Differences between Assault and Domestic Violence in Alexandria


Getting charged with assault or domestic violence should not be taken lightly. However, there are differences between assault and domestic violence charges in Alexandria. If you have been charged an experienced Alexandria assault and domestic violence attorney can help you build your case.

Behaviors that Constitute Assault

Assault is something that is similar to battery or what we sometimes think of as domestic violence. A battery is an unwanted, offensive or unauthorized touching that is done with the intent to do harm. An assault is one step short of that. The difference between battery and assault is that, with assault, the victim is placed in a reasonable apprehension that they are about to be battered.

Very often, assaults and batteries go together. For example, if a person were to stand close to someone else and raise their fist up as though they were about to strike them, whether they struck them or not, that would be an assault. If they then threw the punch and connected with it, that would be a battery.

Behaviors that Constitutes Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a category of offenses that is some kind of violent act and the victim is either a spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or what is defined as a family member under Virginia law in relationship to the defendant themselves.

Assault and Domestic Violence Charges

It is certainly possible to be charged with both assault and domestic violence. If there are threats, offers or attempts to do something violent that are then followed by a violent act, a person can be guilty of both. If the threats, offers or attempted of a violent act are towards a family member, it is consider domestic violence.

Assault and Domestic Violence differences in Alexandria

Assault and domestic violence are charged differently because the law recognizes them as being two distinct offenses. Assault, on the one hand, being the offer or the attempt to do something violent whereas domestic violence, which is successfully doing something violent, is actually distinct.

The law will actually punish the person twice for acts that go together because there are actually two different harms that they are trying to address.

Treatment of Domestic Violence and Assault Cases

Domestic violence is treated differently than an assault case. The reason for that is any crime becomes more serious when there are injuries involved. If a defendant successfully completes a battery and there is any kind of injury to the victim, that is going to make the case more serious. It is going to make it more likely that they’re going to be punished by active jail time.

That is far rarer in assault cases. Assault cases really come down to placing someone in fear that they are going to be harmed, and while it is possible that a person can pick up a significant penalty from that, it is much more likely that they are going to get a significant penalty for actually injuring or harming someone than just a threat.

How an Alexandria Assault Lawyer Can Help You

If you are charged with either assault or domestic violence you should contact an attorney immediately. Our team of experienced attorneys can help build a case and advocate on your behalf. Please call (703) 940-1590 for a free consultation.