If you have been charged with assault, whether simple or aggravated, it is important that you secure the services of a dedicated Arlington assault lawyer. Our attorneys are well versed in local laws and law enforcement practices, as well as the customs of the local courts.
They have worked extensively with the prosecutors and judges that you will likely face in your case, and they are in a strong position to seek a favorable outcome under the circumstances; one that is focused on protecting your rights, your reputation, and your record.
A conviction for assault in Virginia can bring varying penalties depending on the circumstances and the severity of the offense. Contrary to popular understanding, assault and battery are not one and the same. Assault equates to a threat to carry out battery that places the victim in legitimate immediate fear for his or her well-being. This means that danger must be considered imminent.
Assault charges can be brought against you if you are perceived as threatening to hurt someone. If you are within proximity and have the means to carry out whatever threat you make you could be looking at a Class 1 misdemeanor conviction, which in Virginia carries a penalty of up to $2,500 in fines and up to a year in jail. You cannot be charged with assault over a threatening phone call, but you can if the same conversation takes place in person.
Legal Definition of Battery
Accidental touching of a non-threatening and non-reckless nature do not equate to battery in the eyes of the law. This is why “it was an accident” is a common and arguable defense. Battery occurs when you touch someone in a threatening manner or if it constitutes offensive contact (e.g., spitting on someone). Something as simple as a poke or a shove can be chargeable as battery, depending on various factors.
If you touch someone out of anger, as an act of rudeness, or as an insult you are at risk of being charged with battery. This includes using a weapon, throwing an object, or even setting your dog on someone.
If you act as the result of being threatened or provoked, the law provides a degree of latitude that may lend itself to a number of effective defenses which could lead to an acquittal on battery charges. This is one of many situations in which an Arlington County assault attorney can prove invaluable. That expertise will allow your lawyer to pursue every possible strategy for your defense, determine which one best applies to your situation, and will be best-suited to argue it effectively in court.
Other Assault Charges You Could Face
Domestic Assault and Assault and Battery on a Member of Your Family
In order for you to be charged with domestic assault and/or battery against a family member, the victim must live with you and/or be related to you. The advantage in cases like these is that Virginia offers special considerations which your defense attorney can opt to request on your behalf.
The same rules apply to what constitutes assault and what constitutes battery in terms of the accusation, but first-time offenders in Virginia are sometimes given the opportunity to right the situation by entering an anger management program in exchange for a dismissal of the charges, but only with the consent of the victim.
An Arlington County assault lawyer will be able to review all these factors and quickly determine if this scenario applies to you. In other jurisdictions, such as the state of Maryland, different factors may apply.
Assault with a Firearm
Threatening someone with a gun is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia and carries the standard penalties as any other assault charge, but with other considerations applied based on the circumstances. There are a number of variations within this scenario that can apply to your case, which is why you must retain the services of dedicated Arlington assault lawyer as soon as possible. That attorney will immediately begin an exhaustive review of the facts of your case, and that assault lawyer will patiently explain to you all the nuances of the law and how they will devise a defense for you based on your specific situation.
Assault on a Firefighter, Police Officer or Law Enforcement Officer
Assaulting an officer is considered a serious offense in and of itself in Virginia and therefore carries some severe penalties. It may bring a Class 6 felony conviction with a minimum mandatory sentence of six months in jail. It is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $2,500 fine. Disarming a police officer is also a Class 6 felony under most circumstances. And assault on a probation officer is a Class 5 felony in Virginia and can result in a 10-year prison sentence.
Never face such serious charges alone, and never face such charges with anything but a devoted Arlington County assault attorney who has the specific experience and know-how required to handle this kind of case. That experience is likely to make all the difference in a successful defense of the charges, charges that can inflict serious damage on your record and reputation.
Felony Malicious Wounding
Stabbing, cutting or wounding another person with the intent to kill, maim or disfigure is a Class 3 felony in Virginia. It carries up to a $100,000 fine and a mandatory five-year prison sentence. If the crime is deemed to have been committed without malice, the charge drops to a Class 6 felony with penalties as previously described.
Contact an Arlington Assault Attorney Today
If you have been charged with any of the above mentioned crimes, or any crime related to or involving assault or battery in Virginia, the Steve Duckett Attorney at Law and his colleagues can provide you with dedicated legal representation that you require and deserve. Contact our Virginia law offices today for a free consultation regarding the charges and possible defenses that would best benefit you in regards to your case.