If you and your husband want to work things out, and this is a first offense, things stand a good chance of being resolved. There will likely not be any incarceration.
If, however, there is a follow-up charge—if your husband lays his hands on you again—he will probably face time in a penal institution.
Why? Your husband would be looking at a second offense, and this would be taken much more seriously…as a pattern of such behavior would appear to be emerging.
Have Your Husband Attend Anger Management Classes and Counseling
If the court mandated anger management classes and/or counseling, you will both find it beneficial to attend these classes. This is not only because it is a requirement, but because these sorts of courses are a terrific idea for couples who simply lack the coping skills for dealing with misunderstandings or conflicts.
Your counselor will try to show you that it’s what you do with your frustration…how you stem your anger… that makes all the difference.
Tell your husband to think of this as another job—but a very important one, and one where he’s going to be learning a whole new set of tasks.
As are you!
In the future, your husband (and I’m certain he is learning this now) should never place his hands on anyone (unless done in self-defense)—and certainly not his wife—in anger.
Bottom line: your spouse is not to raise his hands to or touch you when he and you are disagreeing. The anger management classes will teach you both how to keep things from escalating during a disagreement.
Yes. We Would Like to Avoid Having This Happen Again.
The best way to avoid domestic violence –whether it is termed simple or aggravated assault; first offense or not—is for your husband to leave the room and possibly the premises when you are both becoming in the least bit hot-headed.
Focus on not aggravating any emotionally-charged situation.
Again, the anger management classes will show either your husband alone, or the two of you, if you both attend, how to establish a new way of dealing with your irritation.
The Legal Ramifications
Now let’s look at the legal specifications of your charges.
Simple Assault – What is It?
An example of an action which might result in a Simple Assault charge—which is a misdemeanor–is an incident where someone had the intent of inflicting violence upon someone but that person got away (i.e., the victim was grabbed but they escaped before bodily harm could be inflicted). So if your husband attempted to restrain you by your forearm, let’s say, but you slipped out of his hold, that might be deemed a simple assault.
Another form of simple assault is when your spouse could potentially have caused you a lot of harm, or you believed that he could have. If you are much smaller than he is, this is a possibility.
Is There Another Form of Assault Charge?
Yes. Aggravated assault is a felony, not a misdemeanor. Your husband was not using a “deadly weapon”, which we can assume is why the law enforcement personnel didn’t charge him with a felony. By the way, a car is seen as a “deadly weapon”.
Too, if there was some sort of other felony taking place at the time—for example, a robbery— than this charge would have been upped to an aggravated assault.
He Was Also Charged with Battery. What is That?
Battery means that a person initiated physical contact which would either provoke someone or visit harm upon them. The intent behind the act is important. If the case ever went to trial, it would be up to the prosecution to show that the defendant meant to cause bodily harm as a result of their actions.
What Is the Penalty for My Husband Likely To Be? We Live in Pennsylvania.
If you’re faced with the minimum penalty, the state of Pennsylvania could ostensibly only charge you with payment of the prosecution’s fees. There is no law that says that the judge must issue you a fine or a sentence behind bars. However, that is not usually the penalty for a simple assault charge, even if it is your husband’s first offense.
It is likely that you will receive probation of from half- a-year to one year and a fine of some sort. If your husband is charged with a misdemeanor Class 3, simple assault, the most that he could receive is one year and $1,000 fine. If the charge is a slightly more serious misdemeanor Class 2, simple assault, the jail term could be 2 years and the fine $2,500.
Stick to counseling, and make every effort to arrive at a new way to handle disagreements. It’s worth it!