Virginia Assault Lawyer

When you are facing assault charges, you have the right to a lawyer.  Your Virginia assault lawyer should be experienced in representing clients accused of assault offenses and should have a long track record of providing passionate and skilled legal representation to clients facing charges.

How a Virginia Assault Lawyer Will Help You

assault lawyer in VirginiaA prosecutor in Virginia must prove you intentionally committed an assault offense in violation of the law.  Your Virginia assault lawyer can try to prevent a prosecutor from proving this case so you do not end up with jail time, fines, and a criminal record.  During your case, your lawyer helps you in many important ways:

  • Your attorney will represent you at arraignment so you can have the legal information you need to decide whether to plead guilty or not.
  • At arraignment, you also need to argue for bail so you can be released pending trial. Your Virginia assault lawyer may be able to convince the judge that you should be released on your own recognizance, so no money will be required for your release. Your attorney can also argue for a low bail.
  • Before your trial begins, your Virginia assault lawyer can help determine if there is a way to get charges dropped or take advantage of a pretrial diversion program so you don’t have to worry about a criminal conviction. Charges may be dropped if a prosecutor doesn’t have sufficient evidence to go forward with the case. Your attorney can make a pretrial motion to suppress evidence if your Fourth Amendment rights were violated, and a pretrial motion to get charges dismissed due to lack of evidence.
  • Your Virginia assault lawyer can also present defenses and counterarguments to the prosecutor’s evidence in trial or help you to negotiate a plea agreement if you’d prefer not to go to court. The right defenses and arguments to make in court vary depending upon the evidence the prosecutor has. Self-defense is just one of many ways you can defend against assault charges.  A Virginia assault lawyer can help you to explore this and other defenses.

Your attorney brings legal knowledge and a strong understanding of local and state court procedures to the table as you face assault charges.

Here is more information on how an attorney can help if you are facing assault charges in:

Assault Laws in Virginia

Assault is a misdemeanor under Virginia Code Section 18.2-57 unless:

  • The assault is considered a hate crime and serious bodily injury occurs. Assault is a hate crime if the victim is chosen based on race, religion, sex, or national origin.
  • The assault is committed against a judge, magistrate, correctional system employee, other law enforcement worker, EMT, or certain other public worker.

Both misdemeanor and felony assault involve making a credible threat of imminent unwanted physical contact.  Assault is often charged with battery, which is defined as making any kind of unwanted physical contact without consent.

Penalties for Assault in Virginia

Penalties for simple assault can include up to $2,500 fines and a year in jail. Assault against a law enforcement officer or other public service has a minimum penalty of six months jail time.  Assaulting a school official, school worker doing duties, or a health care worker results in a mandatory minimum 15 days in jail, including at least two days confinement.

Additionally, prosecutors treat assault crimes very seriously as they not only have an interest in doing justice and preventing people from committing assault crimes in the future, but they also  have a victim who is very interested in the outcome of the case and expressed that interest to the prosecutor. It is not a “victimless” crime, so it puts a lot of pressure on the prosecutor to secure an outcome that satisfies the victim. Prosecutors serve the community in which they prosecute, so in addition to any pressure put on them by the victim, they also have to get the community interests in mind. It is safe to say that the community does not want violence occurring in their neighborhood. So, because of those pressures assault cases are taken very seriously in Virginia.

Contact a Virginia Assault Lawyer For Help

Assault cases raise complex questions, including whether an alleged threat was both imminent and reasonable. Unless a prosecutor can prove you acted with intent, and that a reasonable person would have found the threat credible, you should not be convicted.

A Virginia assault lawyer knows the laws that apply to assault cases and can help navigate the criminal justice system to try to avoid being convicted under those laws. Call today to learn more about how a criminal defense lawyer can help with your case.