Chesapeake Malicious Wounding Lawyer

Many people are familiar with the crimes of murder and manslaughter, but state statutes codify more crimes as well, such as malicious wounding.

When you have been charged or are under investigation for malicious wounding, you may be wondering what that crime is, how it relates to the facts of your case, and how it impacts your defense. Establishing a relationship with a good assault attorney early on in the process is critical. Seeking assistance from an experienced Chesapeake malicious wounding lawyer can help you understand your options and prepare a defense.

What Is Malicious Wounding?

Malicious wounding is defined by a series of elements in Virginia Code § 18.2-51. In order to convict a person of a crime, it is the state’s burden to prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt.

Two elements make up malicious wounding: factual and mental-state elements. Factual aspects cover what the person accused of the crime actually did. For malicious wounding, that action is to wound or bodily injure another, including by shooting, cutting, or stabbing them.

The mental-state elements cover the person’s state of mind when they took action. For malicious wounding, the person must have taken the action with the intent to kill or permanently injure the other person. The other person does not have to end up being killed or permanently injured—the person accused of the crime must have intended to do so when they took the action.

Additionally, the person accused of the crime must have taken the action with malice. Generally, malice means the person knew what they did was wrong but recklessly disregarded the rights of another and did it anyway.

When a person is convicted of malicious wounding, it is a Class 3 felony. For Class 3 felonies, the penalties could be a jail sentence of 5-20 years, a fine of up to $100,000, or both. A Chesapeake attorney can provide more information about the required elements, mental states, and any available defenses for a malicious wounding charge.

Lesser Offenses Associated With Malicious Wounding

Typically, a state must charge a person with the specific crimes for which it wants to try them upfront. Then, if the verdict comes back as not guilty, the state cannot come back and try the person again for a lesser crime.

Virginia Code § 18.2-54 provides that when the state charges a person with maliciously wounding another, the jury may find that person not guilty of malicious wounding but still guilty of a lesser offense.

For example, when the Commonwealth is not able to prove the accused person acted maliciously, the jury may still find them guilty of unlawful wounding. Unlawful wounding is a Class 6 felony and is punishable by a jail sentence between one and five years.

Moreover, even when the Commonwealth does not prove unlawful wounding, the jury may still find the defendant guilty of assault or battery. The charge of Assault and battery is a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries a penalty of imprisonment for up to 12 months, a fine of up to $2,500, or both.

A person must account for this interplay of multiple different crimes in their defense from the start because it can have a significant impact on how the trial proceeds. A lawyer in Chesapeake can ensure the malicious wounding defense accounts for the appropriate eventualities.

Reach Out To an Experienced Malicious Wounding Attorney in Chesapeake

In criminal cases, the definition of a successful outcome can vary widely depending on the context. Success may be an outright acquittal, a lower sentence, or a reduction to a lesser charge.

Working with a Chesapeake malicious wounding lawyer can help you understand what options are available to you, how they align with your goals, and reach a successful outcome. Reach out to Parks Zeigler, PLLC, for more information about your defense.

Areas We Serve

With an office near Town Center, Virginia Beach and a second location beside the Chesapeake courthouse, our team provides quality legal representation across the entire Hampton Roads Area.

  • Virginia Beach
  • Hampton
  • Chesapeake
  • Newport News
  • Norfolk
  • Yorktown
  • Portsmouth
  • Accomack County
  • Suffolk
  • Northampton County

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law N/a
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