Fairfax Simple Assault Lawyer
A Fairfax simple assault lawyer can provide legal representation if you are accused of threatening to harm someone. You may be charged with assault just for making a threat, even if you do not actually ever make any unwanted contact with another person. You can go to jail for this offense, and conviction can change your life. An attorney in Fairfax with experience on assault cases can help you to try to avoid jail time, reduce penalties, or avoid conviction.
A Local Fairfax Simple Assault Lawyer
A Fairfax simple assault lawyer can provide legal advice and assistance throughout your case.
- In many cases, a deferred prosecution agreement is possible to allow you to avoid a criminal record. Your attorney can help you to try to negotiate deferred prosecution.
- If you are faced with more serious assault charges, your attorney can argue that this is not appropriate because you did not choose your victim based on race, religion or other prohibited factors or because you were not aware the victim was in law enforcement, education, or health care.
- Your attorney can help to negotiate with a prosecutor to try to reduce charges or limit penalties in exchange for an admission of guilt.
- Your attorney can help you to raise defenses to assault including self-defense or lack of a credible threat against the alleged victim.
The criminal justice system has protections for defendants accused of assault. The job of a Fairfax simple assault lawyer is to help ensure that you get a fair trial and due process, and that you make informed choices when trying to avoid penalties or conviction.
Simple Assault in Fairfax
Virginia Code Section 18.2-57 governs the offenses of assault and battery. Assault involves making an imminent threat of unwanted contact. Battery involves making any type of unwanted contact, including hitting a person with an object. You can be charged with either assault or assault and battery.
Simple assault in Virginia is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Often, no jail time is required for a first offense of simple assault. However, a number of aggravating factors can result in more serious penalties. For example:
- If you are accused of selecting the victim based on race, religion, national origin or color, you face a six month jail sentence with a mandatory minimum penalty. The offense is still a misdemeanor, unless serious injury results in which case you will be charged with a Class 6 felony.
- If you are accused of assault against someone you knew was in the criminal justice system like a judge or law enforcement officer, you will be charged with a Class 6 felony and face a mandatory minimum term of six months incarceration.
- If you are accused of assault against someone who is a school employee engaging in work duties, you face a Class 1 misdemeanor charge and the minimum jail sentence is 15 days, at least two of which must be served in confinement. If a weapon is used, the mandatory minimum term of confinement is six months.
- If you are accused of assault against a health care provider, you can be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor carrying a penalty of 15 days in jail, two of which must be served in confinement.
The question of whether you made an imminent threat is often a subjective one that comes down to your word against the word of the alleged victim. A Fairfax simple assault lawyer can help you try to introduce doubt about whether you actually committed an assault offense.