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What is the law regarding assault charges on a sports official?

Any assault charge in Pennsylvania will be problematic for the individual who is confronted with the allegations and potential penalties. In any case in which there are assault charges, the circumstances are critical. For some situations, the charges will be enhanced and the penalties will rise commensurately. This is true when there is a charge of assault on a sports official. For people who are facing these allegations, having a strong legal defense is imperative to attempt to avoid the long-term consequences of a conviction.

Pennsylvania residents are passionate about sports whether they are participants, their children are taking part or they are simply members of the audience watching the competition. This can sometimes result in taking things too far and getting into a disagreement with an official. In a worst-case scenario, it will turn physical and people will end up being accused of assault. Assault on a sports official has the same criteria as simple assault. This includes attempting to injure another person with intentional, knowing or reckless behavior; negligently causing injury with a deadly weapon; or attempting to menace another person and put them in fear of injury.

If the assault occurred during a sports event or was committed because of acts the victim took part in while in that capacity, it is a first-degree misdemeanor. Simple assault is a second-degree misdemeanor. There are certain terms under this law that should be understood. With "sports event," it is an event between schools or in other organized competitions. A sports official is a person who enforces the rules of that specific event and oversees the participants, including coaches, trainers and others who are involved with the schools or participants. A first-degree misdemeanor can result in five years in jail and a fine of $10,000.

It is understandable that people will be enthusiastic about a sports event if they are taking part or are spectators. However, some will go beyond acceptable behavior and get into a dispute with an official. If there are allegations that an assault took place, it can result in substantial penalties due to state charges for assault.

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