Colonial Heights Simple Assault Penalties

Simple assault is considered a violent crime and the consequences reflect as much. To learn more about any potential Colonial Heights simple assault penalties you may be facing, contact a skilled simple assault attorney.

What are the Expected Consequences of Simple Assault?

Simple assaults are classified as Class 1 misdemeanors in Colonial Heights. All assaults, assault and battery and simple assault, are all Class 1 misdemeanors. The Colonial Heights simple assault penalties carry a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500. Given that most simple assault cases originate in the general district court, they are normally going to be bench trials unless appealed to a jury.

Severity of a Colonial Heights Simple Assault Penalties

Misdemeanor charges, even though they are only misdemeanors, are still very serious offenses. The accused will also have a permanent criminal record alongside any minimum Colonial Heights simple assault penalties. That means if anybody were to see their record they would see that charge because the charge cannot be expunged unless someone is a juvenile.

If anybody ever has a background check, or if the police ever stop the individual and do a background check on them, the assault charge will always pop up. In the Commonwealth of Virginia’s eyes, they will be seen as a violent individual. This can have an effect later on in life, if the individual finds themselves in a potentially compromising situation, the police and authorities are going to be less likely to give the benefit of the doubt to someone they perceive to be violent.

What is the Role of a Circuit Court in Simple Assault Cases?

The circuit court is a court of record. In the circuit court, there is a court reporter who is writing everything down and taking notes in order to preserve the record. In the circuit court, a person has the right to a trial by judge and the right to a trial by jury, rights they do not have in the general district court. Considering that simple assault is a Class 1 misdemeanor, most of the time, unless there is some extenuating circumstance, it is going to originate in the general district court. If somebody is convicted there, they then have the automatic right to appeal the finding de novo to the circuit court where it can then be heard by a judge or a jury.

Understanding the Criminal Assault Court System

Simple assault cases can be heard in both the general district and the circuit court, but they normally originate in the general district court. Simple assault is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Virginia has a two-tier court system: the lower court of the general district, and the circuit court, which is the higher court. The general district court is not a court of record, meaning, there are no stenographers or court reporters transcribing everything that takes place in a general district court.

Because there is no record and no recording of what occurs in general district court, the Virginia Assembly through the Virginia Code gives anybody who appears in the general district court the right to appeal Colonial Heights simple assault penalties from the general district court to the circuit court.

Colonial Heights Simple Assault Lawyer