Richmond Unlawful Wounding Lawyer

Malicious wounding is defined by Virginia Code 18.2-51. Malicious and unlawful wounding are defined in the same code section. That code section reads that if any person maliciously shoots, stabs, cuts or wounds any person or by any means caused them bodily injury with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill. It is a Class Three felony.

If such an act can be done unlawfully, but not maliciously with the intent the offender shall be guilty of a Class Six felony. Unlawful wounding is a malicious wounding without malice. It is a wounding without the intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill. If an individual has been charged unlawful wounding, it is vital that they speak with a Richmond unlawful wounding lawyer. A seasoned assault attorney could devote the time and resources necessary to build an individual’s offense.

Unlawful Wounding Charges

The difference between unlawful wounding and a simple assault is a Class Six felony as opposed to a simple assault, which is a Class One misdemeanor. Unlawful wounding is going to carry up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Unlawful wounding is a more serious offense involving an actual wounding than a simple assault.

Generally, most unlawful wounding charges arise out of malicious wounding cases. In Virginia there is a lesser included offense, which means it is something is illegal but there are parts of the illegal activity which are also illegal and the prosecution has to prove the smaller offenses to prove the initial offense.

Examples of Lesser Included Offenses

An example of an offense with a lesser included offense is possession with the intent to distribute drugs. With that, the Commonwealth must prove that a person possesses drugs with the intent to distribute them. That is a crime that carries a maximum penalty of up to 40 years in jail for possession with the intent to distribute.

In order to prove possession with intent to distribute, the Commonwealth must first prove that a person possessed it in the first place. If they cannot prove possession, they cannot subsequently prove that they intended to distribute whatever they possessed. Simple possession is a crime in and of itself and a lesser included offense of possession with the intent to distribute.

What the Prosecution Must Prove With Unlawful Wounding

A lesser included offense does not carry as much jail time as the ultimate offense that the Commonwealth must prove, so one is thinking of malicious wounding and unlawful wounding. Most unlawful wounding begins as malicious wounding.

The Commonwealth is attempting to prove that somebody maliciously shot, stab, cut, or wounded another person by any means intended to do bodily harm, maim, disfigure, disable, or kill. That is where they are going whether this person intended to maliciously wound somebody and charged with a Class Three felony. A Richmond unlawful wounding lawyer could attempt to disprove that someone acted with malicious intent.

Either through negotiations or investigating the crime during a trial, if the Commonwealth cannot prove that element of malice, the Commonwealth agrees that there is no actual malice in that this is a wounding but there may not be that malice or that intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill. Then the Commonwealth will reduce the charge to an unlawful wounding and lead to the lesser included offense.

Value of a Richmond Unlawful Wounding Attorney


Once an individual has been charged with unlawful wounding, it is vital that they do not speak to law enforcement without an attorney present. A Richmond unlawful wounding lawyer could help a person avoid incriminating themselves. An attorney could also negotiate with the prosecution on the individual’s behalf, in order to mitigate the severity of the charges and/or consequences that they may face. Those who have been charged with unlawful wounding should consult a skilled unlawful wounding attorney that could advocate for them.

Richmond Unlawful Wounding Lawyer