Richmond Aggravated Assault Lawyer
Aggravated assault is an even more serious charge than simple assault. This often includes the use of weapons and results in malicious wounding, which results in serious jail time and a permanent mark on someone’s criminal record. It is important, therefore, to retain the services of a Richmond assault defense attorney with experience in this field, as they will understand the procedures of the court and can argue the best defense in a person’s case. If you face aggravated assault charges, do not hesitate to contact an experienced assault lawyer.
Aggravated Assault Charges in Richmond
An aggravated assault in Richmond is defined in a number of ways. Virginia does not have aggravated assault statutes. However, it does have a malicious wounding statute as well as a statute for strangulation. These charges are serious felonies. Aggravated assaults are going to be an assault on law enforcement officers or public servants and assaults are based on race, religion, color or national origin. Lastly is the domestic assault third offense. A third-offense domestic assault or a subsequent third offense, even though it is technically a simple assault or a misdemeanor assault, goes up to a Class 6 felony, as well.
Aggravated assault cases often involve weapons such as firearms, knives, and brass knuckles. Malicious wounding occurs when someone shoots, wounds, cuts, or takes actions to impose serious harm on an individual that resulted in serious bodily injury. Strangulation is an intentional application of pressure to a person’s neck that cuts off their blood circulation and interferes with their breathing.
There is no serious bodily injury element in an aggravated assault. It is not defined. Assault can be anything from slapping somebody in the face to spitting on an officer’s shirt. That is all going to be the same assault. For this type of case, the person charged should supply their Richmond aggravated assault attorney with documentation about the charges and information about any witnesses who may have seen or know of the events.
Aggravated Assault on Unidentified Law Enforcement
A person cannot be charged with assaulting a police officer if at the time of the assault the police officer was dressed in plain clothes, without their badge of authority, never said that they were a police officer, and looked like a regular old dude in a bar. They can be charged with simple assault for assaulting that guy, but if it was not reasonable for the person to know they were a police officer, then the person cannot be charged with assaulting a police officer.
The Role of Knowledge and Intent in an Aggravated Assault Case
In all assault cases, they have to first have intent to commit the act. For example, a person slaps a police officer in the face. First, a person must have the intent to swing their arm at the police officer; they cannot be charged with assault for an accidental touching. If the person did not have the intent to swing their arms and somebody pushed them and they fell into the officer, there is no intent to commit the act that occurred. A person must have an intention to act.
Secondly, a person has to have the intent to harm. If they go to give an officer a high-five and slap their hand and the officer did not want a high-five at that time and they thought the officer did, there is no intent to harm. The person was not trying to hurt the officer; they had a good intent to just high-fiving a police officer, so there is no intent to harm.
Lastly, with assault on a law enforcement officer or assault to somebody’s race, religion, creed, gender, and et cetera, a person must have something called the reasonable knowledge of that person. It is often called the protected class. If it is an officer or somebody who is Black, White, Asian, or Native American, or someone who is Catholic or Protestant, as far as one of those protected classes, they must have knowledge of the protected class to be convicted of the aggravating assault.
Penalties for Aggravated Assault
The penalties for an aggravated assault in Richmond can vary. With aggravated assault, the first is going to be the domestic assault third. On a person’s third subsequent domestic assault, they are looking at a Class 6 felony, which means up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Assault on a law enforcement officer is a Class 6 felony, which means up five years in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. If they assault a law enforcement officer, that time, a person is looking at a mandatory minimum of six months in jail.
A mandatory minimum means that while at a basic level, a Class 6 felony does carry anywhere from zero days to five years. If a person is charged with this particular crime and convicted of it, the judge or the jury has no choice but to give the person six months in jail. That is a day-per-day. They do not get partial credit for it; they have to serve all six months.
Other than the penalties, long jail sentences are penalties for assaulting a law enforcement officer. Once a person is convicted of a felony, the person loses the right to possess a firearm and to vote. They are going to be a felon. It is going to be very difficult for a person to secure or procure employment and the stigma will follow them. The individual will also find it difficult to procure a firearm because they have been charged with a violent felony offense.
Assault based on race, religion, gender, or creed is one of the protected classes, which is a Class 6 felony and carries up to five years in jail. There is also going to be a 30-day mandatory minimum. That is day-per-day, have to serve it, and cannot get out of it, which are three aggravated assaults.
Importance of Hiring an Experienced Assault Attorney
In an aggravated assault case, the best way to refute the testimony or some of the evidence is to show that there was no intent to harm. A lawyer establishes that the issue may have been accidental, and/or there was no serious injury, or show that it is one of self-defense.With aggravated assault cases, it is very important to have an experienced lawyer who has handled these types of cases before and who has practiced in Richmond.
An individual needs a Richmond aggravated assault attorney who is comfortable trying cases and going to trial. In these cases, the testimony of the witnesses who saw the action or the victim is extremely important. An individual must have an attorney with experience cross-examining individuals and trying to impeach their testimony.