Simple assault is a serious charge. It’s taken seriously by the prosecutor’s office and therefore should be taken seriously by anyone charged with the offense as well. The best way to demonstrate to a judge that you are taking these charges seriously is to consult with an experienced Arlington simple assault lawyer. With an experienced assault attorney in Arlington you will be able to discuss your options and make an informed decision about the next step in your case.
Having an Arlington simple assault attorney who knows how this will play out in court is crucial to guide your behavior in between the time that someone has been charged with assault and the time that they get to trial. Getting an attorney and cooperating with them fully is your first step in fighting the charges issued against you.
The first three things that you should do when you’re charged with an assault or an assault and battery are:
First of all, contact and hire a simple assault attorney in Arlington. An attorney can help you navigate the next steps procedurally, but more importantly, the attorney can help you make decisions that will help you best resolve your case down the road at trial.
Secondly, have absolutely no contact of any kind with the complaining witness or anyone associated with them. Do not talk to them. Do not try to make amends. Do not try apologize to them or have them apologize to you. Do not talk with them over the phone. All that can be used against you at some point. It’s better to stay away. And if you’re angry at them, it will prevent you from getting into a situation that could impact your case negatively.
Lastly, let your Arlington simple assault lawyer know about any evidence you have that could help your case at trial so the attorney can gather and preserve it. Once you’ve been charged, the police have most likely concluded their investigation and have determined that you are the perpetrator of the offense, so what they have typically won’t help you. If you know of witnesses to the assault, any video that may exist, any communications you had prior to the incident with the other party, let your Arlington simple assault attorney know so that you don’t lose that evidence over time.
The penalties for assault and assault and battery are the exact same. They’re both punished as a class one misdemeanor, which is a crime that will be on your permanent record should you be convicted. The maximum jail time is one year in jail and the maximum fine is 2,500 dollars.
Additionally, someone convicted of either of those crimes can be held accountable for restitution for the other person’s injures, or any other expenses that the victim may have incurred, in addition to the fines. However the victim must be able to show how those costs were directly related to the crime that the defendant is charged with.
Often times someone convicted of these offenses can’t have contact with the victim. They may also be barred from returning to the location where the assault occurred. So in the bar fight example, if someone is convicted of assault or assault and battery they may be banned from returning to that bar for a year.
Sometimes the court will order anger management classes, community service or a mental health evaluation depending on what the court feels is appropriate.
As you can see from the penalties above, simple assault is a serious charge in Arlington County, Virginia. If you have been charged with simple assault, you are also facing the possibility of a criminal record that can jeopardize your security clearance and employment opportunities that use background checks. Contact an Arlington simple assault lawyer today to learn more about what you are facing and what options you have to minimize the impact of these charges on your life. Schedule a free consultation today.