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I have a simple assault/harrassment charge against me. What can happen with it being my first time?

Reading, PA |

Hello, me and my boyfriend got into an argument the other night and the cops were called on us. They arrested me for simple assault and harrassment because they saw some scratches on his neck. I have no previous charges but was arrested a few months ago for the same ordeal with him. That case was dropped. Both times were alcohol related. My hearing is coming up on the 14th and I was wondering if I could get jail time even though this would officially be my first conviction of anything. He does not want me to go to jail because this was just a drunken night that got out of hand and we were both just acting pretty juvenile. Any answers would be greatly appreciated. I am pretty nervous about the whole thing. Thank you

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Attorney answers 3


First things first- apply for a public defender. You need representation at every stage of this process. If this is truly the ONLY thing that shows up on your record (since the other time was dropped) then there's a good chance that the district attorney will let you apply for ARD. It's like a probationary type program. It is not an admission of guilt. And the victim needs to agree to this. You agree to alcohol counseling, anger management, maybe even go to the batters group. At the end of probably 12 months or whatever the DA says, you can have your record expunged- that means nothing will ever show up on your record. There will be no jail time if you get this. Voluntarily starting some counseling now will only increase your chances of getting ARD.

In the alternative, if the DA will not give you ARD, your attorney might be able to get the charges reduced or may even fight the case. I hope you found this information helpful. Best of luck to you.

Note: My comments do not constitute legal advice nor do they establish an attorney/client relationship.

Nancy Searer, Esq.
315 N. Market St.
Port Royal, Pa 17082


Your boyfriend may also want to speak to lawyer. He may have a fifth amendment right to not testify.


The maximum permissible penalty for Simple Assault is 2 years in jail. That said, with no prior record you will almost certainly not see any jail time for this incident.

Mr. Feeney is correct, your Boyfriend may wish to excercise his right against Self-Incrimination. In other words, if he could potentially implicate himself in a crime (simple assault, terroristic threats etc.), then he does not have to testify.

Both you and your Boyfriend should each seek representation of an attorney for this matter.

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