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In Virginia, there are several different kinds of assault that a person can be charged with, depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident. Aggravated assault, sometimes called malicious or unlawful wounding under Virginia law, is one of the most serious forms of assault and typically occurs when at least one party suffers injuries. If you have been involved in an altercation and the other party was injured, a Fairfax aggravated assault lawyer can help.
If you were acting in self-defense or you never intended to cause anyone injury, an experienced Fairfax assault attorney may be able to get the charges against you dismissed or reduced to simple assault or assault and battery. However, in order to give your aggravated assault lawyer in Fairfax enough to time to prepare a strong defense on your behalf and pursue negotiations with the prosecutor in your case, it is important you obtain legal counsel as soon as possible.
Assault is defined generally under Virginia Code 18.2-57 as a threat or force that causes a person to have a reasonable fear or apprehension that harmful or offensive contact is about to occur. If the harmful or offensive contact does in fact occur, this contact is referred to as a battery.
When the facts surrounding the alleged assault are considered especially egregious, the accused may face enhanced penalties or the charge may rise to the level of malicious wounding, which is a Class 3 felony charge punishable by five to 20 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.
Under Virginia Code 18.2-51, malicious wounding involves shooting, stabbing, cutting, wounding or otherwise causing bodily injury to a person with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable or kill. Causing such injury without intent is referred to as unlawful wounding, a Class 6 felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
The court does have the discretion to impose lesser penalties in these cases, though. This is one reason why it is so important your Fairfax aggravated assault lawyer has experience negotiating for lesser charges and reduced penalties for clients accused of aggravated assault or malicious or unlawful wounding.
If a victim is seriously injured, disabled or disfigured by an assault, the offense may be considered aggravated malicious wounding – a Class 2 felony punishable by 20 years to life in prison and $100,000 in fines.
Offenses that do not rise to the level of being malicious or unlawful wounding may still receive enhanced penalties. Assaults against law enforcement officers and assaults that cause bodily injury and were motivated by bias toward a victim’s race, religion or nationality are classified as Class 6 felonies and have a penalty of at least six months in jail with a mandatory 30 day minimum and up to $2500 in fines.
Assaults against health care professionals and educators also call for stricter penalties than other simple assaults. If you are accused of assaulting someone holding one of these protected positions, you will need the help of an experienced Fairfax aggravated assault lawyer.
Regardless of what type of altercation you were involved in, our Fairfax aggravated assault lawyers understand that you likely never intended to injure anyone and may have been acting in justifiable self-defense. Consulting an experienced aggravated assault attorney in Fairfax is the first step you can take toward fighting to prevent an unfair assault charge from negatively impacting your life.
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