What is Considered Assault in Virginia?

Categorized: Criminal Defense

The Commonwealth of Virginia defines assault as an overt act intended to do bodily harm to another individual with a present ability to do such harm or an act intended to place another individual in fear or apprehension of bodily harm. A criminal defense attorney can assist with any assault charge.

What is the Difference Between Simple Assault and Assault and Battery in Virginia?

Although these two terms are very similar in nature, they both have different legal definitions. Both are generally considered to be misdemeanor crimes, although if the victim of a simple assault was selected based on any of the factors surrounding their race, religion, skin color, or national origin, the penalty most likely would include a mandatory jail sentence.

Simple Assault

A simple assault in Virginia does not include making actual contact or touching the victim. In this type of assault, the individual who was considered to be the aggressor put another person in reasonable fear of battery, which is unauthorized, harmful, or offensive contact with another person,or there was a failed attempt to batter the other individual. For example, if the aggressor, without legal justification, attempts to throw a rock at the other person but misses, the aggressor has committed an assault. Since this crime is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor, it is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.

Assault and Battery

This is the unlawful act of touching or striking another person in an angry or menacing manner. It is not necessary for the aggressor to actually touch the other individual in person-to-person contact. Assault and battery can also be committed if an object is used with the intent to harm the other person. Even if the victim is not actually physically harmed in the altercation, it is still considered to be assault and battery. The punishment for cases that involve assault and battery is highly dependent on the circumstances involved in the case.

What are Other Types of Assault in Virginia?

Domestic Assault

In Virginia, this occurs when a battery is committed by one family member against another or upon an individual who is considered to be a member of their household. This includes a present or former spouse, parent, child, or sibling, whether they live with you or not. It also includes any individual who you are sharing a residence with for a period of more than one year. This is considered to be a Class 1 misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.

Unlawful Wounding

If you injure another person with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or even kill, you will be charged with unlawful wounding. With this charge, it is determined that you acted without malice. A gun must have been used, or the victim’s skin must have broken in order for a case to qualify as unlawful wounding. This charge is a Class 6 felony with a possible prison sentence of 1 to 5 years and a maximum fine of up to $2,500.

Malicious Wounding

This involves injuries that include cutting, stabbing, or shooting. If it is deemed that you purposely intended to harm the other person to cause extreme injury or acted with malice, you will be charged with malicious wounding. This is a Class 3 felony, and you will face a sentence of 5 to 10 years in prison along with a fine of not more than $100,000.

How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me with My Assault Case?

As with any criminal case, it is highly imperative that you speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. After you have been arrested and charged with a crime, especially that of assault, it is often confusing as to what will happen next. Our attorneys can answer all of your questions and plan a solid defense strategy for your case. Contact our law firm and schedule an appointment to speak to one of our lawyers who understand how to handle all types of assault cases. We look forward to assisting you with your case.

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