Sterling Assault & Battery Attorney
In Virginia, allegations of assault and battery are treated with the utmost seriousness. The specifics of the allegations can lead to charges that range from a misdemeanor to a felony. Although a misdemeanor charge can still adversely affect your reputation or professional life and carry a penalty of up to a year in jail, it is less severe than a felony charge. A felony charge can have lasting impacts on an individual’s life even after the completion of their prison term. Regardless of the specific charges you face, if you’ve been accused of assault and battery, the necessity of prompt, skilled legal counsel cannot be overstated. Reach out to our Sterling assault & battery attorney today.
Understanding Assault and Assault and Battery Under Virginia State Law
There’s a variety of assault and assault and battery offenses, each carrying distinct penalties under Virginia law. Assault is an act of intimidation, conveyed through words or deeds, that instills a reasonable fear for one’s safety in another person. An assault charge does not require actual physical contact between the defendant and the alleged victim. Battery, conversely, involves physical contact, such as a shove, punch, or kick. The law does not require the victim to sustain an injury for a battery charge to be filed. An attempted but unsuccessful battery, like an attempted punch that misses its target, qualifies as an assault. In Virginia, a simple assault or assault and battery is a Class 1 misdemeanor according to state statutes 18.2-57, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine as per statutes 18.2-11. However, if the victim is a judge, police officer, or another protected individual, or if the assault and battery was committed due to a protected trait like race, religion, color, or national origin, the crime escalates to a Class 6 felony. A Class 6 felony carries a minimum six-month confinement term and a maximum of five years in prison.
Sterling Domestic Violence Overview & Statistics
Domestic violence is a profound and extensive issue in Sterling, much like in other regions, requiring an in-depth understanding for effectual prevention and response. Instances of domestic violence frequently lead to allegations of assault and battery, and these charges can escalate to felony levels, particularly when the defendant has a record of related convictions.
Accusations of assault and battery in domestic violence situations often carry repercussions extending beyond those imposed by the criminal justice system. These allegations can arise from misunderstandings, acts of retribution, or spontaneous conflict escalations, with several defenses potentially applicable, depending on the specific case.
At Sterling Law Group, our assault and battery lawyers routinely deal with cases involving domestic violence allegations. However, it’s important to acknowledge that legal representation is only one facet of addressing this complex and widespread problem.
According to information compiled by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) prior to my knowledge cutoff in 2021, approximately 20 people per minute were subjected to physical abuse by an intimate partner in the United States, amounting to over 10 million men and women annually.
Additionally, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men endure severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking, resulting in impacts such as injuries, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, need for victim services, sexually transmitted diseases, and more.
Regrettably, due to the stigma and sensitive nature of domestic violence, many instances remain unreported, making it a challenge to ascertain the full scale of the problem accurately. In Virginia, as per a report from the Virginia Department of Health, approximately 56,853 domestic violence offenses were reported in 2018. This figure, while substantial, likely only scratches the surface of the actual number of domestic violence incidents occurring within the state.
Remember that help is available, not only from legal experts like us at Simms Showers LLP, but also from domestic violence hotlines, local shelters, and counseling services. Collectively, we can work towards addressing and ultimately eradicating domestic violence from our communities.
Establishing the Occurrence of Assault and Battery
With skilled legal representation, it may not be straightforward for the prosecution to successfully charge someone with assault or assault and battery. Clear evidence must exist demonstrating the defendant’s intent to cause harm or offensive contact, the alleged victim’s belief in the defendant’s ability to enact the threat, and the actual ability of the defendant to cause harm or offensive contact. For instance, if the defendant issued a threat via email, while potentially a crime, it wouldn’t be considered assault as there is no immediate physical threat or unwanted contact involved. Similarly, a battery incident leaving no physical evidence and without any witnesses can be challenging to prove. If you’re facing charges of assault or assault and battery, it’s crucial to seek immediate legal assistance. The Sterling assault & battery attorney at Simms Showers LLP apply strategies based on years of successful trial experience and commitment to our clients, so call us today for a free consultation.