Sunday, February 26, 2012

Maximum Sentence, Simple Assault

I was recently arrested for the first time in my life. I was charged with simple assault. What is the maximum sentence I could get?

In Pennsylvania, we have sentencing guidelines. The maximum sentence allowed under law is rarely used. If this is your first arrest, most certainly, you are not going to get the maximum sentence for simple assault, a misdemeanor. The sentencing guidelines use two factors to determine the appropriate sentence: your prior conviction record and the seriousness of your current offense.

In your example, your prior conviction record is zero because you said the arrest was your first. The offense gravity score is low because simple assault is a misdemeanor. Without having more information, assuming you do not ask for a jury trial, and assuming you are actually convicted of simple assault, you should most likely get probation. Also, you may even be eligible for ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition), where you would have no conviction.

However, I understand that people think lawyers don't answer their questions directly. The statutory maximum for simple assault is 1-2 years.

By Brian J. Zeiger

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