Virginia Assault Attorney
Sometimes a conflict escalates into a physical altercation where even if no one is seriously injured, the fight, or altercation can lead to serious legal ramifications for one or all of the parties involved. What started as simply a heated argument, mis-communication, or other maddening scenario can cause an individual to act rashly out of anger or frustration.
If you’ve been charged with assault in the state of Virginia you may want to contact a Virginia assault lawyer who can look at the specific details of your criminal case and help you minimize the harm done by this type of charge.
Virginia Assault Charges
The charges for various assault crimes depend upon the circumstances surrounding the event. Factors such as provocation, criminal intent, use of a weapon, premeditation, characteristics of the victim, and the location of the incident can play a role in the severity of the charges and accompanying penalties.
Knowledge of Virginia’s assault laws allow a Virginia assault lawyer to strategically represent each client in seeking a reduction or dismissal of a charge or provide rigorous defense representation in the courtroom. There are several different types of assault cases in Virginia:
- Simple assault
- Assault and battery
- Domestic abuse
- Aggravated assault
- Assault with a deadly weapon
The classification of assault crimes does not end here. The Virginia Criminal Code cites specific crimes and the associated penalties in Chapter 4, “Crimes Against the Person.” It is important that one who is charged with a serious assault crime seek experienced legal counsel, as a conviction carries heavy penalties which may include costly fines, mandatory incarceration, and the social stigma that can follow a convicted criminal for years to come. A Virginia assault lawyer can help one avoid conviction or achieve minimal legal consequences.
What is An Assault Crime in Virginia?
Typically, assault is defined as one person’s intentional actions with the express purpose of instilling fear of imminent harmful or offensive contact. Therefore, by this definition, assault charges may be applicable even if no actual physical contact takes place. In the circumstance where the victim of assault is physically injured or suffers some form of unsolicited offensive contact, the applicable charges become “assault and battery.” By legal definition, “battery” involves actual non-consensual physical contact.
Assault and the more grievous charge of assault and battery are considered misdemeanor offenses in the Commonwealth of Virginia. A crime of this magnitude is subject to a maximum fine of $2,500 and up to 12 months in jail. With such severe consequences possible, you should work to retain a seasoned Virginia assault lawyer as soon as you are charged.
What is Aggravated Assault?
Charges of aggravated assault are more heavily penalized than simple assault crimes, as the offense is classified as a violent crime and often involves serious physical harm to the victim or other aggravating factors or circumstances. Additionally, an attack against law enforcement, rescue personnel, school officials, an other public servants is considered an aggravated offense. Another type of aggravated assault is the assault of victims who have been targeted because of their race, nationality, sexual origin, or other physical trait. Such target-oriented crimes are known as “hate crimes,” and these are severely punished by mandatory minimum terms of confinement upon conviction.
Work with an Assault Attorney
Assault crimes can run the gamut from intimidation to assault with a deadly weapon, and the penalties can greatly vary, as well. Whether charged with a misdemeanor offense or a felony, the consequences of an assault conviction can result in jail or prison time, fines, and a permanent criminal record. While avoiding conviction is certainly the goal, a Virginia assault lawyer may also be successful in negotiating reduced charges in certain cases.
A qualified Virginia assault attorney understands and will uphold his or her clients’ legal rights and will diligently work toward the best possible outcome in each case. Through a free consultation, an alleged offender can often learn a great deal about the penalties associated with a particular charge and the options for an effective defense.