A Centre County judge recently accepted a plea agreement and sentenced a 22-year old man to serve at least 90 days in in the Centre County Prison after hepleaded guilty to Aggravated Assault. The man admitted to having used Lysergic Acid (LSD) and drew attention to himself by running naked in State College. When the police tried to arrest the man, it is alleged that he resisted arrest, scuffled with the officers, and caused one State College police officer to suffer a cracked rib.
The man was charged with Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault, Resisting Arrest, Indecent Exposure, Disorderly Conduct, Public Drunkenness, and Criminal Mischief. The man's State College criminal defense attorney reached an agreement with the district attorney that required the man to plead guilty to one charge of Aggravated Assault, and, in exchange for that guilty plea, the remaining charges were dismissed. The prosecutor also agreed to allow the man to serve the sentence in the county prison as opposed to a state correctional facility, such as Rockview or Camp Hill.
Aggravated Assault for Attacking a State College Officer
The man in this case was originally charged with Aggravated Assault, in violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 2702(a)(2). The charge alleged that the man either attempted to cause or did cause a serious bodily injury to a list of protected people. The list of protected people generally includes public service personnel, like probation officers, prosecutor, firemen, nurses, teachers, and the police. While public defenders are also included on the protected list, private criminal defense attorneys are not. This charge is graded as a felony of the first degree and thereby has a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail and a $25,000.00 fine. It is debatable whether or not a cracked rib would constitute a "serious bodily injury" or just a "bodily injury." For a discussion of the difference between a "bodily injury" and a "serious bodily injury," click here. If the cracked rib were only considered to be a "bodily injury," then the recommended sentence for a conviction of Aggravated Assault in violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 2702(a)(2) is 22 to 36 months incarceration, whereas the recommended sentence increases to 36 to 54 months incarceration if the injury were deemed a "serious bodily injury."
In this case, the criminal defendant pleaded guilty to a charge of Aggravated Assault under 18 Pa.C.S. § 2702(a)(3), which alleges that the defendant caused a "bodily injury" to a listed person. This Aggravated Assault charge is a second degree felony and has a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and a $25,000.00 fine. The charge also has a recommended sentence of 3 to 12 months incarceration. The agreement reached by the man's State College criminal defense attorney not only reduced the grading of the charge from a first degree felony to a second degree felony, it also substantially reduced the recommended sentence and thereby ensured that the client spent less time in jail and that the time was spent in a county facility as opposed to a state prison.
Long Term "Collateral Consequences" of Criminal Conviction
This case is another example of what can happen when hallucinogenic drugs like LSD are used. Not only is the felony Aggravated Assault conviction requiring the man to spend time in jail, the conviction will also impose collateral consequences that will follow the man forever, such as a lifetime ban on the possession of a firearm. Regrettably, in the future, when the man is older and has children, the felony conviction may prevent him from becoming a Little League or youth soccer coach, and it may prevent him from being a chaperone on his child's field trip. Sadly, one stupid decision as a young man can have a severe impact on his future.
If you or someone you know has been charged with Aggravated or Simple Assault, you should contact Centre County criminal defense attorney Jason S. Dunkle at JD Law, P.C. for a free consultation. Attorney Dunkle has been representing people in Central Pennsylvania that have been charged with criminal offenses since 2004.