Fredericksburg Assault Lawyer
Assault is considered a serious crime in Fredericksburg, as an assault conviction may result in potential jail time. Assault is also unique in the sense that very few assault cases have police officers as witnesses. It can often be difficult for a person to have the courts accept their word over that of an officer.
Because of this, the credibility of the person making the accusation is important in the case. Finding weaknesses in someone’s credibility or showing why a person’s story is inconsistent is one of many things a Fredericksburg assault defense attorney can do to help you in your case. To learn more or begin building your defense, consult with a defense lawyer today.
An assault occurs when the defendant commits an overt act with the intent to do bodily harm while having the present ability to commit that harm or when a defendant commits an overt act calculated to place another in fear of bodily injury and that person reasonably feels afraid. Physical contact is not necessary for an assault to have occurred. If a person were to raise their fist in an intimidating way to another person, and, if that person were close enough that they actually had the ability to complete the act of making contact with their fist, this action can be considered an assault. If the individual actually threw and connected with the punch, that action would be considered battery.
There are two primary kinds of assault crimes in Virginia: assault against a family member and simple assault. An assault against a family member involves assault against a spouse, romantic partner (in some cases), or immediate family. Simple assault, on the other hand, involves assault against a non-family member.
Penalties and Consequences
In Virginia, a simple assault is punishable by up to 12 months in jail. In most cases, the punishment for simple assault will not be this severe, unless there exists a particularly egregious set of facts, or the defendant has a significant criminal history.
Assault crimes and arrests are treated seriously by Fredericksburg law enforcement officers because assault holds the potential for someone to be harmed. Because of this, assault charges are also investigated thoroughly and treated seriously in trial settings, and a having an experienced Fredericksburg assault attorney by your side will help in this trial setting.
Most assault cases are initiated when someone calls the police and says they have been assaulted. Typically, police respond very quickly to these situations because instances of assault often escalate. When the police arrive, they interview every potential witness, including the two in the altercation. Once the police determine the primary aggressor in the situation and either make a charge against that person or tell the victim they must go to the magistrate‘s office to seek a warrant.
Building a Defense
Assault charges are defensible on the basis of a number of factors. For example, the defendant may have acted in self-defense, or the credibility of the complaining witness may be undermined. However, the appropriate tactics for defending a particular case are entirely dependent on the facts and circumstances of that case.
The first piece of evidence an assault lawyer in the Fredericksburg area is going to look for is the criminal complaint in the court file. This is a paper filled out either by a police officer or the person making an accusation and describes the behavior with which the person is charged. The complaint is also the document given to the magistrate who issues the charge.
In addition to the complaint, an assault lawyer in Fredericksburg will seek out witness testimony of individuals who were at the scene of the alleged assault. Sometimes, there is video or audio evidence, or photographs of injuries received by one or both parties. Subtle details can make a big difference in cases like this in terms of establishing or damaging the credibility of a witness.
Contacting an Attorney
In many instances, assault cases are taken to trial. If you have been charged with assault, you will benefit from a Fredericksburg assault lawyer with a lot of experience trying cases of this nature, as such experience can make a big difference in reaching the proper outcome for the defendant, particularly in those cases in which one person’s word is placed against that of another.