A slap can be considered assault, depending on the intent behind the action. If the intent was to be harmful, causing fear or inflicting hurt, a slap can be considered assault. Many circumstances can be regarded as assault. Assault in Pennsylvania has two categories: simple assault and aggravated assault, accompanied by different penalties if convicted.
Assault is a serious accusation, which could lead to years behind bars and significant fines and impact your life if convicted. An assault lawyer could help evaluate the allegations if you or a loved one were accused of assault.
What Is Assault?
Assault is an intentional act that puts someone else in harmful or offensive contact. Committing assault happens when there is an intention to cause the hurt inflicted or attempted to be inflicted. Having intention means the act was not accidental. Assault can also include inflicting fear. If another person fears bodily harm, it could result in punishment, even if there is no actual physical harm done.
Assaults can be classified as either simple or aggravated, typically distinguished by whether or not there was follow-through and someone was struck with harm. Simple or aggravated assault can have both intentional actions that result in consequences.
Simple Assault vs. Aggravated Assault
Simple assault involves a threat of immediate harm or a physical act that results in slight injuries. Simple assaults can range from raising a fist or hand to threatening a physical act or shoving or slapping that results in bruising.
Simple assault is typically charged as a misdemeanor of the second degree unless:
- You were involved in a mutually consented fight or scuffle, which can result in a third-degree misdemeanor; or,
- If you are older than 18 and the other person involved is a child under 12, then it is considered a first-degree misdemeanor.
Aggravated assault carries a felony charge as a result of serious bodily harm or assault committed with a weapon with intent to commit a serious act or crime.
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Does Slapping Constitute Assault?
The act of slapping someone involves physical contact requiring your hand to touch another person’s face or body part. The act itself can be considered an assault, especially if there is force within the slap or even if the other person is fearful of being slapped. Force or threats combined with intent to harm someone can result in a simple assault charge.
The details surrounding the incident can also be a factor in an assault charge. The people involved, the type of relationship between parties, and the number of occurrences of this type of behavior can all impact the severity of a charge.
How Can a Simple Assault Affect Your Life?
Many things can change in your life as a result of actions that caused a simple assault accusation or charge if convicted. You could be facing time in jail, fines, probation, and programs to complete after jail time, as well as loss of employment, affecting your finances and career. A conviction can also cause a forced separation from your family.
Even if you are not convicted, the charges against you will be posted on public record, which is accessible to whoever wants to see it. This can lead to struggles with your career or even when you are trying to find a place to live. This type of information is challenging to remove from public records. If you are eligible for expungement, there is a process that has to be filed and followed in order to be removed from public view.
How Do I Determine If I Need Legal Representation?
Assault charges can be difficult and complicated due to the specific details surrounding your incident. An assault lawyer can help determine if you didn’t intend to harm someone else, if you were acting in self-defense, or determine a defense to your charges. Once your case has been investigated and evaluated, an attorney can prepare a defense that aligns with your case. We utilize our resources and work hard to pursue the best possible outcome we can.
Seeking representation as quickly as possible allows you to receive representation if you are facing criminal charges or allows for you to be prepared in the event it happens, which can lead to a stronger defense.
A Philadelphia Assault Lawyer Can Determine If Your Case Is Assault
The Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC can answer your questions and discuss your potential case. During a free consultation, we can examine the details of your incident and what the timeline of events should look like or if you could qualify for expungement. If you or a loved one is in need of legal representation, don’t hesitate to contact us by filling out our form online or giving us a call. We want to help protect your rights or your loved one’s rights.