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Simple Assault & Disorderly Conduct Charges in Pittsburgh, PA

Have you been charged with assault in Pennsylvania?

There is nothing “simple” about being arrested or charged with assault or disorderly conduct. These are punishable offenses that can lead to jail time, fines and court costs, not to mention a criminal record. However, being charged with simple assault or disorderly conduct does not have to mean a conviction – you can fight your charges to try to reduce sentencing or have your charges dropped altogether.

Simple Assault Charges in Pennsylvania

In some states, simple assault charges are known as battery or assault and battery, but in Pennsylvania it is referred to as simple assault. Typically, a simple assault conviction is a second-degree misdemeanor and comes with severe penalties, including jail time, based on the severity of the assault and prior convictions. An assault charge is deemed aggravated assault (a first degree felony) when serious bodily injury is involved or if government workers, teachers, law enforcement officers or firefighters are the victims while on duty.

Simple assault is defined under Statutes of Pennsylvania Title 18 – 2701 as:

  • Attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another;
  • Negligently causing bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon;
  • Attempting by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

Penalties for Simple Assault:

The maximum penalty for simple assault is two years in prison, unless the victim is a minor and in that case the maximum penalty is five years in prison. If the simple assault charge is deemed to be “mutual combat”, the maximum penalty is one year in prison.

Many times people being charged for simple assault are acting in self-defense and are the victim themselves. However, in order to try to prove that you were acting in self-defense, you need a solid and strong legal defense.

If you have been arrested for simple assault and/or disorderly conduct in Pittsburgh, PA, call an experienced and aggressive defense attorney who will give you a free consultation and help you understand your rights, your record and how to best defend them.


Disorderly Conduct Charges in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, disorderly conduct is defined as engaging in fighting, threatening, making unreasonable noise, using obscene language or gestures or creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose.

Disorderly conduct is a summary offense, unless the intent of the actor is to cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience or persists in disorderly conduct after requests to desist. In those cases, disorderly conduct is a third-degree misdemeanor offense.

Penalties for a summary disorderly conduct conviction include a maximum of 90 days in jail and/or probation and a $300 fine, plus court fees. If there is a past record of violence or other extreme circumstances, you may receive harsher sentencing.

Many people who are arrested for disorderly conduct have not committed any crimes and these charges can be fought and won in court, based on several defenses. Too many people simply think they can pay the fine, but there could be jail time involved in sentencing and it is often possible to have the fines and jail time reduced or the case dropped altogether.

A Simple Assault or Disorderly Conduct Arrest is NOT a Conviction

Each assault case is unique and there are many angles that a really great attorney can attempt to fight for when defending your rights. People make plenty of mistakes, including arresting officers, and if any of their tactics have been illegal or improper, your case could be dismissed completely.

If you have been charged with a simple assault or disorderly conduct in Pennsylvania, call an experienced Pittsburgh assault attorney like Attorney Ketchel for a free consultation. He will aggressively fight on your behalf to ensure that your arrest has a minimal impact on all aspects of your life and your future.

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