Philadelphia Assault Lawyer

In Philadelphia, assault charges are prosecuted thoroughly. Prosecutors frequently pursue these charges aggressively, regardless of the specific allegations in any given case.

From bar fights to domestic disputes, assault charges can carry severe consequences. That is why if you have been charged with assault in Philadelphia, it may be in your best interest to contact a Philadelphia assault lawyer. A dedicated criminal attorney could fight for you and assist you throughout the legal process.

What is Assault?

While the word assault may conjure images of one individual striking another, the reality is the legal definition of assault is far broader. Under Pennsylvania law, assault can also include negligently causing injury to a person with a deadly weapon, or even putting another person in fear of imminent bodily harm.

The specific elements of assault depend on the exact assault crime a person is charged with. These assault charges vary both in how the case is proven as well as how stiff the sentences are upon conviction.

Common Assault Charges in Philadelphia

There are several types of assault charges that are common in Philadelphia. They vary in their severity, with some considered misdemeanors while others are treated as felonies. Some of the most common assault charges include:

  • Simple assault (18 Pa.C.S. § 2701)
  • Aggravated assault (18 Pa.C.S. § 2702)
  • Assault of a law enforcement officer ((18 Pa.C.S. § 2702.1)
  • Terroristic threats (18 Pa.C.S. § 2706)
  • Ethnic intimidation (18 Pa.C.S. § 2710)
  • Assault on a sports official ((18 Pa.C.S. § 2712)

Each of these assault charges carry the potential for serious consequences. A conviction for a felony assault charge could lead to years behind bars and thousands of dollars in fines. However, not all assault charges qualify as felonies.

Potential Defenses Against Assault Charges

To obtain a conviction for assault, a Philadelphia prosecutor must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a high burden; one that the prosecutor will be unable to meet if there is a valid defense. Determining the appropriate defense is one of the primary purposes of a Philadelphia assault attorney. Some valid defenses in an assault case may include:

Violation of Constitutional Rights

Every defendant is protected by the rights derived from the United States Constitution. These rights include protection from unlawful searches and seizures as well as the right to an attorney. If these rights are violated, any evidence illegally collected cannot be used against the defendant at trial.


One of the most common defenses in an assault trial is the claim of self-defense. This defense is viable the defendant admits to the assault but claims it was justified. A claim for self-defense typically involves a defendant showing the alleged victim was the real aggressor. For this defense to be successful, the person claiming self-defense must not have gone beyond the amount of force necessary to defend themselves.

Defense of Others

Much like with a claim of self-defense, the use of force in order to defend another person is also a valid defense in an assault case. If the jury determines the defendant was acting reasonably in an effort to defend another person, they will render a verdict of not guilty.

Insufficient Evidence

The most basic defense is that the prosecutor simply failed to meet their burden of proof. In some cases, the best argument for a defense attorney is to simply highlight the shortcomings of the state’s case.

Let a Philadelphia Assault Attorney Assist You

A Philadelphia assault lawyer with extensive experience in defending assault cases can have an incredible impact on the outcome of your case. From investigating the facts to defending you at trial, your attorney should provide the vigorous defense you need.