Like many other types of crimes in Pennsylvania, the term “assault” does not describe one single offense. Rather, Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Statutes identifies 23 separate offenses that are considered to be forms of assault under state law.  Our attorneys represent clients facing with all types of assault-related charges in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas. We have more than a decade of experience fighting for the criminally-accused, and we know that cases involving assault charges tend to be much more complicated than they initially seem to outside observers. If you are facing an assault charge, our attorneys will work closely with you to examine your case from all angles, and we will pursue every available strategy to secure a “not guilty” verdict at trial.

6 Common Assault Charges in Pennsylvania

While Pennsylvania law establishes numerous different types of assault charges, the types of charges we see most frequently include:

Simple Assault

Although simple assault is one of the lesser assault-related criminal offenses in terms of severity, it is still minimally prosecuted as a second-degree misdemeanor. This means that it carries the potential for up to two years of jail time and a $5,000 fine.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault is a serious offense that can be prosecuted as either a first-degree or second-degree felony. Aggravated assault charges can stem from physical altercations or incidents involving deadly weapons; and, in many cases, state prosecutors will attempt to charge defendants with aggravated assault and attempted murder.

Recklessly Endangering Another Person

Under Pennsylvania law, it is a second-degree misdemeanor offense to, “recklessly engage[] in conduct which places or may place another person in danger of death or serious bodily injury.” This is the crime of recklessly endangering another person, and it is a common charge in cases involving alcohol intoxication, drug use and other potentially-dangerous activities.

Terroristic Threats

There are three circumstances in which prosecutors can pursue misdemeanor or felony charges for terroristic threats under Pennsylvania law. These include: (i) commission of a violent crime with “intent to terrorize,” (ii) causing the evacuation of a building or public space, and (iii) causing “serious public inconvenience.”


Pennsylvania’s criminal harassment statute covers a variety of forms of conduct, from threatening physical contact to making repeated phone calls and sending late-night text messages. The harassment statute also separately defines the crime of “cyber harassment of a child,” which is a third-degree misdemeanor offense.


Stalking is considered a form of assault under Pennsylvania law. Stalking is minimally a first-degree misdemeanor, with second and subsequent offenses being subject to prosecution as third-degree felony offenses.

Regardless of the specific offense with which you have been charged, hiring an experienced and aggressive defense attorney is the only way to ensure that you do not face unjust punishment. To speak with an attorney at McKinney Law about your case in confidence, contact us to request your free initial consultation today.

Schedule Your Free Initial Consultation at McKinney Law

If you have been charged with simple assault, aggravated assault or any other assault-related offense in the Pittsburgh area, we strongly encourage you to get in touch. Our attorneys can help you understand your situation and execute a defense strategy that is designed to secure the best possible outcome at trial. To get started with a free and confidential consultation, call us at call (412) 520-3301 or tell us how to reach you online. Our attorneys are available 24/7.