Manassas Assault Lawyer

If you have been charged with any type of assault in Northern Virginia, contact a Manassas assault lawyer to begin planning your defense. Because assault charges often stem from a “perceived” threat, they can be unexpected, leaving you confused and vulnerable.

Fortunately, a defense attorney in Manassas understands how to defend clients from charges like these in the Manassas court system and will be ready to fight to have your charges reduced or dismissed.

Benefit of a Manassas Assault Lawyer

A Manassas assault lawyer is backed by the resources of a private criminal defense firm, which is good news for clients.  As soon as you decide to work with one of our attorneys, he or she will carefully investigate your case to assess the best options for defense.

When charged with assault, you can help your lawyer by trying to determine if there are any witnesses who may support your version of the incident.  Your lawyer may also work to clear your name by obtaining recorded evidence of the alleged assault that demonstrates your innocence or produces reasonable doubt.

There are many other benefits that come from working with an experienced Manassas assault lawyer, but the best way to learn how our attorneys can assist you is to complete your free initial consultation.  Once the details of your case are clear, our lawyers can generate a customized defense strategy to fit your needs.

Understanding an Assault

Assault is the perceived threat of bodily harm.  It is defined as the victim being in “reasonable” fear of injury by another person’s words or actions. Battery is simply defined as harmful contact.  However, in the Commonwealth, assault and battery are charged in the same criminal section and are a class 1 misdemeanor Virginia Criminal Code 18.2-57], which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a maximum $2,500 fine.  If a victim is seriously harmed, the crime becomes a felony.

Criminal Assault Felonies

Malicious wounding [VA Code 18.2-51] occurs when an individual commits battery with the intent to injure, disable, or kill the victim by shooting, cutting, disfiguring, stabbing, or clubbing them.  If it is premeditated, it is a class 3 felony [VA Code 18.2-10(c)].  If there was no “malicious” intent (premeditation) to harm, it is charged as a less serious class 6 felony [VA Code 18.2-10(f)].

Aggravated malicious wounding occurs when a person injures a victim so severely that permanent physical injury or disfigurement is suffered, and malicious intent by the accused can be proven.  It is aggressively prosecuted as a class 2 felony [VA Code 18.2-51.2] and carries a prison sentence of 20 years to life and a fine of up to $100,000.

Assault during Robbery or Burglary: While committing any theft crime, if an individual harms a victim, then a felony assault is committed.  Many times, however, the assault is an underlying charge that enhances the “top count” felony of robbery or burglary (theft).  Both allow for the addition of prison time to the punishment for the theft conviction [VA Code Sections 18.2-58 and 18.2-91], but if the victim is gravely or permanently injured (or dies from the assault), the thefts could enhance a top-count felony assault.  This decision is made at the discretion of the prosecutor.

Assault and Battery of Protected Groups [VA Code 18.2-57(C)].  An individual who allegedly assaults a police officer, a corrections or parole officer, a firefighter, or an EMT in the performance of their duties is charged with this class 6 felony.  The perpetrator must know that these people are part of the protected group, which also includes judges. The prison sentence is one to five years.  A mandatory minimum of six months must be served.

Assaulting an Educator [VA Code 18.2-57(D)].  The same general protections apply to educators (teachers, principals, or guidance counselors), but the offense is punished as a class 1 misdemeanor, with up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.

Hate Crimes [VA Code 18.2-57(B)].  This law was passed several years ago to protect people of all races, religions, colors, and national origins and the LGBT community.  If an individual intentionally injures a victim based on any of the above parameters, a “bias crime” class 6 felony is charged. Upon a guilty verdict, punishment can be up to five years in prison.  If a hate-related assault is attempted, the same maximum could be handed down, but a mandatory minimum 30 days in jail must be served.

Homicides (murder and manslaughter) have even more serious penalties, including death sentences if the assault is a capital crime.  If you face any of those charges, it is critical that you contact a seasoned Manassas assault lawyer immediately.

Domestic Assault

Virginia charges and prosecutes domestic assault just like criminal assault.  These cases can involve sexual, physical, or emotional “harm” to the victim.  The more serious offenses notwithstanding, those convicted of domestic assault, a class 1 misdemeanor, could serve up to a year in jail and/or pay a fine of $2,500.  A third offense is charged as a class 6 felony, with a possible prison sentence of up to five years.

Finding the Right Manassas Assault Lawyer

Assaults can be rather complex to defend, and require good investigative abilities by your Manassas assault lawyer.  Call our firm today to learn more about how we can help defend your rights and get you past this difficult legal matter.