While assault can come in many forms, it is considered to be a violent crime in all instances. These charges are severe as they could result in hefty fines as well as jail time. Since this crime can be a complicated criminal offense and these charges may result in such dire ramifications, those who are facing an assault charge or conviction should seek a local criminal defense attorney. Failure to obtain adequate legal representation could detrimentally impact your case. Reach out to a NoVa assault lawyer today to learn more about what can be done for your case.
According to state law, assault is an act, whether it is a verbal statement or physical force, made with the intent to make someone else feel that they are about to suffer offensive or harmful contact. Although battery and assault are sometimes confused as being one and the same, they are two separate criminal offenses with similar yet differing elements.
For someone to be charged with battery, a person must offensively touch or inflict bodily injury. Alternatively, assault charges only require someone to make a threatening verbal statement or harmful physical contact. Additionally, in these cases, the plaintiff must show that the apprehension they felt due to the defendant’s physical or verbal act reasonably made them feel as though they would suffer immediate harmful or offensive contact. In this state, if the two offenses are committed in tandem, they are punishable as a single offense with more severe penalties imposed than the commission of a single act of assault or battery. A lawyer in NoVa could assess a case to determine if the accused’s actions meet the definition of assault.
The criminal penalties for assaulting someone vary depending on several factors. Such factors include whether the individual is a first-time offender, any injuries the plaintiff suffered, and, in some cases, the time, place, and manner in which the alleged assault took place.
Under Virginia Code §18.2-57(A), simple assault is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which could mean either a fine of up to $2,500 and/or imprisonment for up to a year. Alternatively, if someone is accused of assaulting a person due to their race, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin, the offender may receive a jail sentence of no less than six months. Those who commit assault and battery against another for any of the previously listed traits is guilty of a Class 6 felony under state law. An experienced lawyer in NoVa could help someone minimize the potential penalties they may be facing in their assault case.
Assault is a much broader offense than other substantive crimes and encompasses a greater range of acts that some may not know constitutes this offense. For those charged or convicted of this crime, having such an offense on their criminal record can gravely impact them for years into the future.
Therefore, if you have been accused of threatening or inflicting physical harm on another person, speak with a NoVa assault lawyer as soon as possible. To get started on your defense, call our office today.
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