Can Getting into a Fight Lead to an Arrest?
According to statistics from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program, there were 3,748 total arrests for aggravated assault offenses in Pennsylvania in 2019. Under Pennsylvania law, assault and battery crimes involve physical attacks, offensive physical contact, or threats of attacks. Even fights that appear entirely harmless may ultimately lead to an arrest with the defendant facing serious assault charges.
At Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C., I'm committed to handling criminal cases and defending clients facing disorderly conduct or assault charges. As an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney, I can investigate the surrounding facts of your case and outline an effective defense strategy. I will fight to protect your rights and help you pursue the best available outcome for your situation. My firm proudly represents clients across Pittsburgh, Shaler Township, Oakmont Borough, Fox Chapel, and Aspinwall, Pennsylvania.
Arrested for Fighting
Fighting can result in serious criminal charges, even if two people mutually agree to fight each other. If you're arrested for fighting in Pennsylvania, you may be facing disorderly conduct or assault charges.
According to Pennsylvania Code Section 5503, a person is guilty of disorderly conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he or she:
Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior
Makes unreasonable noise
Uses obscene language or makes an obscene gesture
Creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor
Penalties: Disorderly conduct is charged as a third-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.
An argument can easily escalate into violence in the blink of an eye. Even if you didn't start the fight, you might be facing criminal assault charges for throwing the first punch. In Pennsylvania, assault crimes are classified into simple assault and aggravated assault. Simple assault includes any of the following:
Recklessly or intentionally causing bodily injury to another person
Attempting to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury
Negligently causing bodily injury to another person using a deadly weapon
Intentionally sticking a peace, law enforcement, correctional officer, or prison employee with a hypodermic needle
When a Fight Leads to Assault Charges
In order for a fight to result in assault charges, the following factors will be considered:
Who started the fight? — Under Pennsylvania law, the person who started the fight will be considered to be the aggressor.
Was it self-defense? — Thankfully, self-defense is among the possible defenses against assault charges in Pennsylvania.
Was a weapon used? — Assault charges may be upgraded to aggravated assault if the aggressor used a deadly weapon to cause little or no harm.
How much harm was caused? — Depending on the severity of the harm or bodily injury inflicted on the other party, the defendant may be facing serious criminal assault charges.
Who was assaulted? — Assault on a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or prison employee is treated differently and punished more severely.
Penalties: Simple assault committed in the course of a fight entered into by mutual consent is a third-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison and a maximum fine of $2,500.
Hire a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney
Getting into a fight can be risky — both physically and legally — but it doesn't have to result in devastating consequences. If you have been arrested and charged with assault or disorderly conduct due to a scuffle, retaining a skilled and aggressive Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney is paramount to protect your legal rights and help in building a strong defense.
At Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C., I have the experience and resources to represent and help you fight your assault and battery charges. As your legal counsel, I will review and investigate every detail of your case and determine your best defense strategy. I will fight aggressively on your behalf to defend your rights and guide you through every phase of the legal proceedings.
Contact my firm today to schedule a one-on-one case assessment with an experienced assault defense attorney. I can offer you the detailed legal counsel, strong advocacy, and reliable representation you need in your case. I'm proud to serve clients across Pittsburgh, Shaler Township, Oakmont Borough, Fox Chapel, and Aspinwall, Pennsylvania.