Chesterfield County Assault Lawyer
Assault in Virginia is a criminal offense defined as the threat or use of force on an individual that causes that person to have reasonable apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact. The term “battery” is often used interchangeably with assault, and the two terms used together – “assault and battery” – more accurately describe the “offer of harm” or threat of harm, the assault, with the actual offensive or harmful contact being the battery. [Virginia Code Section 18.2-57.] Our Chesterfield County assault lawyers have extensive experience handling assault cases. We can help if you are charged with any form of assault crime in Virginia.
Types of Assault
Examples of assault offenses include all of the following:
- Simple assault
- Assault and battery
- Assault against emergency personnel
- Assault against an officer
- Aggravated assault
- Domestic violence
- Malicious wounding
- Unlawful wounding
Simple assault and assault and battery are both treated as class 1 misdemeanors in Virginia, punishable by up to 12 months’ incarceration and/or up to up to $2,500 in fines [Sections 18.2-11(a) and 18.2-57].
Consequences of an Assault Conviction
If you are convicted of an assault crime, your sentence may include incarceration, a fine, and probation. Whether you are sent to jail or not depends largely on the seriousness of the crime of which you are convicted and your prior criminal record.
In addition to exposure to a jail or prison term, conviction for assault results in a permanent criminal record that is obtainable by employers, potential employers, potential landlords, licensing agencies, and anyone who cares to look and see whether you have ever been convicted of a crime. Your ability to obtain or keep a job will also be jeopardized by a criminal conviction. Non-citizens risk deportation, as well as losing the ability to renew visas to remain in the country, and other privileges relating to the citizenship and naturalization process.
Where bodily injury or other expenses to the victim result, the court will normally order restitution.
Besides challenging the prosecutor’s ability to establish any of the statutory elements of assault, defendants can avoid conviction by establishing an affirmative defense. Affirmative defenses to assault include the victim’s consent to the activity. Self-defense will also negate a charge of assault. To prove self-defense, the defendant must show the assault was reasonably necessary to protect the defendant against equal or greater bodily harm that would have been inflicted by the victim.
Persons charged in Virginia with any type of assault should consult with an experienced Chesterfield County assault lawyer immediately. Defense of assault cases often benefits from immediate investigation. This will help to identify and seek cooperation from witnesses, and to preserve evidence. These steps can be crucial for effective defense efforts. Our Chesterfield County assault lawyers know what kinds of witnesses and evidence can help the defense.
Call a Chesterfield County Assault Lawyer Today
If you are accused of assault in Chesterfield County, or anywhere in Virginia, you have rights and are entitled to a vigorous defense. Our experienced Chesterfield County assault lawyers are prepared to secure and protect your rights and provide the representation you deserve. They will be there with you throughout the process and can keep you prepped on what to expect from your case.