The following are frequently asked questions on the different kinds of assault charges in Philadelphia.
Simple assault charges are prosecuted vigorously in Philadelphia because they are often associated with domestic violence. As such, prosecutors believe that in order to defray domestic violence they must seek stiff sentences for simple assault charges.
This crime is often charged in cases involving physical domestic disputes, street fights, bar fights, and behavior that threatens these actions. The majority of all Philadelphia assault charges are simple assaults. These are crimes mostly involving physical actions or threats to another person that do not rise to the felony level of aggravated assault.
The crime of simple assault in Philadelphia is categorized as a misdemeanor meant to protect people from being attacked. It is a crime against a person and an individual can be charged with simple assault if they intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause bodily injury to somebody else. You can also face simple assault charges if you cause someone to fear they are in imminent danger of being seriously injured by you.
In Philadelphia this charge will be heard in the Philadelphia Municipal Court. This court is located at the Juanita Kidd Stout Criminal Justice Center located at 1301 Filbert Street, Philadelphia, PA. At this level all simple assault cases will be heard first before a Judge sitting without a jury. If an appeal is taken the matter can be heard before a judge or jury in the Court of Common Pleas located at the same courthouse.
Aggravated assault in Philadelphia is an attempt to cause serious bodily injury to another person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly, with extreme indifference to the value of human life. The distinguishing aspect of “aggravated assault” is that the person must be accused of either causing, or attempting cause, serious bodily injury. Put differently, aggravated assault is commonly applied to cases where someone has been seriously injured. However, aggravated assault does not always require someone to have intended to cause bodily injury, and can apply to allegations of recklessly causing such an injury. In contrast, the charge of simple assaulted graded as a misdemeanor only requires bodily injury or an attempt to cause it. It is the severity of the injury or attempt to cause it that makes an assault a felony and an aggravated assault in Pennsylvania. Aggravated assault is a felony with serious penalties.