Philadelphia Criminal Law News

Battery / Assault in Philadelphia

Historically, the crimes of assault and battery often went together, with the former referring to the threat of inflicting injury upon a person and the latter referring to the completed act of physical contact or offensive touching. However, Pennsylvania, similar to many other states, no longer differentiates between the two and places both actions under the umbrella term of “assault.”

Under state statute, a simple assault is a misdemeanor and occurs when you intentionally or knowingly cause bodily harm to others or put them in fear of injury in your attempt to do so. Anyone who believes they have been assaulted should contact local law enforcement immediately and report the incident. Likewise, individuals charged with assault may benefit from the expertise of a Philadelphia criminal defense attorney.

Recently in Battery / Assault Category

Pa. Road Rage Shooting Suspect at Large, Driver Called 911

Pennsylvania State Police and the FBI have launched a manhunt for a gunman involved in a fatal road rage shooting. Before being shot to death, 28-year-old Timothy Davison called 911 to report someone was chasing him on a stretch of highway in Pennsylvania.

Sadly, Davison did not survive the attack.

3 Ways School Sports Can Turn Criminal

School sports may seem like they're all just in the good-natured spirit of competition. But, beware, because these games can turn criminal. For those who choose to enroll in school sports, misbehaving could lead to actual legal trouble from being on the field, court, or even in the pool.

In the spirit of school being back in session, here are some legal concerns to be especially cautious of if you or your child is involved in school sports. Here are three ways that school sports can turn criminal:

What's Considered Domestic Violence in Pennsylvania?

Domestic violence comes in many forms. Partner abuse, domestic abuse, dating abuse, or intimate partner violence are only a few of the other names it is known by.

It can involve issues stemming from alcohol abuse or mental illness, or even a squabble over who should win this season of "American Idol," as The York Dispatch reported.

So while many people have a general idea of what domestic violence looks like, the laws do vary by state. Here's a general overview of what it looks like in Pennsylvania:

Michael Donahue Trial Continues This Week

Aggravated assault can come in many forms. That’s what former Delaware County Assistant District Attorney is learning this week, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer, as his DUI trial unfolds.

While simple DUI is the work of a skilled DUI lawyer, Donahue is facing a straightforward criminal trial where his attorneys have the difficult job of showing the jury that he cannot be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt for the injuries suffered by Joseph Vantrieste.

Teen Girls Beat Mentally Challenged Woman, Post Video on Facebook

It's become more and more common for law enforcement to use social media to identify and investigate those accused of criminal activity. It seems more crimes are being discovered now that we share just about everything we do with people over the Internet.

Case in point: A group of teenage girls in Chester who allegedly beat a mentally challenged woman on the front stoop of her house, and then posted video of the attack on Facebook, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. The six girls appeared to be dancing and rapping in the street when one was heard saying, "I'm gonna f--- this b---- up," which led all six to attack the woman.

The woman ran into her house to escape, but the teens followed her in and continued the beating, according to the Daily News. As of now, four of the six girls have been arrested, according to the Associated Press.

What charges could be brought against these girls?

SEPTA Train Shooting Injures 2 Teens: Was It Attempted Murder?

We all grew up with high-school rivalries. The rivalries then grew into college rivalries, which then blossomed into city rivalries. Nobody from Penn State likes Pitt and vice-versa. Just like nobody from Philly is going to root for the Giants.

While these rivalries only extend to name-calling and boos on the field, some school-to-school animosity may have made itself known on SEPTA's Broad Street Line in North Philadelphia. Two teenagers in a subway car were shot, one in the arm and the other in the leg, by another teen on the platform at the Susquehanna-Dauphin station, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The train was carrying students from Simon Gratz High School, Samuel Fels High School, and John F. Hartranft, a K-8 school.

Can this shooting be classified as attempted murder, or will it just be aggravated assault?

Woman Cuts Brother's Testicle With Fingernail During Fight

There are so many puns that could be used here, but Stephanie Farr at the Philadelphia Daily News got there first. In this strange, somewhat twisted fact pattern, it is difficult to tell who is at fault for the bleeding testicle in Upper Providence.

Nicole Hathcock, the alleged nut cutter, had tried to organize an intervention for her brother, Robert Rosenberger. The intervention was staged at her parents' house in order to address Rosenberger's purported rampant drug use, according to the Daily News. The intervention went "very wrong" and the siblings got into a physical fight, at which point Hathcock allegedly used her long fingernails to cut open Rosenberger's testicle.

The testicle required seven stitches, gaining Hathcock an aggravated assault charge and a harassment charge. Would it matter who started the fight when it comes to the criminal charges?

Ochocinco 86'd; Chad Johnson Arrested and Fired from Dolphins

Just when you thought you might stop hearing about Chad Johnson, a.k.a. “Ochocinco,” a.k.a. “85,” he pops back up in the news. This time he is not in a reality show with T.O. or leaving the Bengals. Nor are there new rumors that Johnson is being eyed by the Eagles.

Instead, Johnson has gotten himself in trouble with the law. During an argument with his wife, Evelyn Lozada, Johnson allegedly head-butted her, causing a cut on her forehead, according to WTXF-TV. Johnson claims that the two accidentally bumped heads. However, the arrest alone has led to his being fired from the Miami Dolphins, according to USA Today.

10-year-old Stabs Father in the Neck in Lower Merion Township

Everyone has had the urge to lash out at their parents. You probably did at some point, either through words or perhaps through silence. There may have even been a punch thrown here or there.

However, it's doubtful that things ever got close to fulfilling the nasty thought of "I wish you were dead." Not so in Ardmore, where a 10-year-old boy stabbed his 33-year-old father in the neck, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The father was brought to Paoli Hospital while the boy remained in family custody.

What does it take for a child to be tried as an adult?

Crossbow Road Rage Gets Butterworth Arrested

We all get mad on the roads. People drive like jerks and we have to deal with it. There's a bumper sticker that relates well to the situation and it goes something like this, "if you're on the road, and not me..." You can probably figure out the rest.

This seemed to be the problem that Kenneth Butterworth (no relation to Mrs. Butterworth) had the other day. After having another car pull in front of him, Butterworth drove beside the car and pointed his loaded crossbow at the other driver, in some sort of crossbow road rage, according to Metro Philadelphia. The victim called 911 and followed Butterworth to a parking lot, where again Butterworth pointed the crossbow at him.