How can I be charged with assault if the victim did not suffer a bodily injury?
Pennsylvania assault charges do not require an actual injury. Assault charges can also be based upon a person’s intent to cause an injury. How do the police or a prosecutor know someone’s intent? By the person’s statements and actions.
Consider this hypothetical – a husband finds his wife’s boyfriend, threatens to kill him, husband then swings a bat at the boyfriend’s head, but the boyfriend ducks so that he is not hit. The husband could be charged with Aggravated Assault because his statements and his actions show that he had an intent to cause serious bodily injury. Swinging a bat at a person’s head is clear evidence of an intent to cause a serious bodily injury.
Weapon Not Required for Aggravated Assault
An intent to cause serious bodily injury does not require the use of a weapon. In many counties across Pennsylvania, district attorneys prosecute Aggravated Assault cases in which the defendant used his fists to punch a person repeatedly in the heade even after the victim was knocked out. If a person is no longer capable of fighting back, the an attack must stop. The issue in such cases often hinges upon whether or not the “victim” was actually unconsicous or still fighting back.
If you have any questions about criminal charges in Pennsylvania, contact the State College criminal defense firm of JD for a free case review. Email or call (814) 689-9139.