable by up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine; however, there are many factors and variables that influence sentencing.
Defenses Your Attorney May Consider
Your attorney will need to assess the many circumstances involved in your specific case as it relates to possible defenses. The defense may challenge the prosecution's assertion that a weapon used is “deadly.” It is possible that the defense may claim that some evidence was improperly acquired or obtained and should be excluded.
Attorney Defends Assault Cases in Bucks County
Charges of aggravated assault are felonies and may have potentially life-altering ramifications. Attorney Joseph D. Lento aggressively defends his clients to maintain their freedom and their future. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for a consultation.