Assault is one of the most common violent crimes, and it is also one of the most misunderstood. Quite a few people have dangerously inaccurate definitions for assault. They might engage in behavior that is technically assault under state law without realizing what they have done.
In many cases, becoming physically violent toward another person is against the law. Pennsylvania has specific rules against hurting other people unless you acted in an attempt to protect yourself, another person or your property.
If someone claims that you intentionally hurt them, the state could charge you with assault. If the other person doesn’t have any significant or lasting injuries, does that mean you will have an easy time fighting back against those assault charges?
Assault does not require significant injury or even physical contact
Numerous behaviors constitute assault in Pennsylvania. The best-known definition of assault does involve intentionally causing injury to someone else. However, other actions can also lead to assault charges under Pennsylvania law.
The state can charge you with assault because you hurt someone else with a weapon through negligence or when other people feel that your body language is intimidating. One of the definitions of assault involves physically menacing other people.
Towering over someone while shouting at them or pulling your hand back like you are just about to punch someone could lead to assault charges even if you don’t actually hurt the other person. Putting them in immediate fear through physical menace could be enough to result in charges.
Knowing how Pennsylvania defines assault can help you defend yourself against violent criminal charges.