Will I be getting jail time for an assualt if even the victim did not want to press charges?

UPDATED: May 14, 2012

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Will I be getting jail time for an assualt if even the victim did not want to press charges?

If I hit someone in the face and end up breaking their jaw; the victim chose not to press charges against me. However, the state has stepped in and decided to charge me. I have not heard from the police yet. What kind of charges will I be looking at? Will it just be fines or will I be getting jail time? I also need to know what charges I could be getting due to the fact that I need to keep a security clearance to keep my job.

Asked on May 14, 2012 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the person suffered an aggravated injury such as a broken jaw, you could be charged with either an aggravated assault which is a misdemeanor offense which usually carries with it a one year jail sentence, or a more serious charge of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, which is a felony charge and can carry with it a longer prison sentence. The State is obligated to continue with the prosecution, even if the victim does not want to go forward. Often times, if the victim is the only evidence the prosecution has, and that victim fails to come to court or refuses to prosecute, with no other evidence, this case may end up being dismissed. Due to the serious nature of the charges, you may want to consult a criminal defense attorney in your area to evaluate your case and your available defenses.

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