Dinwiddie Assault Lawyer
Assault cases can be intimidating because they are often violent in nature and are surprisingly easy to be charged with, especially since there are many misconceptions about assault in Dinwiddie. An assault warrant can be issued without the accused knowing, and an assault charge can be taken without any police action, although Dinwiddie officers treat assault cases very seriously and arrests are made quickly.
Additionally, physical contact is not required for someone to be charged with the offense, and there is actually not a requirement of bruising, scratches, or any injury at all.
Due to these misconceptions as well as the serious penalties and expensive fines that can result from a conviction, it is crucial for a person to contact a Dinwiddie criminal lawyer right away. A Dinwiddie assault lawyer can guide a person on what actions to take after being charged with assault, and can use their knowledge and experience to build the strongest defense possible to combat the potential consequences.
Elements of an Assault
Assault is defined as intentionally inflicting bodily harm on another person without permission or legal justification or engaging in an overt act with the intent to place another person in fear of bodily harm.
Physical contact is not necessary to establish an assault. Instead, an assault can be broken down as an attempted battery that places the victim in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm. So long as the victim of the assault has a reasonable apprehension of bodily harm, or fear that harm will come to them, an assault has taken place.
The elements of assault, assault and battery, and criminal battery are slightly different, but the penalty for all three is the same. Simple assault is a common law offense, which is an attempted battery and putting the victim in fear of physical harm. Assault and battery and criminal battery require actual physical contact from the accused against the victim.
With assaults being violent in nature with complainants and witnesses readily available, assault investigations are normally quick short and arrests are made within one to two days of the allegation. A person who has been charged with assault in Dinwiddie should, therefore, contact a Dinwiddie assault lawyer right away.
Virginia Code Sections 18.2-57 and 18.2-57.2 criminalize simple assault, assault and battery, domestic assault, assault on a law enforcement officer and other public servants, and assault based on race, religion, color, or national origin. Simple assault, assault and battery, and domestic assault are class one misdemeanors. Aggravated assault charges include assault on a law enforcement officer or other public servant and assault based on race, religion, color, or national origin and are class six felonies.
A simple assault in Virginia is a class one misdemeanor, which carries up to 12 months in jail and up to $2,500 in fines.
Aggravated assault, on the other hand, are class six felonies and the penalty for each is up to five years of incarceration and up to $2,500 in fines. In addition to the sentencing range, assault on an officer or public servant carries a six-month mandatory minimum jail sentence and an assault based on race, religion, color, or national origin carries a 30-day mandatory minimum jail sentence. A mandatory minimum sentence cannot be suspended by a judge or jury and must be served day for day in the local jail or state prison.
These serious penalties make it all the more important to contact an assault attorney in Dinwiddie as soon as possible.
Building a Defense
Defending a claim of assault requires a firm understanding of the law and the ability to view all of the facts and allegations, and then dissect them to determine the best strategy to be used in court. A defense can include mistaken identity, mutual combat, self-defense, or factual impossibility.
Furthermore, most assault cases are based completely on testimonial evidence without any physical scars, scrapes, or bruising. A Dinwiddie assault lawyer and their investigators in a case will gather videos, photos, defendant statements, and eye-witness statements as evidence when preparing a defense. All of this evidence, both testimonial and physical, is necessary when preparing a proper defense in an assault case.
An assault lawyer who has the ability to find inconsistency and impeachable facts is necessary when defending an allegation of assault.
Benefits of an Attorney
Assault charges are serious in Virginia and a conviction can lead to years in prison. Additionally, investigations require a lot of time and effort in order to determine the best defense to the charge and trials are long, emotionally driven, and involve many evidentiary issues.
A Dinwiddie assault lawyer, however, can help ease the complications that arise in assault charges by helping a person prepare for trial, give advice of realistic expectations, negotiate favorable pretrial outcomes, and successfully execute a proper defense in trial. Additionally, they can use their knowledge of the Dinwiddie area and laws as well as their experience in similar cases to prepare a robust defense.
An experienced assault lawyer knows what to look for during the investigation, will diligently review all evidence, and be familiar with the elements required for establishing an assault. As such, an experienced assault attorney in Dinwiddie will be able to find the nuances in a person’s case and be able to defend them, protect their interests, protect their rights, and protect their record.