Virginia Assault Lawyer

Virginia Assault Lawyer In Virginia, being charged with assault or related crimes can be profoundly serious, as it could lead to a felony or misdemeanor conviction based on the severity and nature of the alleged offense. If you’re convicted of assault, you could permanently impact your future, as you could face difficulty finding housing, employment, financial aid, loans, and other essential provisions. This is especially true if the offense is classified as a felony.

Fortunately, with the help of an experienced Virginia assault attorney, you can significantly improve your chances of getting your charges dropped or lowered.

Assault and other similar crimes are governed by Chapter 4 of Title 18.2 of the Virginia Criminal Code, a chapter entitled Crimes Against the Person. These laws tend to be complex and are subject to varied interpretations by the courts on a per-case basis. In many cases, assault crimes get complicated by claims of self-defense, which is one of the reasons it’s essential to get an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side to help you navigate the legal process.

Assault and Battery Laws

Assault and battery are governed under criminal code § 18.2-57. The code stipulates that the penalty for committing a simple assault and battery is a Class 1 misdemeanor, up to a year in jail, and a fine of up to $2,500. However, part B of this code says that if the victim of the assault is chosen due to their race, religious conviction, or origin, the penalty is raised to a Class 6 felony, which is punishable by at least six months of prison time and a fine not exceeding $2,500.

The Class 6 felony penalty can also be attached to crimes of assault and battery that are committed against a law enforcement officer, a judge, a firefighter, a correctional officer, an EMS member, or a rescue squad member. The penalty includes a minimum 6-month mandatory jail sentence.

Part D of this code stipulates that the penalty for battery committed against guidance counselors, teachers, or principals of private or public schools is a Class 1 misdemeanor. It is punishable by at least 15 days in jail. However, the minimum mandatory jail time is six months if the crime was committed using a weapon banned from school property.

Section E of this code stipulates that a Class 1 misdemeanor penalty and a minimum of 15 days of jail time await any individual who commits a crime of assault or battery against a healthcare provider, such as a nurse or doctor, while engaged in their official duties.

Domestic Assault and Battery Laws

The laws governing domestic assault and battery are stipulated in Virginia Criminal Code § 18.2-57.2. Domestic assault is defined as an assault against a member of the family or household. This code states that the basic penalty for domestic assault is a Class 1 misdemeanor and up to $2,500 in fines or up to 12 months in jail.

Suppose an individual commits a domestic assault and already has two prior convictions for committing any of the following offenses against a family or household member: assault, aggravated malicious wounding, malicious wounding, malicious bodily injury using a substance, or strangulation. In that case, they are subject to a Class 6 felony. However, this can only happen if the two previous convictions happened on different dates within 20 years. Penalties for a Class 6 felony conviction include a fine of up to $2,500 and up to 5 years of incarceration.

Additionally, people over the age of 18 who are found guilty of domestic assault will get an emergency protective order filed. The protective order is meant to protect the safety of the alleged victim.

Stabbing and Shooting Laws in Virginia

Assault cases involving more severe bodily injuries like stabs and bullet wounds or the intention to cause more serious bodily injuries are governed by Virginia Criminal Code § 18.2-51. The code outlines that cutting maliciously, stabbing, wounding, or shooting another person to disfigure, disable, kill, or maim them is illegal. The penalty for this crime is a Class 3 felony, as well as a prison term of 5 to 20 years and fines not exceeding $100,000.

If this crime is committed unlawfully without malicious intent, the penalty may be reduced to a Class 6 felony, which comes with up to 5 years of prison time and up to $2,500 in fines.

Malicious Bodily Injury to Certain Persons

Virginia Criminal Code § 18.2-51.1 stipulates different laws for crimes involving malicious bodily injury committed against firefighters, law enforcement officers, rescue and search personnel, and emergency medical personnel. When a malicious bodily injury is committed against any of these persons while acting in their official capacity, and there was an intent to disable, kill, disfigure, or maim, the penalty is a felony. Additionally, the penalties will include fines of up to $100,000 and a prison sentence of 5 to 30 years, with a mandatory sentence of 2 years.

If the same crime is committed unlawfully without malicious intent, the penalty is a Class 6 felony, which carries a penalty of up to 5 years in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. The mandatory minimum sentence will be one year.

Virginia Laws Regarding Aggravated Malicious Wounding

Virginia state code § 18.2-51.2 prohibits malicious cutting, stabbing, shooting, or wounding another individual with the intent to disable, maim, kill, or disfigure them. In the event that the victim is severely injured and suffers permanent or significant physical impairment, the penalty is a Class 2 felony, which comes with a prison sentence of 20 years to life along with fines of up to $100,000. This code essentially establishes the same penalties for people who commit the same crime against a pregnant woman if they intend to kill, maim, disable, or terminate her pregnancy.

Malicious Bodily Injury with a Caustic Substance

The Virginia Criminal Code § 18.2-52 essentially outlines the laws about causing malicious bodily injury using caustic substances or flammable or explosive material. The code prohibits individuals from maliciously causing bodily injury to another person using materials like acid and lye. The punishment for this crime is a felony (upon conviction) and 5 to 30 years of incarceration. Just as with other similar crimes, the Class 6 felony classification is given to any case where the wounding was caused by unlawful, not malicious, means.

Injuring an Individual by DWI in Virginia

Virginia state code § 18.2-51.4 makes it illegal to maim another person from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If an individual acts in a way that is so gross, wanton, and culpable that it can be interpreted as a reckless disregard for human life, and if the defendant unintentionally causes the serious bodily injury of another, he or she is guilty of a Class 6 felony. If they cause significant bodily injury to another individual, resulting in permanent and significant physical impairment, the penalty is a Class 4 felony. Once convicted, the defendant will face up to 5 years in jail and a maximum fine of up to $2,500. Moreover, they could have their driver’s license revoked or suspended.

If you have been charged with assault, seeking legal representation as soon as possible is crucial. Bississo Law, P.C. is a Virginia assault lawyer. We will work diligently to protect your rights and get the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.