Assault Defense Attorney for UPenn Students
When attending a respected institution like the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), being entangled in an assault case is the last scenario you want to experience. Not only will you have to contend with a complex criminal case, but you may also have to deal with disciplinary measures instituted by your university. If you or a family member was arrested for assault while attending UPenn, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia assault defense attorney for UPenn students today.
The Law Offices of Lloyd Long would like to offer you the legal defense that you deserve to fight your assault case. Our firm will work tirelessly to ensure that your case receives the attention it needs to pursue a desirable outcome to your case. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact the Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171, or contact us online.
Pennsylvania Assault Laws
Assault is a crime that occurs when a person injures or attempts to injure another person. In Pennsylvania, there are two types of assault that a defendant can be charged with: simple assault and aggravated assault. There are different elements that determine whether a defendant will be charged with simple assault or aggravated assault.
Simple Assault Elements
Pennsylvania law states that a defendant can be found guilty of simple assault if they “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” commit an act that causes another person to suffer bodily injury. Other scenarios that can result in a conviction for simple assault include:
- Negligently handling of a weapon that causes another to suffer injury
- An attempt to inspire fear in another person that the defendant will seriously harm them
- Defendant concealed a hypodermic needle that ended up puncturing a member of law enforcement or an employee of a correctional facility
Grading of Simple Assault Offenses
Simple assault is ordinarily charged as a second degree misdemeanor. There are three levels of misdemeanors that can be used to grade an offense from third degree misdemeanors to first degree misdemeanors. Second degree misdemeanors carry moderate penalties. Specifically, if a defendant is convicted of a second degree misdemeanor, they can face up to two years in prison and a $5,000 criminal fine.
Note, however, that a simple assault can be downgraded to a third degree misdemeanor under certain circumstances. For example, if a defendant engaged in a mutual fight with another person, the assault offense can be downgraded. In Pennsylvania, third degree misdemeanors carry a one-year maximum sentence and $2,500 in fines.
A simple assault can also be upgraded to a first degree misdemeanor if the defendant initiated a fight with a minor under the age of 12 years old while the defendant was at least 18 years old. First degree misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of five years and $10,000 in fines.
Aggravated Assault Elements
Aggravated assault differs from simple assault because it generally requires the defendant to cause or attempt to cause another person a serious bodily injury. Like the elements for simple assault, the defendant must take this action intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly, without regard for the life of the victim.
Other scenarios that can result in an arrest for assault include:
- Causing a serious injury to a member of law enforcement or the employee of a correctional facility
- Using a deadly weapon (e.g., bat, knife, gun, etc.) to cause a person a serious bodily injury
- Trying to intimidate another into believing they are in immediate danger of being seriously harmed
This is not an exhaustive list. There are other circumstances that could lead to an arrest for aggravated assault, like causing an injury to a member of the teaching staff or a student employee at an educational institution.
Aggravated Assault Penalties
Typically, aggravated assault is graded as a first degree felony. Like the misdemeanor grading system, a first degree felony is the most serious type of felony aside for an offense for homicide. In Pennsylvania, first degree felonies carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.
Aggravated assault can also be charged as a second degree felony under certain circumstances, some of which have been listed above. If a defendant is convicted of a second degree felony, they are subject to a maximum of 10 years in prison and $25,000 in criminal fines.
As mentioned, a criminal case for assault may only be one of the many problems you face as a student of UPenn. Serious crimes such as assault can derail a defendant’s academic career. For example, a defendant could lose access to financial aid, campus housing, and other benefits provided by the university. This offense can also follow you around well after college when you try to look for gainful employment and housing.
If you are facing disciplinary proceedings instituted by UPenn, you should contact the Law Offices of Lloyd Long to explore your options to defend yourself.
Contact an Experienced Assault Defense Lawyer for UPenn Students You Can Trust
If you were arrested for assault as a student of the University of Pennsylvania, you should contact an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer today. UPenn assault defense lawyer Lloyd Long possesses a broad range of experience litigating intricate criminal cases from a defendant and prosecution perspective, and he would be honored to use this experience to represent you. To schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your case, contact the Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.