Fredericksburg Assault Charges

Finding yourself facing Fredericksburg assault charges could feel nerve-wracking. An experienced assault lawyer could help defend your case in front of a court.

Defining Assault

In Virginia, assault refers to causing any reasonable apprehension of fear, immediate harm, or even any unwanted contact. If an individual is tried by jury for simple assault in Virginia, the prosecutor will be required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt only that there was some unwanted touching that took place and that the defendant touched the alleged victim in a manner that was unwanted and was either violent or even simply in a rude manner.

An assault is often referred to as an attempted battery, and if the prosecution proves merely that an individual who is accused of assault threw a cup of ice in the direction of another person and made that person reasonably afraid that the ice might hit them, then the accused would be guilty of assault.

Apprehension of Immediate Harm and Unwanted Contact

The easiest way to explain a reasonable apprehension of fear is if a person was to throw a baseball at someone and it causes them to duck from fear of being hurt. In other words, the alleged victim had a reason to think that something was going to happen to them that they did not want to happen. The person determined that the fear was reasonable enough to move out of the way of the object.

Differentiating Battery and Assault in Fredericksburg

The difference between an assault and a battery is merely a technical difference that does not have any practical implication under criminal law in Virginia. Whether someone is charged with an assault or a battery in Virginia, the alleged wrong-doer is charged under Section 18.2-57. If someone is charged under that section, it does not matter whether he or she is charged with assault or battery because both are punishable as a class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in county jail.

The difference between an assault and a battery is that a battery is the actual unwanted touching of an individual, and an assault is simply putting someone in apprehension of an immediate, unwanted touching.

Common Assault Charges in Fredericksburg

The most common scenario in which someone is charged with an assault in Virginia is when some sort of a fight took place or an argument escalated to the point where an object is thrown, somebody is pushed, or somebody is hit or even scratched.

There are various degrees of cases that would fall under the broad category of simple assault under Section 18.2-57. Those are cases where a fight took place, someone was hit, or an assault was attempted and someone was put in reasonable fear of unwanted contact. There are also some specific types of assault and battery such as a sexual battery, in which case the battery, the unwanted touching, is toward a specific body part for the specific abusive purpose. Sexual battery is a specific type of assault that is still a misdemeanor, but then there are other more serious charges that would still involve an assault or battery that are charged as felonies, and those would fall under the umbrella of malicious or unlawful wounding in Virginia.

Contact an Assault Lawyer in Fredericksburg

After facing Fredericksburg assault charges, the next step a defendant needs to take is contacting an experienced legal professional. Do not let the court process intimidate you. Reach out to an attorney today.