Different Assault Charges in Culpeper
There are a variety of different factors that influence what type of assault is charged. Below, a Culpeper assault lawyer discusses these factors and the immediate and long term consequences that come with these charges. To learn more about your charge call today and schedule a free consultation.
How Do Prosecutors Choose Which Assault Offense to Charge?
In determining which kind of assault charge to pursue, Culpeper County prosecutors consider a number or factors. They consider whether there has been an injury and if there has been an injury, how serious has the injury been. They consider all of the facts and circumstances, such as what it appears that the intention of the accused was.
And finally they look at who the alleged victim is. Everyone from a friend or an acquaintance will be treated differently than if the victim is a family member, and that case will be treated still differently yet if the alleged victim is a law enforcement officer or a judicial officer or fire and rescue personnel. The following is more information on each of these factors and what each means.
One is the intention of the accused whether it was an intention simply to hurt or whether there was no intention to hurt, whether the behavior was reckless or in the more serious cases whether there was an intention to kill or to maim.
Injuries Resulting From The Incident
Another major factor is the type of injuries which were sustained ranging from small injuries which can result in assault and battery charges, to more serious injuries resulting in a malicious or unlawful wounding charges, to permanent injuries which can result in an aggravated malicious wounding charge.
The Identity of the Victim
And then finally the identity of the victim is a factor. If the victim is a family member, that will affect what charge is brought, but especially if the victim is a law enforcement officer, a judicial officer, or even a fire and rescue officer, that can affect the kind of charge that is brought. Only a seasoned attorney is going to really be able to pick out the differences and make sure in each case that an individual is not being overcharged or in other words that they are not charged with something that is more serious than the facts of the case should permit.
Penalties For Different Assault Charges in Culpeper
If a person is convicted of a simple assault, they are looking at a class 1 misdemeanor and this means that they can be sent to jail for up to a year, but they can receive a fine of up to $2,500. For other more serious kinds of assault, the penalties are far more severe:
Assault on an Officer (Class 6 Felony): 1-5 years in prison, or at the discretion of a judge or jury, no more than 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Unlawful Wounding (Class 6 Felony): 1-5 years in prison, or at the discretion of a judge or jury, no more than 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Malicious Wounding (Class 3 Felony): 5-20 years in prison, and a fine of no more than $100,000.
Aggravated Malicious Wounding (Class 2 Felony): 20 years to life in prison, and a fine of no more than $100,000.
Long-Term Consequences of Assault Convictions
Assault convictions can have significant long-term consequences. An assault conviction is something that will stay on your permanent record forever, so any future employer, landlord, or even school that one is making an application to may run a criminal background check and in many cases upon discovering that there is a conviction for a violent crime they will decline to interview a person for a job or to offer them housing.
In addition, and this is particularly important in this area, it’s a factor that can influence the ability to get or keep a security clearance as well as the ability to keep and get professional licenses.