Aggravated Assault is a felony offense in Pennsylvania carrying a maximum sentence of ten to twenty years in prison. For the commonwealth to convict a defendant of aggravated assault, the following elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt: First, the Commonwealth must show that the defendant attempted to cause serious bodily injury to the victim. Serious bodily injured in Pennsylvania means injury that would create a substantial risk of death, or that would cause serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ. Where the line stands in Pennsylvania with respect to what constitutes serious bodily injury rests with the court. Obviously, the defense lawyer is going to argue, except in the most severe of circumstances, that the injury is not serious as defined by Pennsylvania statute. To find the defendant guilty of aggravated assault, a jury or judge sitting as the arbiter, must find the defendant took a substantial step towards causing the bodily injury. Many judges will dismiss aggravated assault where the complainant was not hospitalized. Aggravated Assault may require direct evidence such as photographs and medical records. Without such evidence the government may be unable to prove such a serious offense.
INTENTIONAL (NOT RECKLESS) CONDUCT