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Criminal offenses involving assault and battery are taken very seriously in Virginia. In Loudoun, Virginia, in 2013, there were 91 reported aggravated assaults and 1,122 reported simple assaults, according to this report from the Loudoun Sheriff’s office. When you are involved in a physical altercation, you may find yourself charged with a violent crime such as assault and battery. Perpetrators of assault are punished very harshly in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
If you are facing assault charges, it is critical to contact a Loudoun assault lawyer who can help you understand the complexities of Virginia assault and battery laws and can advocate for your rights. Being charged with assault in Virginia can lead to misdemeanor or felony convictions that can severely impact your future by causing difficulties with employment, housing, loans, education, financial aid, and other aspects of your life.
It is therefore often coupled with the crime of battery, which is an intentional, unpermitted act by a person causing harm or offensive contact to another person.
Criminal simple assault and assault and battery are codified under Virginia law in Section 18.2-57. The statute classifies simple assault and assault and battery as Class 1 misdemeanors. However, if the simple assault or assault and battery is committed upon someone because of their race, religion, color, or national origin, or is committed upon a judge, magistrate, law enforcement or corrections officer, firefighter, or emergency medical technician, it is classified as a Class 6 felony.
Aggravated assault, known statutorily as malicious wounding, is codified under Virginia law in Section 18.2-51.2. It is defined in Virginia law as shooting, stabbing, cutting, wounding, or by any means causing bodily injury with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill. The offense is classified as a Class 2 felony if the victim is severely injured and/or suffers permanent and significant physical impairment. This offense is known as aggravated malicious wounding.
Depending on the severity of the assault, the penalties for conviction can be extraordinarily harsh. Simple assault or assault and battery carry a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail. However, if the assault is committed upon a specific person based on their race, religion, color, or national origin, the sentence must include a term of confinement of at least six months and a mandatory minimum term of confinement of 30 days.
If the assault is committed upon a judicial or law enforcement officer, the sentence must include a mandatory minimum term of confinement of six months. Should the victim of the assault be a health care provider in a health care facility or a principal, teacher, or guidance counselor in a school, the sentence must include 15 days in jail, with a mandatory minimum of two days. If the assault occurs with a weapon that is normally prohibited on a school campus, the mandatory minimum jail term is six months.
If a malicious wounding, a felony, is committed without malice, it is referred to as unlawful wounding and is still a felony offense. The penalty associated with unlawful wounding offenses is one to five years. Malicious wounding carries a sentence of five to 20 years. However, if the victim is permanently impaired, or is a pregnant woman whose pregnancy is terminated because of the assault, the prison sentence is 20 years to life.
Facing criminal charges for assault in Virginia can be a daunting experience. Not only do you risk potential jail terms and hefty fines, but a misdemeanor or felony conviction will result in a permanent criminal record That blemish on your record can have long-term impacts on your ability to obtain employment, loans, or educational opportunities.
If you have been charged with assault, a qualified Loudoun County assault lawyer will help you to understand the charges against you and the potential penalties you may face. Experienced defense attorney Karin Riley Porter and her team will fight to protect you from the potential negative consequences of a conviction. Call her law office for a free consultation today to explore your best opportunity for defense.
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