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Thread: Re: Simple Assult Penalties

  1. #1
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    Re: Simple Assult Penalties

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Pennsylvania

    I am charged with burglary, simple assault and harassment. I have no criminal record. There were no physical injuries involved.

    If I can plea out the burglary, what am I looking at, punishment-wise, for the other two offenses in the state of Pennsylvania. If I am saddled with all three, then what?

    Understand the burglary charge stems from an accusation of reaching into a doorway and ripping a man's shirt. That is the extent of what is alleged in the complaint.

    I have a prelim on May 20, 2014.

    I don't have money for an attorney so I am going solo here. There are extenuating circumstances which I can explain further if that would help.

    Thank you for any assistance.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Re: Simple Assult Penalties

    If you are truly indigent, ask for a public defender at the preliminary. You really need representation. You'll want to fight this and if it's not possible, ARD would be a good thing to try for.

    What sort of "doorway" are we talking about. What sort of building was this doorway in and why where you there. Burglary is a felony and that is EXTREMELY SERIOUS. I'd not roll over on the burglary charge. To be guilty of burglary you need first to enter a building that you're not authorized to enter (and it's not generally open to the public) and second to do so with the intent of committing a crime.

    Even assault requires you to intend to commit bodily harm (or the threat of it) to someone. Assault is a misdemeanor of varying degree depending on the situation.

    Harassment is one of those catch all things they charge you with when they don't think they can get you for anything else. Essentially, it says you intentionally caused grief to another person. Harassment is usually a summary (non-criminal) violation.

    A lawyer would challenge the state's case at the prelim that even if you did grab someone's shirt, it doesn't meet the aspects that the crime has.

    You can go to jail. This is serious. Your felony has a recommended range of 9-16 months for first offenders. The assault by itself recommends probation. The harassment is a fine in the vicinity of $100 plus costs.

  4. #3
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    Re: Re: Simple Assult Penalties

    The doorway was the entry of a stand alone home. The entry accused is my arm reaching across the front doorway.

    It was my neighbor's residence. I was there to confront him after he told my wife she can't our "****ing out of control autistic kid." This is the second time he has disparaged/scared my son. The other, he went plays with the young children at the house (my son is 6). One day he went over, I didn't know they weren't home and he went into the house. Instead of acting like a normal human being and explaining to my son he can't enter when they are not home, he flipped out and really scarred my son. I was fuming, but my wife convinced me to let that go. I couldn't let it go a second time. So I went there to ensure that all frightening and disparaging would end. And I did it loudly.

    However, there was no physical injury and the only damage was his ripped shirt as I grabbed and pulled him. I have a job so I can't get a public defender, but I have two kids and don't have $5,000+ (I was quoted $9,375 for the only lawyer I've talked to so far).

    I'm hoping to get the burglary charge dropped at least of course. A prelim, from my understanding, is a rubber stamp (what lawyer told me on consultation), so I'm looking to the next step.

    Getting only harassment would be my ultimate hope, but I understand the odds of that probably aren't good.

    Thanks for any help

  5. #4
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    Re: Re: Simple Assult Penalties

    A prelim isn't necessarily a rubber stamp. It's your best chance to get charges dropped. I'd still ask for a PD. A job doesn't necessarily mean you do not qualify. Even if you don't qualify, I seriously recommend that you beg, borrow, or otherwise scrape together the money for an attorney. These are not charges to dismiss lightly.

    You should have listened to your wife. Your behavior (even what you claim you intended) is not what "a normal human being" and screaming at people would not "put an end" to your issues with your neighbor.

    Every thing you've said here (which is why you should remain silent and get an attorney) indicates are feloniously guilty. You're way over your head here. Having them ACTUALLY injured is not necessary to prove assualt. Entering someone else's house with the intent to commit a crime (either to scare them or just scream your head off at them) is burglary.

    If you insist on doing the stupid thing, beg the ADA at the Prelim to drop the felony charge and allow ARD for the assault. By the way, you do understand you're going to pay the state thousands of dollars for these crimes when convicted even without a lawyer.

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