Virginia has merged two criminal common law offenses into one — assault and battery are charged as the same offense, rather than being separate charges.
In order to be convicted of assault, a prosecutor must prove that you not only intended to harm a person, but also took actions to do so.
A Virginia assault lawyer from our firm can best explain the exact kinds of actions that qualify as assault.
But generally, a threat to harm someone without acting upon such threat in a threatening manner may not necessarily amount to a violation of misdemeanor assault or assault & battery under Section 18.2-57.
In some other states, assault is defined as the “threat of physical harm” against another while battery is physically touching or striking another person. Battery alone can result in assault and battery charges.
Although recklessness can indeed be used by a prosecutor to prove intent to harm, assault attorneys will work to prove that the action was purely accidental. Accidents that harm another person, but without proof of recklessness by the accused cannot be grounds for criminal charges in this area. En Español.
Assault cases are very seldom simple and your lawyer may establish that you were acting in self-defense during the alleged commission of assault and battery. This is a common defense in charges filed as a result of a fight between two people. Police often charge a person with assault and battery if they are not the first party involved in the alleged crime to report it to legal authorities.
Should there be issues in how a person’s case is treated, there may be the option to appeal an assault conviction.
Sentences for assault convictions vary widely based on the person against whom the act was committed, and the way in which the actual battery was carried out, the convicted person’s prior criminal record, and the harm both intended and actually caused. Most simple assault and battery crimes are considered Class 1 misdemeanors (see Section 18.2-11) with a possible punishment of up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Certain variables can trigger mandatory minimum sentences, and possible felony charges. If a person is convicted of assault and battery and the victim is one of the following, a mandatory minimum jail of two days will be imposed by the Court:
Assault and battery against a judge, correctional officer, police officer, firefighter, or emergency services volunteer can be charged as a Class 6 felony if a prosecutor can prove that the accused knew or had reason to believe that the alleged victim was employed as one of the above. If you are facing these charges, it may be in your best interests to contact a Virginia assault attorney for more information about the various levels of assault crimes and how they may be charged.
Finally, if the alleged victim is intentionally chosen based on his or her religion, color, national origin, or race, the accused could be charged with a Class 6 felony, which carries a sentence of up to six months in jail, with 30 of those days as a mandatory minimum.
For a greater understanding of all the charges and penalties that fall within the assault category, please click here.
Fairfax County, located just outside of Washington DC, is home to just over 1 million citizens. It is home to the City of Fairfax as well as the very popular area of Tyson’s Corner. There are so many people coming in and out of the County on a daily basis, that some interactions can sometimes end up turning into an unfortunate situation. Our attorneys have experience practicing in this area, and representing clients at the courthouse where your trial might ultimately be held.
Prince William County is most commonly associated with a city that is technically not part of its borders. While Manassas is is surrounded by Prince William, it is an independent city and not part of any County, a pretty common practice in Virginia. Manassas is one of the larger cities throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is a straight shot outside of Washington D.C. on either route 29 or I-66.
Alexandria is one of the cities that is located within a stone’s throw of Washington D.C., and as a result, many of its citizens commute there on a daily basis. The cultural center of Alexandria is Old Town, where there is no shortage of shops or things to do. Plenty of people come to Old Town on a nightly basis from surrounding towns, and that could mean some criminal issues. Our attorneys have experience representing clients in Alexandria, and can help you if you face an assault charge there.
Our attorneys represent clients accused of assault throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, including in areas such as Arlington, Tidewater, Chesterfield, Hanover, New Kent, Henrico, Richmond, Stafford, Brunswick, Loudoun, Leesburg, Portsmouth, Hampton, Norfolk, Newport News or anywhere else in the Commonwealth, please contact us to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys.
Assault is such a commonly used term in everyday life that the understanding of its actual criminal implications can become muddled. If you have been charged with assault, or if you are the subject of an investigation, it is important that you have a complete understanding about the penalties you are facing and the impact of a trial on your life.
When you are facing these type of situation, a qualified legal professional will make sure that your rights are protected throughout, and that your best interests are looked out for.
When you are looking for a Virginia assault attorney to organize your defense, it is best to find someone who has experience in similar trials. It is important to remember that your case will be unique and different from any other because of the specifics of the action in question and your history.
But our attorneys have handled similar trials in the past, and that gives them an understanding about what type of roadblocks might stand in your way as you fight for a positive result. They can pass that knowledge onto you, and with you both being on the same page, you can decide on a strong strategy moving forward.
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