Following an arrest for a simple assault offense, an accused person is highly encouraged to seek legal counsel. A protective Fredericksburg simple assault lawyer could examine the different factors surrounding a person’s arrest and work to establish a credible defense strategy. Call today and schedule an appointment with a dedicated assault lawyer to begin discussing your legal options.
In Virginia, simple assault generally refers to a misdemeanor assault and battery offense. Any case which is considered a misdemeanor assault charge, without an aggravating circumstance such as being a hate crime, domestic assault, or an assault on a law enforcement officer, typically will be classified as a simple assault. The maximum punishment for a simple assault conviction generally is one year in county jail.
When someone is arrested and charged with simple assault and battery, it often stems from an accusation of any attempted touching that puts an individual in reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm or any actual unwanted touching that is done in a rude or violent manner.
There are certain elements in a simple assault charge that usually need to be proven for a prosecutor to convict a defendant. The prosecutor typically needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant either intentionally put the complainant in reasonable apprehension of imminent unwanted touching or actually touched a complainant in a manner that was rude or violent.
The penalty for simple assault in Virginia is any period of confinement up to one year in county jail. In some cases, especially where there are no serious injuries, a person may not receive any jail time. However, if someone is severely injured during the alleged incident an accused person is more likely to receive jail time. Furthermore, someone who has a criminal record may also face an increased potential for jail time. A qualified Fredericksburg simple assault lawyer could examine the facts attributed to the case and work to help formulate a credible legal strategy to combat the charge.
In Fredericksburg and the wider state of Virginia, most misdemeanor offenses including simple assault cases, begin in the general district court. An exception would be if the alleged incident involves someone who is defined under Virginia law as a family member. When an assault takes place between two parties who are legally considered family members, the case generally goes directly to the domestic relations district court.
It is also possible in some limited circumstances for an assault case or any other misdemeanor for that matter to originate in circuit court. The real difference between those is that if someone is charged with a case in general district court, they can have a trial and, if they do not like the outcome of the trial and they disagree with the judge’s decision, they can appeal that judge’s decision and start a new case in circuit court.
If you were arrested and charged with a simple assault offense, contact an experienced Fredericksburg simple assault lawyer. They could assess the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident and work to help an accused person fight assault charges. Call now and set up a time to discuss your legal options.
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