In Virginia, assault is a very serious offense that can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the facts of the case. With that said, in some cases there may even be civil implications later on in addition to any criminal penalties. Due to this fact, it is imperative anyone accused committing an assault consult with a Falls Church assault lawyer as soon as possible to hone in on exactly why the person is being charged and develop a strong defense.
Assault is not defined by statutes in Virginia but instead by case law. Therefore, having a defense attorney in Falls Church that knows state law and what the courts have used to define certain actions that would be against the law is a huge benefit. To learn more or discuss your offense, call today.
In Falls Church and under Virginia law, assault is the threat or use of force, on an individual, that causes the individual to have reasonable apprehension of imminent harm or bodily injury. Assault and battery is the threat of imminent harm of bodily injury coupled with the actual bodily injury or offensive conduct. Essentially any kind of contact that is unwanted by the other person is offensive contact that can be considered battery under Virginia law and warrants contact with an assault attorney in Falls Church.
Assault crimes in Virginia include simple assault, aggravated assault, assault against a police officer, and assault against someone that is performing their school duties. Another form of assault could be domestic assault and battery, which is striking an individual that is co-habitating with the accused or is a household/family member, such as a wife or boyfriend.
Simple assault is a misdemeanor so it is a less serious charge. Aggravated assault requires an aggravating factor- something to make the charge more serious, for example, if there’s a weapon involved or the victim has special status, this would make a charge more serious and increase it to aggravated assault.
Simple assault is a class one misdemeanor so the penalty for that charge could be up to 12 months in jail and/or up to a $2,500.00 fine. The penalty for aggravated assault depends on the fact of the case, but the sentence could be up to years in prison making it extremely important a Falls Church assault attorney is contacted as soon as possible.
In addition to criminal penalties such as fines and jail time, there is a social stigma attached to an assault charge or conviction. Assault is a violent crime in Virginia. As such, having someone that is convicted of assault and battery apply for a job is likely to cause the employer to second guess whether that person is a good fit for the business. It might also affect child custody arrangements. Due to these related consequences, it is vital to work with an assault lawyer in Virginia to mitigate the damage as much as possible
Assault charges are extremely intimidating to clients because the responding officer has to sort out the story and decide who is at fault. A lot of times this determination is made based on a ‘he said, she said’ debate. Additionally, who the officer and the court finds more credible may be dependent on which has more witnesses supporting their story.
In addition, Falls Church officers do not usually investigate for a significant amount of time before arresting someone for assault. Usually they will arrest first and ask questions later because the nature of assault, a violent offense, implies that there is a victim that is at risk or has been subjected to some kind of bodily injury. The officers are looking out for the person that they have deemed to be the victim based on their quick investigation of the scene. As a result, it is unlikely that they leave the scene without making an arrest in which case a Falls Church assault lawyer should be contacted.