Colonial Heights Assault Penalties

Accusations of assault should be taken seriously. Depending on the accusation and the details of a case, it can be critical to begin a defense argument to combat Colonial Heights assault penalties. Seeking a skilled assault lawyer’s advice as far as how to maneuver not only in the courtroom in order to protect themselves could be beneficial for your future.

Penalties Associated with Assault in Colonial Heights

Generally speaking, assaults are Class 1 misdemeanors. They carry a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. If the assault is an assault on a family member, it is something referred to as a domestic assault. A domestic assault is also a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500.

However, if someone is convicted of three or more domestic assaults, the individual is classified as a Class 6 felony as opposed to another Class 1 misdemeanor. This is opposed to a simple assault or assault on a layperson where one can have 50 of those and it is always going to be simple assault.

However, if an individual is assaulting someone who they have a domestic relationship with such as a sibling, parent, spouse, or someone with which they share a child in common, then they can be looking at a felony offense on their third offense.

Likelihood of Enhanced Penalties

Sever Colonial Heights assault penalties can lead to felonies. While the acts are not changing, the number of actions can ratchet it up to a lot longer jail sentence and the loss of the person’s constitutional rights, as well as different aggravating factors that were previously discussed. Having multiple charges can take an assault from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Enhanced Penalty Scenarios in an Assault Case

The major enhanced penalty is going to be the jump from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony concerning domestic assaults. Another enhanced penalty, depending on the number of assaults, the longer time they are going to receive in jail per assault until they ultimately get maxed out and then they will just be maxed out every time. On a first conviction for assault, it is likely that an individual will not receive any jail time.

For a second simple assault, an individual may receive a day or two in jail. On the third simple assault, they may get a month. As they rack up assaults, they are going to rack up more and more jail time until the person is at a place where the Commonwealth is going to max the individual out and give them 12 months in jail every time they commit an assault.

Charges for Malicious Wounding

If the assault is bad enough, it can go from a simple assault to a malicious wounding or an unlawful wounding, or a malicious wounding by caustic substance if the individual were to mace somebody or throw acid on them. That is another thing that can elevate a simple assault from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 3 felony based on a malicious wounding.

The Commonwealth would just have to prove that there was the unwanted touching and that there is a wound, and that the punch was thrown with malice or the intent to maim, disable or disfigure or kill.

What Must the Prosecution Prove for an Assault Conviction?

The Colonial Heights Commonwealth attorney’s office has to prove that the specific defendant assaulted somebody else, and that they either hit them or touched them in any rude manner and that the touching was unwanted. They can also show that they attempted to batter somebody, or that through the actions of the assaulter, they put the accuser in a position where they had a reasonable apprehension of an imminent touching they did not want. Meaning, they essentially scared them into thinking they were going to get hit.

Available Diversion Programs and Alternative Sentencing Options

The only alternative sentence for Colonial Heights assault penalties could be a first offender program for domestic assault cases. While domestic assaults can ultimately become felonies, there is also a program that is in place per the Virginia Code that gives people on a first-offense domestic assault an opportunity to have the charge ultimately dismissed from their criminal history.

What ultimately happens is the individual has to plead no contest, and the court will not find them guilty. The court will essentially continue the case for a certain amount of time. Normally, that individual is given two years to complete anger management and be on probation.

If they complete anger management and a period of supervised and unsupervised probation, after a two-year period, the court will call them back in to ask them how everything is going. If they have done everything they are supposed to, the court would dismiss the charge against them.