Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney
An assault charge carries serious penalties and long-term consequences that can impact your personal and professional life. If you are facing Fairfax assault penalties, you may want to consult with a seasoned defense attorney. A dedicated assault lawyer could advocate on your behalf to help reduce your charges and get them dismissed. Call today and set up a consultation with a knowledgeable legal professional.
The most important variable in assault sentencing is the status of the alleged victim. An assault against a police officer is a felony and carries a sentence of six months in jail. Assault against someone due to their race, gender, or nation of origin, is also a felony and carries a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail with a possible sentence of six months. Teacher assault is a mandatory minimum of two days in jail. Whether someone is facing Fairfax assault penalties for a felony or a misdemeanor, it is critical for them to obtain the services of a defense lawyer.
As far as alternative sentencing options, there is no first offender’s program or another sentencing alternative for assault and battery in general district court. There is also no first-offender option when it comes to assault crimes. Also, in Fairfax County, an assault charge cannot be erased from the individual’s record after any amount of time.
An alternative to erasure is an “accord and satisfaction” in which the alleged victim agrees to drop the charges and testify that they have been made whole, contingent on something that the perpetrator did, such as paying the alleged victim money or covering their medical bills. Both parties sign a document saying that they want the charges dropped, according to an accord and satisfaction agreement.
Another option to avoid jail time is a peace bond, which is an agreement to keep the peace. If two neighbors are fighting, and had a physical altercation, they might agree to a peace bond. A peace bond is an agreement to commit no further acts of violence for a period of one year. If a party breaks that agreement, they may pay a financial penalty.
Both peace bonds and accord and satisfaction agreements are only effective for misdemeanor offenses in general district court. If someone is in juvenile or domestic relations court, the person can participate in a first offender’s program, which is essentially two years on probation, during which they take an anger-management course. A protective order or some type of strict guideline usually accompanies a first-offender program.
At the end of the probationary period, and if all requirements have been completed, the offender’s case will be dismissed. Cases may not be dismissed after a trial begins in general district court, so a defendant in district court may want to consider other options.
Individuals facing Fairfax assault penalties should reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you obtain an attorney, the sooner they could review the facts of your case and look into your legal options. Call today and set up your initial consultation.