Simple Assault is one of the most common types of violent crimes that a criminal defendant can be charged with. assault crimes It is fairly serious in that it is graded as a misdemeanor of the second degree and punishable by a maximum of 2 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The crime of Simple Assault can be found in the Pennsylvania Crimes Code Title 18. C.S.A. § 2701(a)(1). In order to prove the crime of simple assault, the Commonwealth must have set forth evidence that the defendant recklessly caused bodily injury to the alleged victim. The Pennsylvania Suggested Standard Criminal Jury Instruction for simple assault defines “recklessly” with regard to simple assault as follows:
A person acts recklessly with respect to bodily injury when he or she consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that bodily injury will result from his or her conduct. aggravated assault The risk must be of such a nature and degree that, considering the nature and intent of the defendant’s conduct and the circumstances known to him or her, its disregard involves a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the defendant’s situation.
Accordingly, in order for the accused to be found guilty of Violent Crimes such as simple assault, they must show that the defendant or one of his accomplices caused the injuries suffered by the victim. Additionally, that the accused was aware of the injuries suffered by the victim. Specifically, the Jury Instruction’s mandate that the risk involved must take into consideration “the nature and intent of the defendant’s conduct and the circumstances known to him.” Thus, the defendant must be aware of the circumstances which would have indicated a substantial and unjustifiable risk of bodily injury to the victim.