If you are convicted of assault, the potential consequences that you may face can go far beyond your sentence. You may be denied by landlords and future employers with an assault charge on your record. Even just being accused of such an offense can be highly damaging to all aspects of your life.
Assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney may be crucial in fighting the accusations against you and protecting your best interests. If you are facing assault charges, you may need the help of a Fredericksburg assault lawyer to effectively work through this challenging experience.
A variety of assault crimes are specifically defined under Virginia state law, each of which may result in different charges and sanctions. Determining whether an assault offense is a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the severity of the alleged conduct, as well as the involvement of minors, weapons, or physical injuries. A Fredericksburg assault attorney could analyze the situation and determine the optimal defense strategy based on the details of a particular case.
Some of the most severe assault charges in Virginia involve a hate crime or malicious injury. These crimes result in different consequences than other assault charges due to the element of injury and victim involved.
For instance, under Virginia Code §18.2-57, assault as a hate crime may be punished by a minimum of six months and up to five years in prison, as well as a $2,500 fine. Malicious injury, meanwhile, may result in a $100,000 fine and up to 20 years in prison.
The least serious assault crime is simple assault. However, even that charge may result in a $2,500 fine and up to a year in jail. Simple assault is charged as a misdemeanor, but any assault conviction—even a first offense—is likely to have significant implications on the lives of those convicted.
If the facts of the case merit one, a suspended imposition of a sentence may be given to a first-time or less serious assault offender. In this situation, the Virginia court would not enter a verdict of guilty if community service or some alternate action is completed in a specified time.
Without such an arrangement, more serious assault charges may result in severe consequences. For example, unlawful wounding and simple strangulation may result in a five-year prison sentence and a $2,500 fine. Likewise, assault on law enforcement is a Class 6 felony, and if an assault was augmented by a weapon, the consequences might escalate further.
In virtually every situation, analyzing the facts is essential and requires legal expertise. An experienced assault lawyer in Fredericksburg could explain the full implications of an assault charge on an individual defendant’s future.
If you are facing assault charges, you are likely to need legal representation from the outset of your case. Once retained, a Fredericksburg assault lawyer could help you determine the best course of action for your unique circumstances. Call today to schedule an initial consultation and start discussing your legal options.