Man in suit with hands behind his back in handcuffs

Falsely Accused of Simple Assault

Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C. Nov. 23, 2020

According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, there were about 39,228 reported incidents of violent crimes in 2019 in the state of Pennsylvania, comprising 24,465 assault cases. In Pennsylvania, a person may be charged with assault crimes for getting involved in a physical altercation with someone else. If you have been falsely accused of simple assault, it is important that you speak immediately with a highly-skilled and aggressive Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney to help build your defense.

At my firm, Allegheny Attorneys at Law, I'm committed to providing comprehensive legal services and defending clients who have been wrongfully accused of simple assault. As your legal counsel, I can fight vigorously to defend your rights, refute the charges against you, and fight hard to establish your innocence. I can offer you the reliable legal guidance and strong representation you need to pursue a favorable outcome. I’m also proud to represent clients throughout Pittsburgh, Shaler Township, Ross Township, and Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania.

Understanding Simple Assault Charges in Pennsylvania

Simple assault can be defined as any attempt to cause bodily harm or injury to another person. Pursuant to Pennsylvania criminal code (18 PA C.S.A. 2701), a person commits an offense of simple assault when he or she:

  • Attempts to cause or intentionally causes bodily injury to another person.

  • Negligently causes bodily injury to another using a deadly weapon.

  • Attempts to put another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

  • Intentionally harms a law enforcement officer during an arrest or search.

Possible Penalties for Simple Assault

Possible penalties for simple assault charges in Pennsylvania usually depend on the nature of the offense, the victim’s age, and other circumstances surrounding the incident. If convicted, possible penalties include:

Grade I

  • Charges: Third-degree misdemeanor (a fight or scuffle entered into by mutual consent)

  • Prison Sentence: Up to one year

  • Fines: $2,500

Grade II

  • Charges: Second-degree misdemeanor (simple assault)

  • Prison Sentence: Up to two years

  • Fines: $5,000

Grade III

  • Charges: First-degree misdemeanor (Alleged defendant is over 18 years and an alleged victim under 12 years)

  • Prison Sentence: Up to five years

  • Fines: $10,000

A misdemeanor assault conviction will also stay on your criminal record forever.

Situations Involving a False Accusation of Simple Assault

Examples of circumstances that may lead to false accusations include:

  • An altercation between spouses, family members, or friends

  • An ex trying to use false accusations of simple assault in a custody battle

  • A person trying to cover up other crimes or bad behavior

  • An accuser misidentifying a person for committing a crime

  • An accuser making a mistake while recollecting the details of an incident

  • An accuser intentionally lying to the authorities

  • Misconduct or abuse of power on the part of the law enforcement officers or prosecutors

  • Revenge or personal animosity

Steps to Take When Falsely Accused

False allegations are very serious and can jeopardize a person's quality of life and future opportunities. If someone makes a false claim of simple assault against you, here are the necessary steps you should take:

  1. Remain silent.

  2. Hire an attorney to investigate your case, help you understand your legal rights, and determine your defense strategy.

  3. Document the events leading up to your arrest and what happened while you were in custody.

  4. Gather any necessary evidence, witness statements, and documents related to your case.

  5. Don't speak to anyone, including the police, without the presence or permission of your attorney.

  6. Keep a low profile, avoid social media, and avoid contact with the accuser

  7. Never discuss the details of your case with anyone except your criminal defense attorney.

Possible Defenses for Simple Assault Charges

Some possible defenses when facing a charge or false accusation of simple assault include:

  • Mistaken identity

  • Acting in self-defense

  • Acting in defense of another person

  • Misrecollection

  • Official misconduct

  • Misleading forensic evidence

  • Malicious false accusations

How Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C. Can Help

Between 1989 and 2018, the National Registry of Exonerations recorded 2,372 exonerations in the United States. False accusations by alleged victims are quite common and can easily lead to wrongful convictions. If you have been falsely accused of simple assault, retaining a knowledgeable Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney will be crucial to protecting your legal rights and helping build a strong defense.

My firm, Allegheny Attorneys At Law, is devoted to providing reliable legal services and strong representation to clients facing simple assault charges. This includes providing criminal defense services to those who have been wrongfully accused of simple assault. As your legal counsel, I will investigate the details of your case and build an effective defense strategy. I will fight vigorously to defend your rights, refute the allegations against you, and do everything I can to prove your innocence.

If you’re facing simple assault allegations or charges, reach out to my office today to schedule a one-on-one case assessment. I can offer you the comprehensive legal guidance, advocacy, and aggressive representation you need. I'm proud to serve clients throughout Pittsburgh, Shaler Township, Ross Township, and Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania.