Fairfax Assault Lawyer
An assault charge in Fairfax is different from a battery charge. Battery occurs when a person is accused of intentionally causing an offensive or harmful contact with another individual. Hitting someone is an example of a battery. However, assault is the intentional act of placing someone in fear of an immediate offensive or harmful contact.
An act such as pretending to strike someone or threatening someone is considered an assault. It doesn’t matter if contact was made with the person or not. The foundation of an assault charge is that individual feared that a battery would take place immediately.
If you are being investigated or charged with an assault, contact a Fairfax assault lawyer. Fairfax takes an assault charge seriously even if no one was harmed. We also have information on other Fairfax criminal charges.
Defense Strategies to Fairfax Assault Charges
Being charged with assault doesn’t mean you are automatically guilty of the crime. You have defenses available to you to fight the charge. Since each case is extremely complex, it’s best to figure out which defense is best for you with the help of a Fairfax assault lawyer. During a free consultation, our attorneys will listen to the facts of you case and determine the best defense for you. The following is a short list of potential defenses to an assault charge:
You are legally allowed to defend yourself against someone trying to harm you. In order to prove self-defense, your Fairfax assault lawyer must show that:
- There was an unlawful threat made against you.
- You reasonably feared that harm would happen to you. The fear must be real, actual fear.
- You did not harm or bait the individual into harming you.
- You had no chance to escape the situation.
Consent is the alleged victim’s agreement to be assaulted. This sounds odd, but it does happen in a lot of assault cases. Two people are joking around or play-fighting. One person may playfully threaten the other. The alleged victim begins to take things too seriously and claims assault. If this is the case for you, your Fairfax assault lawyer will present evidence showing that the alleged victim never feared that an immediate battery would occur.
Under Virginia code 18.2-57.2, a person is guilty of simple assault if he or she intentionally puts someone in fear of a battery. It doesn’t matter if contact was or wasn’t made with the alleged victim. An assault can occur in one of two ways:
Performing an act with the intention to cause physical harm
Performing an act intending to place an individual in fear of physical harm. In addition, the act must actually place him or her in reasonable fear of harm.
Type of Persons Assaulted
Assault is also defined by the alleged victim of an assault. The following defines the type of assault according to Virginia section 18.2-57.
Hate Crime Assault
This charge arises when an individual is assaulted based on his or her race, national origin, color, or religion. It is a class 6 felony.
Protected Employee Assault
Section C of 18.2-57 concerns an assault committed on a protected employee such as:
- A judge
- A law enforcement officer
- A firefighter, including volunteer firefighters in Fairfax
- Emergency medical personnel
- Any correctional officer and/ or employee
- A security officer
Assault against a family or household member, which is commonly called “domestic violence,” is outlined in 18.2-57.2. Household or family members include:
- Spouses no longer married
- In-laws living in the same house
- Individuals who have children together
- People cohabitating
- Individuals who no longer live together but did so within the past year
Simple assault and assault by a mob are class 1 misdemeanors. You face one year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.
The other types of assault have harsher sentences:
- Hate crime: At least 30 days mandatory in jail.
- Protected employees: A minimum of six months in jail.
- Assault against a family member: The third conviction of a domestic related violent offense is a felony offense. If you have a prior conviction of domestic violence
Why Contact a Fairfax Assault Lawyer?
If you are facing assault charges in Fairfax, VA it is important to contact an experienced Fairfax Assault lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can review the information pertaining to your specific matter, intensely investigate the incident in question, and work with you in developing a sound defense strategy.
Further, a Fairfax assault attorney can educate you about the charges you face and the specific ramifications of those charges. Call our offices today for a free initial consultation.