A criminal "assault" is an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and performing an act which creates a well-founded fear in another person that such violence is imminent.
This is also commonly referred to a "simple assault", which is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by up to a $500 fine, sixty (60) days jail and/or 6 months probation.
If a deadly weapon is used in the commission of the assault, without the intent to kill, or is used in the commission of a felony act, it is considered Aggravated Assault, which is a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to a $5,000 fine, five (5) years prison and/or probation.
Because Assault charges are crimes against the public and their safety, assault charges are prosecuted in a more aggressive manner than other misdemeanor crime charges such as prostitution, solicitation, or disorderly conduct.
Assault crime charges may associated with other types of criminal offenses, depending upon the evidence collected against you such as:
A simple assault conviction can only be accomplished if the prosecution can prove intent; and due to the subjective nature of the alleged assault victim's perception of what they believed was a clear and present danger. because of these variables, in order to strengthen their case against you or force you to take a plea deal, law enforcement and prosecutors may choose to look for any evidence which may allow them to add charges to the indictment, or seek a felony assault over a misdemeanor assault charge.
CRAIG A. SONNER