Caroline County Assault Lawyer

Accusations of assault and battery can be highly damaging to your personal and professional life. You could face a misdemeanor or felony conviction as a result, which both can result in substantial sentences of incarceration. Getting the legal guidance of a Caroline County assault lawyer could make a difference in the outcome of your case.

An assault conviction could inhibit your ability to find a job, find suitable housing, and pursue some career paths. If you have a felony conviction on your record, you will lose some of your civil rights, such as the right to own and carry firearms. A criminal defense lawyer is aware of these potential penalties and may be able to defend you against assault charges effectively.

Assault Charges

Virginia law combines assault, or making threats of harm to others, and battery, or inflicting physical injury on others, into a single offense under Va. Code § 18.2-57. This offense may be a misdemeanor or felony charge, depending on the severity and other circumstances surrounding the incident. Furthermore, potential penalties for a conviction may be harsher in some cases than others, such as if the assault involves family or household members.

A first assault charge with no aggravating circumstances typically is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries the potential for a maximum jail sentence of one year and a $2,500 maximum fine. Aggravating circumstances, however, may require the imposition of a mandatory minimum jail sentence.

Other aggravating situations that may impact the sentence imposed for an assault conviction include assaults against:

  • Law enforcement and correctional officers
  • Firefighters, EMS members, and other first responders
  • Teachers, guidance counselors, and school administrators
  • Health care providers, such as doctors and nurses

Assaults involving these individuals as targets may lead to enhanced penalties for convictions, including the imposition of mandatory minimum jail sentences. Since the penalties for an assault conviction, especially when it involves aggravating factors, can be so severe, you may wish to contact an assault lawyer in Caroline County for legal advice and representation.

Felony Assault Charges

Although assault charges usually are a misdemeanor under Virginia law, some circumstances can result in felony charges. Generally, when bodily injury occurs, individuals accused of battery may face Class 6 felony charges. Conviction on a Class 6 felony offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from one to five years, but there is the discretion of a judge or jury to impose a lesser punishment of a maximum 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Repeated assaults involving domestic violence, in which the alleged targets of the bodily harm are family or household members, also can lead to Class 6 felony charges. Assaults against certain individuals, including first responders and police officers, also can result in felony charges with a mandatory minimum jail sentence of six months.

An assault attorney in Caroline County may be able to help reduce or avoid the charges against individuals by developing a strong and effective defense strategy.

Other Assault-Related Charges

Assaults that involve more severe bodily injuries can result in felony charges of a higher level and significant prison terms for convictions. For example, Va. Code § 18.2-51 covers stabbing or shooting others with the intent to maim or kill them. This offense is a Class 3 felony, or a Class 6 felony if committed in the absence of malice, which could result in a prison sentence of five to 20 years and a fine of up to $100,000.

Likewise, malicious bodily injury to law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other search and rescue or EMS personnel, is a felony offense under Va. Code § 18.2-51.1. A conviction on this offense can result in up to 30 years in prison and a $100,000 fine, including a mandatory minimum prison sentence of two years.

Let a Caroline County Assault Attorney Assist You

An assault charge can have harsh consequences that may irrevocably alter the course of your life. A conviction for a crime of violence, whether a misdemeanor or felony, can impede your efforts to better yourself through education and employment. A Caroline County assault lawyer may be able to help you combat the charges against you and reach a better resolution in your case.

Building a robust defense from the outset of any allegations against you can place you in a better position to prevail in your case. Avoiding or minimizing the potential results of an assault conviction may be easier with the guidance of experienced legal counsel.