Richmond Enhanced Assault Penalties

Assault is a serious offense with penalties that often depend on the severity of the assault offense. At a very basic level, an assault charge is a Class One misdemeanor. The penalties are enhanced based on two things: who the alleged victim is and the assaulter’s knowledge of them. Simple assault it is a Class One misdemeanor and carries no more than 12 months. Other assault offenses like domestic assault or assault of a police officer, could lead to Richmond enhanced assault penalties through the statute.

Domestic Assault

With domestic assault, two individuals are in a romantic relationship, live together, have children in common, or they are family members. If a person is charged with domestic assault on a first offense, they have that program. On a second offense, it is still a Class One misdemeanor. However, on a third or subsequent offense of domestic assault, a person enters into the realm of a Class Six felony and could face Richmond enhanced assault penalties.

Assaulting Law Enforcement

Assaulting law enforcement also includes the assault of public servants, judges, and Commonwealth attorneys. If the person being assaulted belongs to a protected class of a public servant and the individual who assaulted them knew or had a reason to know that the person being assaulted was a public servant, then they are entering into the realm of that Class Six felony with mandatory six months in jail.

How Being Able to Identify Law Enforcement Can Impact an Offense

If somebody were to assault a police officer who is on duty displaying their badge of authority and conducting police business, then that person would be known as a police officer. They are on duty and an individual can see their badge. They probably have on a uniform that says, police across their chest.

That same individual, for example, may be working off-duty at a nightclub as security. They are not displaying their badge of authority and dressed in plain clothes. If they get assaulted, it would not be an assault of law enforcement officer, because a person would have no reason to think that they are a law enforcement officer.

However, in that same situation, if a person puts the officer in their uniform, displays the badge of authority, even if they are off-duty, and a person assaults them, then they have enough reason to know they are a police officer. They can get that enhanced penalty of assault on a law enforcement officer. The same thing goes for judges, magistrates, and certain other public servants, as well.

Hate-Based Assault Offenses

People could also face Richmond enhanced assault penalties for committing hate-based assault offenses. Hate-based assault is when an individual is assaulted because of their race, religion, the color of their skin, or national origin. Assaulting someone because they fall into that class is an elevated penalty of the Class Six felony and that 30-day mandatory minimum.

Examples of Enhanced Penalties

Examples of Richmond enhanced assault penalties are going to be having one’s misdemeanor assault elevated from a simple assault to a felony assault and with the felony assault or a domestic assault third or assault on law enforcement officer or hate based assault. If any of those come into play, one is looking at just a felony on the domestic third. That person will get a mandatory minimum penalty on the assault of a law enforcement officer and a mandatory minimum of 30 days on the assault or the hate-based assault. If an individual has been charged with an assault offense and needs help defending their case and mitigating penalties, they should speak with a qualified assault attorney that could help.

Richmond Assault Penalties